Thursday, September 09, 2010

Blooming Fair Trade Flower Business Makes a Bigger Difference

By Alaina Paradise

Business remains strong for One World Flowers, a licensed importer of Fair Trade flowers, even growing in today’s struggling economy.

Each quarter, licensed importers of Fair Trade products submit reports about purchases and sales to TransFair USA. The reporting system is one of the many ways that TransFair ensures accountability, transparency, and labeling accuracy for the Fair Trade program.

Reporting time offers a good opportunity to take a look at our growth as a company and growth in the Fair Trade flower industry as a whole. 

We’re happy to say that Year-to-Date numbers show that we have increased volume of flowers sold by 51% over 2009, because it means that we’re making a bigger impact on the farms as we grow.

Fair Trade flowers haven’t taken off in the U.S. market as much as they did in Europe when they were first introduced. This is partly due to timing of their market introduction and the current economic woes, and partly due to the cultural differences that make flowers a more seasonal gift item in the United States. In addition, market awareness of Fair Trade flowers in the United States is not as prevalent.

Despite these challenges, One World Flowers has managed to develop a strong business since opening in 2007. It has sold over 100,000 stems of Fair Trade flowers, each of which carries with it a 10% Fair Trade Premium that One World Flowers pays directly to workers’ unions.
The company has grown steadily by carving out a niche market among locally-owned cooperative markets where consumers are more aware of Fair Trade and its benefits.

The more we grow the more flowers we are able to buy from the Fair Trade farms we work with. Those dollars translate into wonderful social and environmental changes. One World Flowers hopes to begin expanding into other markets for wholesale flowers including reaching out to more local florists and wedding planners.

The author is proprietor of Albuquerque-based One World Flowers and a passionate advocate of fair trade.  Read her previous posts about fair trade flowers on Valentine's Day and on Mother's Day

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