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AskPablo: Valentine’s Day Flowers

| Monday February 11th, 2008 | 2 Comments

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I feel I should get my significant other some flowers. But I’ve read that flowers, especially in winter, have to be shipped from South America and other places. What’s a responsible Cupid to do?

Yes, Hallmark Day is upon us and it’s time to give our sweethearts sappy cards, chocolate and little heart-shaped candies that taste like chalk. Aside from the commercialization, I do appreciate the intent behind the holiday and intend to brighten my wife’s day with some flowers. You are right, though: With most of the nation in the midst of winter, there is little chance that those dozen roses are coming from your neighborhood rosebush.
The United States imports between 60 and 80 percent of its cut flowers, and most of them come from greenhouses in Latin America, or even as far away as Africa or Europe. Up to 90 percent of the roses sold for Valentine’s Day are from Colombia and Ecuador; in 2006, the wholesale value of imported roses was over $300 million.
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  • Anonymous

    What about the benefit to Ecuador and Columbia’s economies from the export of roses? Couldn’t the U.S have standards similar to countries in Europe where people can buy roses with a “green label” that ensures the rose growers meet basic environmental and labor standards? These standards could include some kind of carbon credit to offset the shipment of the roses.

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