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Fairtrade has achieved a lot: Germany is the world market leader in fair trade roses, nowhere are more fair trade flowers bought. They come mainly from East Africa. The living and working conditions of the workers there have already been improved through long-term supply relationships and the Fairtrade Premium. In 2016, 367 million fair roses were sold in Germany alone. "This means more than € 2.5 million in premiums that employees independently use for training, medical care or community projects," said Dieter Overath, CEO of TransFair, the nonprofit association that has been trading the international Fairtrade seal for fair trade for 25 years Awards products in Germany.
Since the summer of 2016, a first in the German trade Fairtrade geraniums come as cuttings from Ethiopia to Germany. The cuttings farms buy a few elite plants from Germany and multiply them until they have enough mother plants from which to harvest the cuttings. The warm climate in Africa favors the production of the geranium cuttings, which come to Germany after the harvest, well chilled, by airliner. In Germany, young plants care for the cultivation of the cuttings and root the plantlets. In native nurseries, the plants eventually grow into flowering geranium. The plants then go to retail for sale to the end customer.
Many workers find a job in the production of Fairtrade plants, such as the pelargonium cutlery
The farms in Germany, which cultivate the Fairtrade plants, commit to using culture substrates with at least 20 percent peat substitutes such as coconut fibers. This makes an important contribution to the preservation of moors, thereby protecting habitat and climate. The abandonment of highly toxic pesticides also comes into play here.
But there is still much to do. The new Fairtrade List of Prohibited Substances was adopted in December and enters into force on 01.01.2018. Fairtrade International draws on the expertise of recognized international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). This is another step towards improved environmental protection in the flower production of the global South. In addition, the standard for Fairtrade flowers will be revised this year. For the future, the focus is on the financial security of workers: gradual salary increases will be used to realize long-term living wages.
It takes about 20 weeks to grow the cuttings until they are ready for sale
Most of the flowers are sold through food retailers. In addition, more and more florists are offering fair roses, carnations, spray roses, alstromeries, gypsophila, calla and levkojen. Spring offers many special occasions to give fair flower greetings, such as Valentine's Day on February 14, International Women's Day on March 8 or Mother's Day on May 14. As part of the flower power campaign, TransFair points out that Fairtrade is actively strengthening women's rights. Further information at: fairtrade-deutschland.de/flowerpower.