According to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, the U.S. produced $374 million in wholesale cut stems in the 15 states that produce the majority of domestic flowers. The number only shows a fraction of the flowers bought and sold state side. A majority of flowers are imported from South America.
With so many flowers originating outside the U.S., it is hard to tell what has been bloomed sustainably. Questions of what chemicals were used, if people who grew the flowers were treated humanely and if the farmland previously hosted a rainforest have all rose.
Over 78 nations, including many in South America, have committed to the Rainforest Alliance. The alliance protects eco-systems, workers and local communities. Currently more than 1.8 million farms use its methods. American florists have found that people are willing to spend more on flowers that come from good sources.
By estimation, only 10 percent of businesses in the floral industry are eco-friendly. The best way to make sure flowers are grown sustainably is to buy locally.
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