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Organic Bouquet Initiates Bio-Friendly Flower Trend

HerbalGram
The Journal of the American Botanical Council
Issue: 69 Page: 23
By Paul Demery

n 2001, Organic Bouquet pioneered a new segment of the natural products market by becoming the world's first wholesale distributor and online retailer of organically-grown flowers (G. Prolman, e-mail, August 30, 2005). Since then, the company, based in Mill Valley, CA, has catered to a rapidly growing sector of the floral industry1 and served as the official florist of the 2005 United Nations World Environment Day, held in San Francisco from June 1-5, 2005.2

Founder and CEO Gerald Prolman said his goal in developing Organic Bouquet was to establish a market for high-quality flowers produced through environmentally-sound and socially-responsible methods (G. Prolman, e-mail, June 15, 2005). "Consumers have enthusiastically embraced organic foods, making it the fastest growing segment of the retail grocery business," Prolman said. "Now the same environmentally friendly and sustainable approach is being used to grow and sell flowers. Organic Bouquet is the leader in the new organic flower category."

According to statistics supplied by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of organic flowers in the United States reached $8 million in 2003, demonstrating a 52 % increase over the previous year. Further, the OTA expects organic flower sales to grow approximately 13 % annually through 2008.1 To meet such expanding market demands, Organic Bouquet contracts with growers in several countries, including Holland, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States, for their supply (G. Prolman, e-mail, June 15, 2005). All of the company's flowers are produced either organically or through similar sustainable farming methods, such as biodynamic agriculture, green label practices, or wildcrafting.3 Organic Bouquet's flowers and products are certified under various regulating agencies or third-party inspection programs; the company's organic products are certified by Quality Assurance International, its biodynamic-labeled products are certified by the Demeter Association, and its sustainable-label products are certified under the Veriflora Certification Program.

In addition to floral arrangements, the company sells wreaths, chocolates, and gifts through its Web site at www.organicbouquet.com.4 A percentage of the proceeds from specific bouquets are even donated to charitable nonprofit organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund and the American Humane Association.5

Holly Givens, communications director of OTA, stressed that all forms of organic farming benefit the land and workers through nonuse of toxic and persistent pesticides. She added that organic flowers positively impact consumers, as well (oral communication, June 2005). "What's the first thing most people do when they see a beautiful rose?" Givens said. "They put their noses right in it and breathe deeply. It gives me confidence when I know that such flowers [e.g., like those produced by Organic Bouquet] were grown organically, and it also gives me comfort to know the workers are not being exposed to pesticides."

According to Prolman, most commercial flowers are grown with a variety of strong chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, nematocides, and plant growth regulators, and these flowers are typically not inspected for pesticide residues before being delivered to consumers (G. Prolman, e-mail, June 15, 2005).

At the World Environment Day conference, Organic Bouquet organized a symposium, titled "Eco-Flower Power: Sustainability Trends for the Floral Industry," to educate and engage world-leaders, journalists, and florists about the environmental and social impacts of organic floral production.6

"The future of agriculture exists in the utilization of sustainable farming practices that are environmentally sound," Prolman said. "Organic production systems clearly lead the way to this new standard."

References
1. Organic Bouquet. Fast Facts. Organic Bouquet press room [Web site]. Available at: www.organicbouquet.com/i_56/Pressroom/OrganicNews/OrganicFastFacts.html. Accessed July 8, 2005.

2. United Nations, Together We Can [Web site]. Available at: www.togetherwecanthesong.org/about.html. Accessed November 7, 2005.

3. Organic Bouquet. Organic Bouquet certification [Web site]. Available at: www.organicbouquet.com/Product/CertDisplay.aspx. Accessed July 8, 2005.

4. Organic Bouquet. Organic Bouquet homepage [Web site]. Available at: www.organicbouquet.com. Accessed July 8, 2005.

5. Organic Bouquet. Organic Bouquet charitable bouquets [Web site]. Available at: www.organicbouquet.com/c_21/charitable_gifts.html. Accessed November 7, 2005.

6. Organic Bouquet. Eco-Flower Power: Sustainability Trends for the Floral Industry [press release]. Available at: www.organicbouquet.com/i_106/Flower_power_symposium.html. Accessed November 7, 2005.

HerbalGram. 2006;69:23 @ American Botanical Council



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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.