The holidays and the week around Valentine’s Day are very popular times to get flowers. Not surprisingly, during this period the sales of roses go sky high. It’s also a time where you want to have a good feeling about giving flowers. Because we deliver a lot of extra bouquets during these time periods, we’ve extensively tested these bouquets on the use of pesticides by the growers. A good headstart that immediately makes a great impact.
This pesticides-test is conducted by taking samples in a flower lab and doing a leaf residue-test. We call this a ‘pulp-test’ because the flowers are ground down to a pulp and consequently examined. The flowers will be tested with the use of tools and certificates from MPS; leading standards in the floral sector.
- For our Christmas bouquets, we’ve tested over 20 different flowers. No resources have been found that are on the MPS list. We did find Formetanate and Omethoate: resources that we’d rather not find in our bouquets. We’ve replaced these flowers and have started a dialogue with the growers of these flowers.
- For our bouquets around Valentine’s Day, we’ve tested two different bouquets. One resource was discovered that’s blacklisted by MPS, named Methamidofos. Also, Acefate and Thiabendazol were found: two pesticides which we rather not see in our bouquets. Currently, we’re running additional tests to see which flowers we need to replace for the time being. We’ve also opened a dialogue with those growers.
Running tests properly takes time. And that’s quite hard when you work with a fresh product that changes in composition every week. We often have to find an alternative for a flower that is unavailable at the last minute. And if we find pesticides that we want to avoid in the flowers from our growers, we also search for a suitable last-minute alternative that meets our quality standards. It all happens at the very last moment, making it hard for us to take time to test the flowers. A challenge to say the least!
To be continued...
Roy Barnhoorn, sustainability manager flower team
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