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Red is the New Green
Organic Roses Make Valentine’s Day an Environmental Affair

Riobamba, Ecuador (February 8, 2005) – In the Ecuadorian highlands, near the Equatorial center of the world, Dr. Hernan Chiriboga gently pushes aside rows of chamomile, garlic and chili peppers and inspects his prize crop – organically grown red roses.

With a mere eight acres of mostly roses, Biogarden La Pampa is the world’s first commercial-scale organic rose operation. Together with a handful of small to large-scale environmental growers in Colombia, South Africa, the Netherlands and California, Chiriboga’s roses discover love and lovers via Internet eco-florist OrganicBouquet.com.

“Our organically cultivated roses take care of the soil and the environment,” said Chiriboga, who until recently served as president of Expoflores, Ecuador’s flower exporters association.

Combined, the countries of Ecuador and Colombia produce nearly 70 percent of all flowers sold in the United States, a market valued at nearly $17 billion in 2002. According to the Organic Trade Association, U.S. sales of organic flowers alone grew to $8 million in 2003, an estimated 52 percent growth spurt from the previous year. Organic flower sales are expected to grow 13 percent annually through 2008. Overall, the U.S. organic market is conservatively estimated to grow to more than $30 billion by 2007.


A Rose is a Rose?

Along with his son Jorge, an agronomist with a post-graduate degree from Massey University in New Zealand, Chiriboga’s innovative project may fundamentally transform an industry that has increasingly relied upon a broad spectrum of hazardous chemical pesticides.

Instead of relying on synthetic and toxic chemicals to create the perfect rose, Biogarden sets precedent with an example of a pristine ecosystem: beneficial insects including wasps eat the aphids, while natural fertilizers – including composted old flowers – transform the warm, humid soil of the greenhouses into a hotbed of radiant colors and floral hues.

Once harvested, Biogarden’s organic roses are classified, graded, packed by hand, and kept in refrigerated storage until shipped by FedEx to individuals and businesses in the United States through its marketing partner, OrganicBouquet.com.


A Rose by Any other Name

Organic flowers, however, are still a new concept in the $13 billion organic market, and few Valentine sweethearts would know about a green option for red roses were it not for Northern California entrepreneur Gerald Prolman, CEO of OrganicBouquet.com.

In the 1990s, Prolman revolutionized the organic produce market, successfully commercializing organic fruits and vegetables and by single-handedly convincing industry giant Dole Foods Company, among dozens of other major agribusinesses, to enter the organic field.

“Dole’s entrée, led by Prolman, was the catalyst for exponential growth of the organic category,” said Ray Clocke, who at the time was the senior vice president of Safeway Corporation produce and floral division. “Once Dole stepped in, other major growers followed and mass market retailers started to participate (in organics).”


Rose-Colored Lenses

Prolman’s vision extends beyond selling flowers, driven by a passion for the environment and a commitment to the health of farm laborers. Working with small farmers and corporate growers alike, Prolman intends to create environmental growing solutions and make organic flowers available to consumers on a national and international scale.

“We’ll keep at it,” he said at a recent gathering of friends and colleagues, “until all flowers are green.”


About Organic Bouquet

Established in 2001, Organic Bouquet (www.OrganicBouquet.com) is the world's first online organic florist. Organic Bouquet’s mission is to set a new standard for the floral industry that upholds the well being of farm workers, the protection of ecosystems, and the preservation of the Earth, while providing consumers with the highest quality products available. Organic Bouquet ships directly from the grower via overnight delivery to anywhere in the USA with a guarantee that the flowers will last seven days in a vase at home.


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Sustainable Flowers Make The Perfect Gift For All Occasions

Organic Bouquet is the largest online provider of eco-friendly and organic floral gifts. All of our flowers are grown in a manner that is not only environmentally friendly but also provides outstanding resources for farm workers and artisans. Organic Bouquet partners with select flower farms in California, Ecuador and Colombia. All of our flower farms follow stringent growing practices which are monitored by multiple certification agencies and associations. When you purchase flowers from Organic Bouquet, you are helping to improve the life of a flower farm worker, their family and the local floral community.

Our eco-friendly flower arrangements include roses, calla lilies, tulips, gerbera daisies, hyacinths, sunflowers, alstromeria lilies and blue iris. In addition to a complete line of flower arrangements, we offer gift baskets, fruit baskets, nut baskets, gourmet chocolates, gourmet cookies, plants and  wreaths. All of these products are certified eco-friendly and/or provide for environmental benefits through our participation in Carbon Offset programs.

Whatever the occasion, our flowers make the perfect gift- birthday celebration flowers, anniversary flowers, holiday flowers, or floral arrangements simply to say thank you. Sending flowers from Organic Bouquet says that you care not only about the person receiving the flowers, but also about the environment. All of our gift items are shipped nationwide to all 50 states. So whether you need to send flowers to Florida, New York, California, or Colorado, we can guarantee overnight delivery to ensure they arrive fresh and ready to put a smile on someone’s face.

Whether you are purchasing online, or through one of our customer service specialists, you can be assured you are ordering the freshest quality of flowers and environmentally friendly gifts.