Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Red Flower Bouquets

Red Flower Bouquets Biography
Flower Bouquet pioneered a new segment of the natural products market by becoming the world's first wholesale distributor and online retailer of organically-grown flowers (G. Prolman, e-mail, August 30, 2005). Since then, the company, based in Mill Valley, CA, has catered to a rapidly growing sector of the floral industry1 and served as the official florist of the 2005 United Nations World Environment Day, held in San Francisco from June 1-5, 2005.2 Founder and CEO Gerald Prolman said his goal in developing Organic Bouquet was to establish a market for high-quality flowers produced through environmentally-sound and socially-responsible methods (G. Prolman, e-mail, June 15, 2005). "Consumers have enthusiastically embraced organic foods, making it the fastest growing segment of the retail grocery business," Prolman said. "Now the same environmentally friendly and sustainable approach is being used to grow and sell flowers. Organic Bouquet is the leader in the new organic flower category."According to statistics supplied by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of organic flowers in the United States reached $8 million in 2003, demonstrating a 52 % increase over the previous year. Further, the OTA expects organic flower sales to grow approximately 13 % annually through 2008.1 To meet such expanding market demands, Organic Bouquet contracts with growers in several countries, including Holland, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States, for their supply (G. Prolman, e-mail, June 15, 2005). All of the company's flowers are produced either organically or through similar sustainable farming methods, such as biodynamic agriculture, green label practices, or wildcrafting.3 Organic Bouquet's flowers and products are certified under various regulating agencies or third-party inspection programs; the company's organic products are certified by Quality Assurance International, its biodynamic-labeled products are certified by the Demeter Association, and its sustainable-label products are certified under the Veriflora Certification Program.
In addition to floral arrangements, the company sells wreaths, chocolates, and gifts through its Web site at www.organicbouquet.com.4 A percentage of the proceeds from specific bouquets are even donated to charitable nonprofit organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund and the American Humane Association.5 Holly Givens, communications director of OTA, stressed that all forms of organic farming benefit the land and workers through nonuse of toxic and persistent pesticides. She added that organic flowers positively impact consumers, as well (oral communication, June 2005). "What's the first thing most people do when they see a beautiful rose?" Givens said. "They put their noses right in it and breathe deeply. It gives me confidence when I know that such flowers [e.g., like those produced by Organic Bouquet] were grown organically, and it also gives me comfort to know the workers are not being exposed to pesticides."According to Prolman, most commercial flowers are grown with a variety of strong chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, nematocides, and plant growth regulators, and these flowers are typically not inspected for pesticide residues before being delivered to consumers (G. Prolman, e-mail, June 15, 2005).
Red Flower Bouquets
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