Friday, 29 January 2010

Kenyan roses

Interesting to catch a glimpse of Kenyan rose growing on Jimmy's farm goes to Kenya (or some title vaguely like that) last night. Acres and acres of plastic covering millions of roses for a company employing 5000 people and shifting about half a million roses a day. Despite fairly constant sunshine heat is still needed in the tunnels/glasshouses but this company was growing near Hells kitchen where natural thermal heat can be harnessed to make their heating sustainable-ish, it was implied that many of the workers get paid more than the minimum wage, chemicals are kept 'to a minimum' by using largely biological controls. So these are all plus-es compared to some areas of the industry. Despite the airmiles apparently the carbon footprint of Dutch grown roses is 6 times more than that of Kenyan blooms because of the cost of heating the houses and chemical controls. 

But it didn't make me feel much easier about the rose growing industry. Yes this company provide much needed work in a country where struggle is the default position, but does this make it appropriate work?  What about water? There was no mention of the phenomenal water resources that must be needed in a country which suffers terribly from drought.

The chief question that always lingers is why consumers still demand flowers that cannot be grown in our own climate and country, regardless of cost to people and planet. 


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    and when I gave them the idea of these flowers they appreciated a lot. I quite wonder how they will assort these flowers with their bouquets and other flowers arrangements.

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