2017 Workshop

The Global Cut-flower Production Network Project

Our first multi-workshop, held in July 2017 in Coventry, launched the Sustainable Cut-flowers Project. The one-day workshop brought 16 participants from academia, industry, and non-governmental organisations together. It focused very much on identifying the sustainability challenges at different points of the global cut-flower supply chain.

Representatives from MPS and MM-Flowers, as well as researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Leeds discussed the sustainability challenges at the supply end of the chain. This panel revealed how pressures from retailers and markets often hit producers the hardest, which in turn can negatively affect labour conditions on farms and in pack houses.

Supply End Panel during the 2017 workshop at Coventry University

At the retail end, the lack of transparency and clarity around certifications and other sustainability programmes became evident in a panel discussion that included representatives from floristry, the Flower Council of Holland, and Co-operative Supermarkets.

We also had a panel session including ‘wider’ stakeholders who work on specific issues and interests at various steps of the global cut-flower supply chain. This included NGOs, such as Women Working Worldwide, Traidcraft, and Hivos, who focus on labour conditions of flower workers; as well as the National Union of Farmers who aims to ensure fair supply chains for UK growers.

These discussions highlighted that (a) sustainability needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner, emphasising the sharing of responsibility along the supply chain; this goes (b) hand in hand with transparency and trust; which (c) requires cooperation among a wide range of stakeholders. Above all, the collaborative nature of the workshop underlined the desire of all involved stakeholders to make progress and deliver change.

Download the full 2017 workshop report here ▸

View the 2017 workshop gallery here ▸