Flower Power: Blooms That Create a Better Life for Mothers Throughout the World
On Sunday, May 10, mothers across the country will be showered with gifts ranging from crayon drawings to jewelry. But more than anything, moms will receive flowers -- lush bouquets of garden blooms; luxuriant long-stemmed roses by the dozen; exotic arrangements of fragrant, tropical florals. This Mother's Day, consumers will spend well over $2 billion on cut flowers, making it the biggest occasion for flower sales in the United States.
But what most of us may not know is that approximately 80 percent of the cut flowers sold in the U.S. are grown in the world's poorest countries across Latin America and Africa. The economies of countries like Colombia and Ecuador -- where abundant cheap labor and equatorial temperatures provide ideal flower-growing conditions -- are highly dependent on their flower exports to North America.