In 2017, Congress passed a resolution declaring July “American Grown Flowers Month” to recognize the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers. To spread the word about American Grown Flowers Month, Certified American Grown is working with farmers and retailers nationwide on in-store promotion programs to help consumers identify and celebrate homegrown blooms throughout July.
The campaign includes a national contest, the American Grown Flowers Month Merchandising Contest, that encourages retailers to leverage the Congressional declaration and promote homegrown blooms – and earn prize money for their efforts.
Click on the photo above to learn more.
This contest is a first of its kind,” explains Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist. “And we hope to see this celebration grow into a fun and spirited tradition, celebrating the rich history, heritage and beauty of American Grown Flowers during this special month.”
Retailers who participate in the contest will be judged on the quality and beauty of their in-store displays that promote American Grown Flowers Month, their ability to increase flower sales in July and their efforts to promote the celebratory month overall, as well as the Certified American Grown brand.
Store campaigns will be judged by Travis Rigby, publisher of Super Floralmagazine and Florists’ Review; J Keith White, AIFD, creative director for American Floral Trends Forecast and AANDK Productions; and a third yet-to-be-determined judge.
A beautiful collection of Certified American Grown Flowers can really help draw consumers into learning more and celebrating the season.
First prize is a $500 American Express gift card, second prize is a $200 card and third prize is a $100 card.
Participants will be featured, and winners will be recognized, in Super Floral andFlorists’ Review. Certified American Grown will feature and promote all participants on social media, in a press release and on its blog and website.
Certified American Grown has quickly become the most prolific and widely recognized origin-based label in floral departments and retail coolers nationwide. More and more farms continue to adopt this third-party certification as a badge of pride, guaranteeing that the flowers found in a bouquet or bunch were grown and assembled in the U.S.
Working with Where Food Comes From, this certification is the only source-verification program of its kind in the floral industry.
# # #
About Certified American Grown
Launched on July 1, 2014, Certified American Grown represents a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms, including small and large entities in multiple states across the country. Certified American Grown flower farms participate in an independent, third-party supply-chain audit to verify both origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown Brand and logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and assures them that the flowers they purchase come from a domestic American flower farm. For more information about this contest, visit AmericanGrownFlowersMonth.org
Just days before Valentine’s Day, the Washington Post’s front-page feature highlights why 95 percent of roses are now imported into the United States and how subsidies and trade agreements for foreign flowers have had an overall negative impact on America’s flower-farming families.
Click the image above to read the full article.
The article, “In Rose Beds, Money Blooms,” discusses the detrimental effects U.S. efforts to reduce Colombian drug production have had on American flower production over a 27-year period.
Statistics highlighted in the story include:
30 flights leave Colombia for Miami every day in the run-up to Valentine’s Day.
Each plane carries 1 million flowers.
Colombian minimum wage is under $300 a month or approximately $13 a day. In comparison, California’s minimum wage will be $15 per hour by 2023.
Walmart alone is purchasing 24 million Colombian roses to sell for Valentine’s Day.
The American flower industry has seen its production of roses drop roughly 95 percent, from 545 million to less than 30 million.
America’s flower farmers aren’t giving up.
To help counter these negative impacts, consumers will find more flowers labeled Certified American Grown in the market this Valentine’s Day.
Kasey Cronquist, administrator for Certified American Grown, a coalition of American flower farmers, was quoted in the Washington Post article, saying;
“What we’re challenged by is Colombia as the low-cost provider, and it’s the reason we don’t have many rose farmers in the United States today.” Cronquist has led a push for tougher restrictions on Colombian exports. “It’s a machine, and it’s built on influence and the ability to drive the market.”
“It’s never too late to do the right thing,” Cronquist goes on to explain. “President Trump has said he understands just how unfair these trade agreements have been for our U.S. producers. There are certainly steps that can be taken to better level this playing field for our flower farmers so they can better compete with countries like Colombia, and it starts at the White House.”
Since the Obama administration, American flower farmers have been encouraging the White House to adopt an all-American Grown policy on the flowers displayed in the first family’s home.
Each year, farmers from around the country head to Washington, D.C. to lobby on behalf of American Flower Farms. Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography
“It is certainly symbolic,” shares Cronquist. “Like all the food and wine served at the White House, having this tradition extended to the flowers that are featured would mean a lot to our farmers.”
Would you like to do a Valentine’s Day interview an American flower farmer or Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist? Contact him on his cell phone at 805.696.5000 or email at Kasey@AmericanGrownFlowers.org.
About Certified American Grown
Launched on July 1, 2014, Certified American Grown represents a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms, including small and large entities in multiple states across the country. Certified American Grown flower farms participate in an independent, third-party supply-chain audit to verify both origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown Brand and logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and assures them that the flowers they purchase come from a domestic American flower farm. For more information about Certified American Grown flowers, visit americangrownflowers.org or Facebook/AmericanGrownFlowers.