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How Fair Are Your Flowers?

Rose flower

Most cut flowers sold in B.C. come from abroad, often from developing countries where nursery conditions have attracted criticism for being hard on the environment and exploitive of workers. But new initiatives, modeled on programs that certify other indulgences like coffee and chocolate as good for the conscience as well as the morale, are certifying some bouquets as "fair trade." But do such labels really represent better practices where our flowers are grown? Supported by The Tyee's readers through a Tyee Fellowship, reporter Gabriela Perdomo checked out the high valleys of South America's Andes that produce more than half our imported flowers.

In This Series


Worker harvesting flowers at Fairtrade certified Hoja Verde farm in Cayambe, Ecuador

What's More Fair about 'Fair Trade' Flowers?

Going to the root of that question took me to Ecuador's Cayambe region, where I met with workers in the fields. Second in a reader-funded series.

By Gabriela Perdomo, 11 May 2011


Rose flower

How Fair Are Those Mother's Day Flowers?

My quest to track 'fair trade' blooms destined for BC starts in Colombia. First in an investigative series funded by Tyee readers.

By Gabriela Perdomo, 6 May 2011


Fair trade label

Read the Label on Those Blooms

Your choice could help send a kid to special needs class, or college. How fair trade flowers brighten lives in Ecuador and Colombia. Latest in a series.

By Gabriela Perdomo, 16 May 2011


Hoja Verde, flower farm

The Cannibal Killers Behind the Perfect Rose

They're a mitey problem. Third in an investigative series funded by Tyee readers.

By Gabriela Perdomo, 18 May 2011


Olla flowers founders

BC's Other Buds

Tulips thrive in the Fraser Valley, but is the same true for worker and consumer safety? Last in a reader-funded series.

By Gabriela Perdomo, 24 May 2011