Flowers and Plants is one of the six focus sectors of IDH’s Fresh & Ingredients program, which provides cross-sector solutions on working conditions, agrochemical use and climate change issues.

In the last few decades, the fast expansion of the floriculture sector has led to significant economic growth and prosperity in production countries. At the same time, the sector is confronted by a number of sustainability challenges, on which members of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative are working together to drive change and improve practices.

The flowers and plants sector focuses on five issues:

  • Working conditions (living wage, women workers, health and safety)
  • Agrochemical use
  • Water use
  • Water contamination
  • CO2 emissions (transport)

IDH supported the establishment of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI),  a global, multi-stakeholder platform, that unites over 35 global key players. FSI members are fully committed to their ambition of having 90% flowers and plants from responsible sources by 2020.

We convened a group of 30 leading industry players and together with these partners built a joint governance model and business plan for the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative. This resulted in the development of a shared vision, reversing fragmentation due to multiple standards, avoiding duplication of costs, and creating a structure that can help tackle current and future sustainability issues.

The initiative also builds an international and pre-competitive cooperation of key players, both from the private sector and civil society, aiming to increase levels of sustainability in the floriculture industry. 

The last two years, IDH co-funded ten impact projects on the key topics that were coordinated and implemented by the FSI partners. Please find below some of the main results of the projects related to the key topics:

  • Living wage project: Living wage analyses and benchmarking in East Africa: three wage studies conducted and one business case for living wage and the true price of a rose
  • Residues project: Analyses of residue contamination of flowers, and a best practice project on IPM, both in Kenya and Ethiopia
  • Water project: Construction of a wetland to filter and re-use the waste water on a 27-hectare farm: 40,500 liters/day saved and water is cleaner than natural input
  • Women worker project: Gender project in Ethiopia with 26 farms participating, and policy development by EPHEA
  • Market Linkage project: Smallholder market links to international supply chain in Kenya (142 smallholders) and Colombia (43 small-scale farms)
  • Supply chain cooperation to create a transparency and traceability tool in the supply chain of plants.

For more projects see


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