BOGOTA, Colombia, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Looking for that
"feel-good" gift for Valentine's Day? You won't have to look very far. With
300 million stems of certified Florverde(R) flowers headed to the United
States from Colombia, millions of sweethearts can feel good about the
flowers they will purchase for the holiday of love. The majority of
Colombian flowers shipped to the U.S. are grown on Florverde(R)-certified
farms, which are in compliance with stringent U.S social and environmental
"Everyone can feel confident purchasing flowers this Valentine's Day
and everyday," said Augusto Solano, President of the Colombian Association
of Flower Exporters (Asocolflores). "Buying flowers supports an
international industry that continues to make strides to improve social,
environmental, labor and occupational health and safety standards."
As the size and influence of the Colombian floriculture industry
expands, it continues to enhance working standards to improve the lives of
floral workers. Asocolflores is celebrating eleven years of the
Florverde(R) program, the unique certification process which was created to
improve the lives and living standards of floral farm workers and their
families, to preserve and protect the environment for the industry's
farmers for generations to come and to ensure high-quality, affordable
flowers for consumers year round. Currently 171 Colombian farms, comprising
half of the acreage devoted to growing flowers, have qualified for or are
in the process of qualifying for Florverde(R) certification.
Florverde(R)-certified farms use of agricultural chemicals is
consistent with U.S. regulations. Workers are educated and trained in the
safe use of these chemicals and provided appropriate safety equipment.
On-site medical care, dining areas and hot meals are provided. Some farms
go beyond specified worker requirements and offer child care, housing
subsidies and literacy education.
Certification is verified by an independent third party, SGS, a
renowned international audit company headquartered in Switzerland, widely
recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. SGS has
worked with such companies as Avon, McDonald's, the GAP and Shopko.
More About the Colombian Flower Industry
-- Colombia exported more than one billion dollars worth of flowers
world wide in 2007.
-- Florverde(R) was initially created to enhance overall performance by
providing a systemized approach to improve labor conditions and
-- Initial participation in Florverde(R) is voluntary. Once certified,
compliance is mandatory to maintain certification.
-- Seventy-seven percent of all flowers imported into the U.S. are from
-- In 2006, the U.S. imported 99% of its carnations and alstroemeria,
98% of its mums and 70% of its cut roses from Colombia.
-- Colombia is the second largest exporter of flowers in the world
-- In 2006, U.S.-Colombian bilateral trade was an estimated $14.7
-- Florverde(R) flowers are grown with 50 percent less pesticides as
compared to 1998 usage.
-- Florverde(R) is the model program for the Ecuadorian flower and
Colombian banana industries.
-- The Colombian flower industry encourages sustainable farming through
the use of integrated pest management practices to reduce pesticide use,
and encourages drip irrigation, rainwater collection systems and organic
Established in 1973 to represent the interests of the Colombian flower
growers in world markets, the Colombian Association of Flower Exporters
(Asocolflores) represents more than 70 percent of total Colombian flowers
SOURCE Colombian Association of Flower Exporters