Valentines Day Grows More Sustainable

Posted by Trish Riley, February 9, 2011

This Valentine’s Day, Americans have an opportunity to support sustainability in the flower industry by purchasing VeriFlora Certified sustainably grown flowers. Nearly 112 million roses will be purchased for Valentine’s Day this year, and if even a small fraction of them are certified, it could make a big difference for agricultural workers and their communities.

“Giving VeriFlora Certified flowers is one of the best ways to show your special someone that you really care. Supporting the growers and communities is consistent with the spirit of the holiday and the sustainability aspect makes these flowers memorable gifts,” says Dr. Michael Keyes of Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), the unbiased, third-party certification agency that administers the VeriFlora program.

VeriFlora supports fair labor practices by requiring transparency throughout the entire flower supply chain from farm to market.The certification process involves audits of growers’ facilities and in-depth interviews of management to ensure fair practices. VeriFlora also promotes integrated pest management and reduced dependence on pesticide, so buyers know that companies are lowering the risk of exposing workers to harmful pesticides.

Heather May of VeriFlora Certified Rancho Tissue Technologies said, “more than a seal of approval, VeriFlora represents the true depth of our commitment to producing the finest quality plants while maintaining the safety and health of our employees and the environment.”

The VeriFlora eco-label can be found on flower packaging at local florists, online retailers, and major stores including Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. The VeriFlora website lists a network of preferred VeriFlora retailers and spotlights retailers that carry certified flowers. Sustainable flowers are increasingly popular as Easter, Mothers Day, wedding season, and graduations approach.

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Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party sustainability and environmental certification, auditing, testing and standards development for more than 25 years. SCS programs span a wide range of industries including green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retailing and more.