by Elco B
Tue Dec 12th, 2006 at 08:23:43 PM EST
Euh... yes, I'm old enough to write first hand about Flower Power..... Amsterdam......Paradiso.... end 1960's and early 70's but no, no memoires yet.
This story is about the real flowers from today, the ones we buy as a gift, a present or attention for our loved ones, specially with the newyear's parties and gatherings ahead.
And yes, as so many things today, flowers are globalised.
A short distance outside of Amsterdam is the Aalsmeer Flower Auction which is the world's largest.
Millions of flowers and plants are bought and sold here each business day. Although the majority of them come from local producers, many are flown in from other countries. Once they go through the auction, they are loaded onto airplanes for the trip to the U.S. and other countries to be sold that day from your local florist shop.
Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer is a prominent link in the international chain of flower and plant sales. An average of 20 million flowers and 2 million plants change hands every day. These are supplied by more than 5.400 growers world-wide, and bought by 1100 wholesalers and exporters. Within a couple of hours they are exported to almost every country in the world. Aalsmeer Flower Auction's share is 45% of the world-market..... turnover of 1.7 billion euro in 2005.
however a growing share of, 32 % now, is imported from more than 45 different countries. Kenya, Israel, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ecuador and Zambia are the most important international suppliers.
SO...flowers raised in Kenia or Ecuador can finally be sold in New York, Paris, Pretoria or Sao Paulo or.....
|Buying a flower for most of us is something we do automaticly without thinking where they come from.|
Are they local grown? from the Netherlands?
The above shows the flowers travel sometimes a longer distance than you ever did yourself.
To be sure the flowers last for a few weeks, production is high-tech now. The latest developements are exported from Europe to country's where circumstances are far more favourable than ours.
And of course we are not only talking about climate but also about cheap labor.
The following pictures are from Ecuador.
Well, the story behind those pictures is ....yeah... depressing.
- All kinds of chemicals are used: local workers are hardly protected.(In the picture above the man his eyes are not protected!)
- Max wages are around 160 USD/month wich is below 278 USD considered as poverty-limit.
- Children are put to work in order to ameliorate the family-income.
- Seen from here (Western-Europe) people working in these flower-business are slaves...
- What's really weird : those flowers are flown around the world with fuel eating planes.
Do we have an alternative ?
If you do not have a garden to raise your own flowers you can find more here: