The Fairtrade Foundation, which supplies flowers to multiples under the Fairtrade label, has expressed concern at the plans by Union Fleurs to launch a new, internationally recognised fair trade label for flowers and plants.
Spokeswoman for the Fairtrade Foundation, Eileen Maybin, said the Fair Flowers and Plants mark was likely to mean more confusion among the trade and consumers, not less, as Union Fleurs has claimed.
“There are a lot of schemes out there already, and we are concerned that this new one will be duplicating the process yet again,” she said. “It could just add to the confusion.”
Maybin said the Fairtrade Foundation recognised that there were too many schemes and insisted that it was taking steps to reduce the burden on growers. “We are working with other
organisations in order to reduce the number of visits and inspections.”
Support from the multiples will be key if the mark is to succeed in the UK: figures published by the Flowers and Plants Association show that more than 60% of flowers are now purchased in supermarkets, compared with just 20% ten years ago. Tesco and Sainsbury currently sell cut flowers carrying the Fairtrade Foundation’s Fairtrade mark.