The holidays and the week around Valentine’s Day are very popular times to get flowers. Not surprisingly, during this period the sales of roses go sky high. It’s also a time where you want to have a good feeling about giving flowers. Because we deliver a lot of extra bouquets during these time periods, we’ve extensively tested these bouquets on the use of pesticides by the growers. A good headstart that immediately makes a great impact.
This pesticides-test is conducted by taking samples in a flower lab and doing a leaf residue-test. We call this a ‘pulp-test’ because the flowers are ground down to a pulp and consequently examined. The flowers will be tested with the use of tools and certificates from MPS; leading standards in the floral sector. Additionally, we have extended the test with, among others, the Greenpeace Dirty Nine list: a list of resources on which Greenpeace has tested flowers.
- For our Christmas bouquets, we’ve tested over 20 different flowers. No resources have been found that are on the MPS list. We did find Formetanate and Omethoate: resources that we’d rather not find in our bouquets. We’ve replaced these flowers and have started a dialogue with the growers of these flowers.
- For our bouquets around Valentine’s Day, we’ve tested two different bouquets. One resource was discovered that’s blacklisted by MPS, named Methamidofos. No resources were found that are on the Greenpeace Dirty Nine list. Also, Acefate and Thiabendazol were found: two pesticides which we rather not see in our bouquets. Currently, we’re running additional tests to see which flowers we need to replace for the time being. We’ve also opened a dialogue with those growers.
Running tests properly takes time. And that’s quite hard when you work with a fresh product that changes in composition every week. We often have to find an alternative for a flower that is unavailable at the last minute. And if we find pesticides that we want to avoid in the flowers from our growers, we also search for a suitable last-minute alternative that meets our quality standards. It all happens at the very last moment, making it hard for us to take time to test the flowers. A challenge to say the least!
To be continued...
Roy Barnhoorn, sustainability manager flower team
Want to know more about our sustainability journey? In this blog we give you more insight into our goals and what we are working on today.