Local Flower Growers Establish Their Own Certification

Local Flower Growers Establish Their Own Certification

Australia imports millions of flower stems from a variety of countries in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Now, local growers have come up with their own Australian-grown label to address concerns about the number of imports and biosecurity risks.
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Push for Country of Origin Labeling 
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Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has written to the Federal Industry Minister, asking for country-of-origin labeling to be made compulsory for all imported flowers. 
Flower growers have concerns about the tremendous volume of imports and the biosecurity risks associated with bringing in such quantities of plant material. They say that consumers deserve to know where their flowers are grown.
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Label Already Adopted by Growers
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According to New South Wales flower grower Sal Russo, who helped launch the label, over 16 Australian growers are using it already. 
Russo said: "We’ve spent in excess of four years trying to make this registered trademark, called Australian Grown Flowers.”
The registered trademark, Australian Grown Flowers, was created in December 2018. More and more florists are using it, Mr. Russo says, because they believe customers are becoming more concerned about where their flowers come from. 
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Australia’s Imported Flowers
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Australia imports great quantities of flowers, mostly roses, chrysanthemums, and carnations, from such countries as Kenya, Ecuador, Colombia, and Malaysia. These flowers are sold across the country in any place where flowers may be sold. 
However, national farm lobby groups and many growers say these flowers come with risks of foreign diseases and pests. 
That said, the Federal Department of Agriculture have said that the numbers of pests and diseases have decreased, and no pests or diseases from imported flowers have made it past quarantine inspectors. 
At present, the Australian government is reviewing country of origin labelling, and is considering what other products country of origin labeling should be compulsory for. 
As Aldo Vumbaca, a Sydney-based flower grower, explains, "We get repeat sales because customers are coming back wanting to support local — they can’t believe it when they hear about the number of imports.”

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