Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

How Flowers Support Education

By Winnie Hsia, October 16, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Winnie Hsia

Whole TradeThe early autumn weather here in Austin has been gorgeous and I’ve loved being able to hang out outside and prep my fall garden. In addition to my usual vegetable beds, I’ve decided to experiment with some lily bulbs. It’ll be months before I find out if they’ll bloom, but in the meanwhile, I can pick up a bouquet in the floral department at Whole Foods Market®.

I always look for the Whole Trade® Guarantee stickers on the bouquets I pick out because I know that these products meet specific criteria to get that label:

  • Meet our product Quality Standards
  • Provide more money to producers
  • Ensure better wages and working conditions for workers
  • Care for the environment
  • Donate 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation®

Whole Trade LilliesThey also give back more to the communities they come from. Whole Trade flowers provide a 10% premium that goes directly into important community programs. Those few extra dollars end up funding first homes for families, children attending school, community art programs, medical and dental treatments and an overall improvement in the quality of life of workers and their families.

Many community projects support education. In Colombia, for example, these include: a school that matches its schedule to that of the children’s farm-worker parents; an education program for hearing-impaired students at public schools; and a project to enhance academic skills, achievements and competencies for adolescent girls in a local high school

So, while I wait for the fruits of my horticultural labors, it’s nice to know that the simple act of buying flowers could have such a positive impact. Want to learn more about these programs? Check out this video from our friends over at Dark Rye, who visited the employees of Elite Flowers in Colombia and documented a day in the lives of three families and created this touching short film.

From now until the end of October, there is another way to show your support for this program, for the Whole Trade Guarantee and for the farmers and workers who benefit. When you sign up to receive our email newsletters we’ll donate $1 to your choice of three producer projects (one of which is the community Foundation in Colombia). Our goal is to raise $20K so if you don’t already receive our emails, sign up and tell your friends too. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts about the Whole Trade Guarantee program and what your favorite fall flowers are!

Category: Whole Trade, Floral