We are now the first retailer to only use 100% Fairtrade roses when sourced from Africa
We’re also the first retailer to sign up to the new International Fairtrade Sourcing Ingredients model for flowers. This means that you’ll be able to see on pack when stems within your bouquet have been sourced on Fairtrade terms.
Alongside the new sourcing initiative, we have donated £30k to help fund a Graduate Nursing Programme at a community hospital in Naivasha, Kenya. This has allowed struggling graduate nurses to find employment and training around increased patient care.
In turn, the programme delivers a much needed improvement in the maternity service available to the flower growing communities around Naivasha where the nurse to patient ratio is as high as 60:1.
Lucy Karanja spent six months on the programme. “It gave me the chance to see things I had only read about in books,” she says. “It’s given me confidence and challenged me to do greater things for my community.”
Lucy Karanja (left) and Beth Kamau (right), graduates at Naivasha Hospital.
Passion for flowers
Almost 35 million Co-op Fairtrade roses come from Africa each year and a huge amount of passion and effort goes into growing them. Rather than soil, the farm’s workers plant rose cuttings in a hydroponic system and, to preserve the waters of nearby Lake Naivasha, rainwater is used. In just 12 weeks, the plants are harvested by hand then transported to a cold store. Finally, they’re graded for quality, packed and flown to Co-op stores across the UK.
So, when you buy some flowers for a friend, loved one or yourself at the Co-op, think about the women whose lives we are helping to make fairer.