Senate Declares July ‘American Grown Flowers Month’

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution on June 12 designating July as “American Grown Flower Month.”

The resolution notes that the U.S. Senate recognizes: that purchasing flowers grown in the United States supports the farmers, small businesses, jobs and the U.S. economy; that growing flowers and greens in the United States is a vital part of the U.S. ag industry;  and urges “all people of the United States to proactively showcase flowers and greens grown in the United States in order to show support for our flower farmers, processors, and distributors as well as agriculture in the United States overall.”

American consumers spend almost $27 billion per year on floral products each year. While the majority of consumers would prefer to buy homegrown flowers, only 20 percent of the flowers sold here were grown in the United States.

Flower farmers met with Senator Diane Feinstein in February in Washington, D.C. The Senator recently sponsored Senate Resolution 540 declaring July American Grown Flowers Month.  Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

“California grows nearly 75 percent of American-grown cut flowers – including tulips, gerbera daisies, lilies, irises and gladiolas,” said Senator Feinstein. “Americans want to support local businesses and growers, but often are unaware the flowers they’re purchasing were grown outside of the United States. Our resolution will help raise awareness and encourage consumers to look for the ‘Certified American Grown’ label before buying flowers.”

Flower farmers met with Senator Dan Sullivan in February in Washington, D.C. The Senator recently sponsored Senate Resolution 540 declaring July American Grown Flowers Month.  Photo by Nony Park of Ken Pak Photography.

“Alaska’s moderate weather and cool soil conditions allows for a growing season that brings beautiful American grown flowers to market throughout the summer,” said Senator Sullivan. “In Alaska, our local peony growers – family owned farms across our state – provide some of the most beautiful and saturated blooms to weddings and events around the country; well after the traditional growing season has passed in other states. American Grown Flower Month is only one small acknowledgment of the value and support we share for these local small business owners, but an important one.”

Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist noted the importance of the national designation recognizing America’s hardworking flower-farming families. “We’re honored to have earned this important recognition and we join flower farmers nationwide in celebrating this wonderful recognition,” said Cronquist. “Naming July American Grown Flowers Month also opens the door for florists and wholesalers to continue to discuss the virtues of homegrown flowers – a point that’s resonating with consumers who want the flowers in their homes to be as fresh and sustainable as the food on their plates.”

To learn more about American Grown Flowers Month, visit AmericanGrownFlowers.org/AGFM

 

[Press Release] New Contest, Campaign Puts Spotlight on American Grown Flowers Month in July

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.

 

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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

[Press Release] Sunday’s Washington Post Article Explains Why 95% of Roses Are Now Imported For Valentine’s Day

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.
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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.