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    Program ID - bo050405

    Sustainable Flowers: From farm to bouquet

    Mother's Day is often celebrated by giving flowers. But what do we really know about flower production, considering nearly 70% of all cut flowers sold in the United States are grown abroad?

    With $16 billion in annual U.S. sales, flowers are big business. In the past decade, growing practices have been under increasing scrutiny, with increasing concerns being raised about toxic pesticde use, environmental standards and labor practices.

    Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network ( as we trace a flower from the bouquet, through the sustainable certification process back to the farmer who grew it.

    This Week's Guests:

    Jeff Stephens — Communications Director, Scientific Certification Systems

    SCS was established in 1984 as the nation's first third-party certifier for testing pesticide residues in fresh produce. In the past 18 years, the company has evolved to become a certifier of multiple facets of the food industry, including sustainable seafood, environmentally-managed forests, and pesticide-free foods. Recently, SCS established the Veriflora™ Certification Program to address the agricultural, environmental, and socially responsible aspects of cut flower and ornamental growing operations

    Gerald Prolman — Founder/CEO, Organic Bouquet

    Gerald Prolman, founder and CEO of Organic Bouquet, has a long and successful history of developing and introducing innovative organic perishables products on a large scale.

    During the early 1990s, Gerald’s commercialization of organic fruits and vegetables resulted in the conversion of over ten thousand acres of land to organic production in the U.S. and abroad.

    Organic Bouquet was formed 2001 to establish the national market for organic flowers. Their ultimate goal is to help protect the environment and improve farm worker safety by eliminating millions of pounds of toxic pesticides from agricultural usage.

    Wim Postema — Organic/Biodynamic Farmer, Netherlands

    Wim became a biodynamic farmer to prove to himself and to the farming community that it is possible to successfully grow tulips using biodynamic principles. He started his farm ten years ago on ancient sea beds that border the North Sea in the Netherlands. Wim and his wife, Janet, work full-time, seven days a week and 350 days a year, taking care of their organic flowers. Before he became a professional tulip grower, Wim worked as a soil contaminants analyst, a job that alerted him to the environmental damage caused by conventional tulip-farming methods.

    More information:

  • SCS - Veriflora Certification Program
  • Organic Bouquet
  • Love, Women & Flowers – A film on the Columbian flower industry
  • The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower's Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers
  • Local Harvest- 1,252 sources of locally grown flowers

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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