Work in the flower industry is a very important source of income for many people, especially in regions where agriculture no longer brings in a living wage. However, these popular tokens of love and affection are often grown under a labour and chemical- intensive process that puts workers and the environment at high risk.
- The industry is accused of paying workers less than $1 US a day for an 8- to 12-hour shift and housing them in crowded facilities (Kenya Human Rights Commission)
- Workers are often required to handle dangerous chemicals without proper protective equipment, putting them at risk of being poisoned
- Many flower companies work to actively prevent the establishment of unions
Fair Trade aims to protect and benefit workers on flower farms by certifying those farms which ensure safety and good working conditions for their employees. Health and safety measures must be established in order to avoid work-related injuries. A detailed set of safety regulations that are specific to flower production limit the use of agrochemicals and prohibit the use of banned pesticides. These rules not only protect the worker but also contribute to better practices for the environment.