Greenwashing and British flowers in the Winter season.

Greenwashing and British flowers in the Winter season.

Greenwashing is a hugely serious factor the world over.

Coca Cola the world's largest plastic bottle manufacturer is currently sponsoring COP27, and a UK Government survey last year found that almost 40% of Green claims were likely to be misleading and incorrect. In the Floristry field it is very sad to see my customers being taken in by greenwashing claims

As we go into the winter season, when there are less British Flowers available, here are some facts that will help you spot those who are telling you their flowers are sustainable, when they are anything but.....

There won't be any British Roses for sale from now onwards, (The header picture is my sad looking hot chocolate rose, which might get into a vase at home for me, but isn't in a condition to sell!) Anything sold from now until late May is likely to be imported from Kenya, Ethiopia (the home of the largest Rose exporter -  Sher) Columbia (where the David Austin cut roses are grown under licence) or Venezeula. 

British flowers that are likely to be available over the next couple of months are Alstroemerias, Lilies, Chrysanthemums, and the first of the Scilly isles Narcissus, - with Tulips grown in Lincolnshire available just before Christmas. But if the label doesn't say they re UK grown, they aren't.

Dried flowers are a wonderful winter season display, but anything pale pink or light blue is likely to be dyed (Particularly bunny tail grasses!) and any bright white foliage is likely to be bleached, with harmful chemicals.

Winter wreaths can be made with all locally grown foliage and natural decor, but be aware of chemically dried and bleached fruit decorations, and sparkly baubles or painted seed heads (glitter is a micro plastic)

Why am I telling you these things?

Well time and time again I talk to my customers who are very pleased that they've found a "sustainable" flower company, only for me to point out that the company they are talking about ,

1) import from growers in countries where living wages aren't paid, 

2) have a cocktail of chemicals and pesticides that are banned from use in this country that are applied by their workforce and that residues have been found in damaging amounts on gloves of florists (do you always use gloves when arranging flowers?)

3) are flown in to this country

4) wrapped in plastic

When they get here, the flowers may well be put into paper sleeves or boxes and delivered in electric vans or by bicycle. But it's too late by then.

I'd like to bring to your attention a new Green Claims code that Businesses in the UK should be abiding by (more information here)

Green claims are genuine when they properly describe the environmental impact of the product, brand, business or service, with evidence to back it up.

Claims can be misleading if any information is hidden or is misrepresented. This is commonly known as ‘greenwashing’.