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One of the Mums who work at SB Tallee

Last year more than 9 million USD was spent by the Colombian flower industry on local social programmes directly benefiting over 90,000 workers

All Mums are special but for Colombian children theirs are extra special because 60% of flower workers are Mums and often the sole breadwinner. That’s why the flower industry in Colombia is so important. Because not only will thousands of UK Mums receive the most beautiful flowers this Mother’s Day but every flower sold will help thousands of Colombian Mums and their children as well.

It’s all to do with the way Colombian growers look after the women who tend and nurture the flowers from tiny shoots to the day they are cut, packed and sent to the UK as fully fledged blooms. Because under the world recognised, and Global Gap approved, social and environmental programme Florverde (Spanish for green flower), growers who send to the UK are committed to making sure their staff are cared for as well as the environment.

Not just with subsidised housing schemes that have given many workers their own homes for the first time but help with funded university education, crèche facilities and medical services, benefits that mean children of flower workers enjoy some of the highest levels of literacy and advance learning in the country and mothers can take control of their lives.

Something Daily Express Executive Editor Tina Moran discovered when she visited Colombia last year. “I met a mother of two at a farm I visited who told me she had worked there for five years and loved it. Her children attend the farm run nursery where she can go and see them in her breaks and then they all leave together at the end of the day. In fact she has several friends who want a job like hers simply because it fits in so well with family life.”

And the financial difference Colombian flowers makes is huge as Augusto Solano, President of Asocolflores, the Colombian Flower Growers Association explained. “Colombia is already renowned for top class, larger flowers which are sold in high end stores like Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and quality independent florists. What’s even more important is the fact that flowers bought for Mother’s Day will directly help the people who look after them. Last year more than 9 million USD was spent by the Colombian flower industry on local social programmes directly benefiting over 90,000 workers and their families… many of them working mothers themselves.”

Editors Notes:

• Colombia is the world’s 2nd largest exporter of flowers, and the main flower provider of the U.S. market.
• The first flowers to be sent from Colombia to the UK were Carnations more than 30 years ago.
• These days Colombia still produces more carnations than any other country but also supplies roses, calla, hydrangea, agapanthus and alstroemeria in large quantities. Tropicals from the coffee belt region are increasingly popular while Chrysanthemums from the Medellin region are regularly bought by UK supermarkets.
• For more information visit www.colombianflowers.co.uk
• For pictures or interviews please call Chrissie Bestley at the Colombian Flower Council UK on 020 8939 6475 or email info@colombianflowers.co.uk

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