Fresh cut flowers are a wonderful way to show the special people in our life we love them. But did you know that beautiful bouquet you bought might have been picked by exploited workers?
The cut flowers that large florists like ProFlowers sell often come from countries in Central and South America and Africa -- where workers' rights aren't always respected.
In Colombia and Ecuador, which are the main countries that supply the U.S. flower market, over half of female workers have been sexually harassed or assaulted on the job, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 20% of the 60,000 Ecuadorian flower workers are children.
ProFlowers, a subsidiary of Provide Commerce, received an D- rating on Free2Work, a consumer research tool which grades companies on a scale of “A” to “F” based on supply chain transparency, enforcement of international recognized labor standards, and response to child and forced labor. ProFlowers offers no publicly available information on its monitoring benchmarks and its Code of Conduct does not include freedom of association or collective bargaining rights.
As one of the largest flower companies in the world, ProFlowers has tremendous power to reduce exploitation in the cut flower industry.