Fairtrade flower producers at risk due to European no-fly zone

20 April 2010

Ongoing European flight restrictions are threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers on Fairtrade flower farms.  With all northern European flight travel on hold, flower producers are not able to export their blossoms via air to these major flower markets.

Some Fairtrade flower farms report that they have lost an entire harvest of flowers.  The flowers bloomed before they could be transported, making them worthless to buyers.  Fairtrade farms are trying to manage production and preserve their flowers until flights open again.

If flight restrictions continue much longer, the farms will have to destroy many thousands more flowers and face an even greater loss of income – and this could have disastrous impacts for workers.  If the situation gets bad enough, many Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade flower farms may be forced to lay off workers or else reduce workers’ salaries.

Fairtrade flower producers are now waiting to see the results of two test delivery runs from Kenya into Europe.  KLM airline brought a delivery of flowers directly to Amsterdam, and Martin Air, Cargolux and Air France delivered 300 tonnes of flowers and vegetables from Kenya into the south of Spain where it was redistributed to various countries in Europe.  If these prove successful, producers hope to soon begin exports again.

Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International urges consumers show their support by purchasing Fairtrade flowers.

For more information, please contact:
Reykia Fick: r.fick@fairtrade.net, +49 228 949 2314

 
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