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Colombia Brings Land of Flowers to New York City

2008-11-06 14:16

-- 100,000 Flowers to be Handed Out to New Yorkers

-- Flowers Foster Social Change in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia, Nov. 6 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --

Before the hustle and bustle of the holidays, New Yorkers may need a gentle reminder to stop and smell the roses. On November 17th, thousands will have the chance when more than 100,000 Colombian-grown, fresh-cut blooms will be handed out on city streets as part of the Colombia, Land of Flowers campaign. The collaborative effort of Asocolflores (Association of Colombian Flower Exporters) and Florverde(R), USAID-Colombia and the Colombian Consulate will celebrate the beauty and success of the Colombian flower industry.

"We are thrilled to share the beauty of our flowers with New Yorkers," said Augusto Solano, President of Asocolflores. "The Colombia, Land of Flowers initiative is a wonderful opportunity to give others the chance to enjoy and appreciate Colombian flowers and learn more about how our growers are changing the lives of those they employ and their families." Asocolflores represents 317 flower growers.

Thousands of roses and carnations will be distributed by street teams located at Wall Street, Penn Station, Grand Central Station and Times Square. Other event activities include a Press Conference/breakfast to be held at the Colombian Consulate at 10 East 46th Street on Monday, November 17th at 8:30 a.m.

"Over the past several years, the Colombian flower industry has flourished, resulting in successful practices and programs changing the social landscape of our country," said Mr. Solano. Colombia is the largest supplier of fresh-cut flowers to the U.S. - exporting nearly $1 billion in 2007.

The growth of the flower industry in Colombia has enabled social programs such as Florverde(R), a unique third-party certification program to ensure that flowers grown and harvested in Colombia meet stringent social and environmental standards. It was established more than twelve years ago by a progressive group of Colombian flower growers. As a result, today the program assists more than 45,000 Colombian workers and families through multiple initiatives ranging from continuing education and healthcare to housing and childcare.

The quality of Colombia-grown flowers and practices is also recognized globally. Last summer, GlobalG.A.P. (The Global Partnership for Good Agricultural Practice) awarded Florverde the GlobalG.A.P. International Seal for its socio-environmental practices. Most recently, the Russian Flower Show awarded 22 Colombian farms with gold and silver medals of distinction for flower quality.

To further demonstrate its leadership in corporate social responsibility, Asocolflores has joined together with the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development in Colombia (USAID/Colombia). USAID supports job training in the cultivation and processing of flowers, job placement and social services to victims of the Colombian conflict.

"We are proud of our work with Asocolflores," said Susan Reichle, the Director of USAID/Colombia. "Together we are giving people the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rebuild their lives."

Source: Asocolflores (Association of Colombian Flower Exporters)

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