At our office, we talk about flowers all year long, but this time of year it’s hard to miss all of the excitement reminding us that there is a holiday right around the corner. Mother’s Day and flowers absolutely go hand in hand! As we were gearing up for Mother’s Day this year, I was part of a Whole Foods Market team who traveled to Colombia to visit one of the flower farms we partner with. The farm grows many of our Whole Trade Guarantee flowers including two of our favorites, gerbera daisies and mixed bouquets. These flowers have attributes far beyond their beauty. The Whole Trade Guarantee is our commitment to ethical trade, the environment and the highest quality, with each purchase supporting positive impact in the community that produces the flowers. Wouldn’t that make any mom’s day? I took my camera along so I could share a few highlights from the trip. Enjoy! We walked many of the greenhouses on the farm (gerbera daisies pictured below). These flowers are in full bloom when they are cut, which makes for quite a show in the greenhouses! We visited post harvest, where the cut flowers are sized, bunched and packaged. Here are just a few of the faces behind our Whole Trade bouquets. We visited the farm’s Foundation, which supports the farm’s workers and their families with education, housing and health programs. In one of the classrooms, the students were learning about shopping at a grocery stores as a way to teach math (how perfect was that for our visit?). Our trip was focused on the flowers, but we were thrilled to find out that the Foundation’s 10-year anniversary celebration was happening while we were there. Each purchase of Whole Trade flowers directly supports the Foundation and as the Whole Trade flower program has grown, so has the support of the Foundation. We knew that the program’s impact was positive but nothing could have prepared us for the experience we had. We met 100 workers at the celebration who had all benefited directly from the Whole Trade flower program’s support of the Foundation. 100 workers all thanking Whole Foods Market and our shoppers for providing their families with opportunities they otherwise would not have had. Wow! It was really an amazing day. And even more good news! We visited some other farms in Colombia that grow additional varieties of flowers, all Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade certified. Keep an eye out for some exciting new Whole Trade flowers in the next few months. Happy Mother’s Day everyone!