For immediate release, 24th March 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Florists importing from water-stressed countries

Consumer campaign group Ask the Q finds that florists are importing Mother’s Day flowers from water-stressed countries as well as a woeful lack of transparency in cut flower and foliage supply chains.

In February 2017 Ask the Q wrote to 27 of the largest florists in the UK to determine the provenance of the cut flowers and foliage being promoted online for Mother’s Day bouquets.

Only 15% (4/27) of the companies approached could tell me all of the countries they imported from while just under half responded at all (13/27) after repeat enquiries.

When asked about a specific bouquet (containing at least 3 different flowers) being promoted online for Mother’s Day, only 12/27 (44%) responded and a woeful 15% (4/27) could tell me the provenance of each of the flowers in the bouquet.

Half of these companies (6/12) admitted that they import items for their bouquets from Israel, which is ranked 8 by the World Resources Institute in their water-stressed countries index. Morrisons supermarket admitted importing from Morocco, which is ranked 19 by the WRI.

None of the 27 companies give details online of country(ies) of origin for specific bouquets.

Anya Hart Dyke, Founder of Ask the Q, says:

“World Water Day was only a few days ago yet most consumers are completely unaware of the water footprint of the flowers promoted each year for Mother’s Day, the second busiest event in the florists’ calendar. If you want to know whether the cut flowers and foliage in your Mother’s Day bouquet have contributed to local water shortages where they have been grown, you are unlikely to be able to find out. I would recommend a beautiful bunch of outdoor grown daffodils this Sunday instead”.

Ask the Q is an online resource that supports consumers who want to engage with companies to exercise greater responsibility towards their customers, wider society and the world’s natural resources. Ask the Q equips consumers with the right questions to ask so they know what kind of businesses their money is supporting.

Full survey findings available upon request