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Guilt-Free Valentines?

By MARGOT ROOSEVELT
Time - February 5, 2006
Posted Sunday, Feb. 05, 2006

The timing couldn't be worse for the chocolate industry. A week before Valentine's Day, Nestlé, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland—the cocoa suppliers for virtually every majorchocolate producer in the U.S.—will have to show up in court to answer for allegedlysupporting child slavery on West African farms, where 70% of the world's cocoa is grown. The hearing, set for this week in Los Angeles, stems from a lawsuit filed by theInternational Labor Rights Fund, which is also taking aim at another Valentine's Daystaple: lovely bouquets that happen to be laden with pesticides. Some 70% of cut flowerssold in the U.S. are imported, mostly from Colombia and Ecuador. A recent U.N. studyfound that nearly 60% of Ecuadorian flower workers, many of them children, suffered frompesticide poisoning, with such symptoms as dizziness and blurred vision. But take heart, socially responsible suitors: Transfairusa.org helps consumers find chocolates made withresponsible labor and eco-friendly practices. Ditto for blooms at OrganicBouquet.comwhose CEO, Gerald Prolman, boasts, "Our flowers have a deeper layer of beauty."

By MARGOT ROOSEVELT
Originally published in the February 5, 2006 issue of TIME magazine online



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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.

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