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New Eco-Label Targets US Consumers

by Lena James Fenton
GrowerTalks Magazine

While relatively commonplace in Europe, the average American cut flower buyer hasn't had the chance to buy flowers that are certified by programs that target environmental and social practices. Officially launched in June in the U.S., VeriFlora is a new eco-label for flowers aimed at wooing social and health-minded consumers.

Adherence to VeriFlora standards (including water and ecological conservation, social responsibility and product quality, among others) will be audited by NSF International, a non-governmental certifying body that also audits food and air quality standards. VeriFlora requires a minimal level of organic practices with a documented commitment and timeline for each grower to bring their farms to fully organic systems. According to Michael Keyes, senior auditor of VeriFlora, since the label was initiated nearly two years ago they've certified growers producing more than 75 million stems annually. Certified crops include delphinium, hydrangea, lilies, freesia and roses.

Gerald Prolman, founder and CEO of Organic Bouquet, an online retailer and wholesale supplier for organic flowers (www.organicbouquet.com), has been the driving force behind VeriFlora. His goal has been to create a "unified standard of sustainability for the cut flower sector. He believes the demand for sustainable production is on the rise: "In the United States, there are 63 million educated and affluent consumers who spend $230 billion annually on responsible products. This demand will create a bridge that will increase organic flowers production."

While it's the first of its kind in the U.S. market, VeriFlora joins the Dutch MPS system and Germany's Flower Label Program as another option for the world's cut flower growers seeking environmental and social certification



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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.