Wild & Wondrous – spreading our sustainable ethos

Wild and Wondrous has just had its first birthday. It is hard to believe it has flown by. Apart from really enjoying it, the shop has grown and our eco philosophy is spreading.  Wild & Wondrous was featured on the Direct2florist Member in Focus blog http://www.direct2florist.com/blog/member-in-focus-wild-wondrous-horwich/

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The author was Austin Clark, Austin has been in the floristry industry for years, working for Interflora and sitting on the board of Fair Flower Fair Plant in Holland. Once writing for floristry magazines he is now writes freelance. The article he wrote was flattering and made me ever so proud. I would, really like to lead the floristry industry to a more sustainable future.  A comment by another florist on the blog, was encouraging, saying the article had inspired her to think outside of the box. I was surprised to see how far around the world my sustainable message reached. The Wild & Wondrous website had hits from all over the world. Direct2florist has been very supportive since the shop open a year ago and we have been designing the seasonal standard products for national delivery. Every member of direct to florist in the UK can send and deliver Wild & Wondrous designs. This is very complementary. Simon Stirling the founder and director of Direct2florist has been very receptive to my requests and has added a buy British badge that florists can add to their own products on shop pages. I also requested the Fair Flower Fair Plant logo to be an option for members.

After a twitter conversation and a few emails with Fair Flower Fair Plant I discovered that there are only 7 members in the whole of the UK. I can’t believe it, 7! I need to be more proactive and Twitter is a fantastic way to start debates and contact people one would never know.

There are lots of sustainable logos on packaging to look out for when buying flowers from the wholesalers. MPS is a Dutch Floriculture environmental programme that was started in1996 and is now an international certificate. MPS have developed an environmental standard on the basis of registration of four environmental elements: minimum use of chemical crop protection, nutrition, energy and split collection of waste. MPS also focus on safety, health and terms of employment. Flowers grown sustainably in Ecuador sport a Veriflora label, and for flowers grown in Columbia look for the Florverde label. Tropical flowers grown sustainably display the Rain Forest Alliance logo. By choosing flowers certified by these organisations the British floristry industry can help support sustainable agriculture worldwide.

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I would like to encourage florists to buy as much British produce as possible to reduce air miles and unnecessary environmental pollution but this is not always possible. We are a commercial industry that needs to produce fantastic designs throughout the year and respond quickly to customer requests. Florists need to educate their customers about seasonality and the worldwide production of our products. I believe customers do care and this has been evident when talking to my customers in the shop. If you have a minute please take a look at these websites and do a little research into the damage bad farming practises can cause.

Veriflora http://www.veriflora.com/

Florverde http://www.florverde.org/

MPS www.standardsmap.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=58646

FFFP www.fairflowersfairplants.com

Rain Forest Alliance http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/

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