Strategic Cooperation

International Flower Campaign (sustainable landuse)

A project of Both ENDS, FNV-Bondgenoten and OLAA


About 10 years ago, various Trade Unions (affiliated to the IUF, the International Union for Food) and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) worldwide started the international flower campaign. The aim of the campaign is twofold: to improve working conditions for workers in the flower industry and to stimulate sustainable production of cut flowers. The collaboration between unions and NGOs resulted in the
International Code of Conduct for the Production of Cut Flowers.

Brochure of the International Flower Campaign

Press release, August 27, 2003 - Fair Flowers & Plants (FFP) - The New International Flower Label For Consumers

Production of cut flowers

The cultivation of cut flowers is a global phenomenon. More and more countries are involved in the production and trade of cut flowers. Globalisation has increased the scale of the cut flower industry worldwide.

Interest in a more sustainable way of production exists among producers. The industry has developed several schemes to reduce the use of chemical detergents, electricity, water and other inputs. Recently, producers show a growing interest in socially responsible entrepreneurship. They are realizing that consumers value not only an environmentally friendly way of production but also good working conditions for workers.

A Code of Conduct concerning social standards and backed up by Trade Unions and NGOs gives credibility to a flower label. Internationally accredited bodies guarantee independent monitoring and control of producer compliance with the criteria of the Code. Local associated unions and NGO partners monitor the flower sector and have the right to observe the various audits carried out on the certified farms.

Working conditions

In high-wage countries, the number of workers on flower plantations is limited, due to relatively high minimum wages. In many of the low-wage countries, salaries are low. In these countries, many workers are employed. A substantial amount of workers in the cut flower industry is female Unfortunately, working conditions are far from favourable. Many workers fear for their health, because they are exposed to pesticides every day. Permanent contracts for workers are often not in place. Unions are not always welcome at the plantation. Minimum wages are not enough for a decent life and living wages are difficult to negotiate. Women workers are regularly subject to sexual harassment. These are just some of the problems that can be solved through the Code of Conduct.

It is vital that workers are informed about their rights. Workers on certified farms must know the contents of the Code of Conduct. In fact, they are the persons, who can best monitor the farm's compliance or non-compliance with the criteria set out in the Code of Conduct. In case of abuse, workers must know where and to whom they can safely launch a complaint.
Improving working and environmental conditions is a vital objective of the Flower campaign, which cannot be achieved without the involvement of workers, Trade Unions and NGOs.

The standards of this Code are based on International Labour Organisation criteria and international conventions and/or treaties. The International Code of Conduct has already been accepted by the international industry united in Union Fleurs. A joint effort of industry, NGOs and Trade Unions is the most effective way to improve working conditions and sustainable production.

The International Code of Conduct for the Cut Flower Industry:

The ten fundamental principles:

  1. Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  2. Equality of treatment
  3. Living wages
  4. Working hours
  5. Health and safety
  6. Pesticides and chemicals
  7. Security of employment
  8. Protection of the environment
  9. Child labour is not used
  10. No forced labour

Basic requirements are formulated within the Code. Where national law surpasses the Code on certain issues, national law prevails. The standards in the Code are the absolute minimum requirements, which need to be complied by the producer in order to get its plantation certified.

You can pick up a copy of the Code by clicking on the prefered language!





If you would like to know more about the flower campaign, please contact at Both ENDS Nathalie van Haren, E-mail:

We can answer your queries, send you information and explore mutual interests.
Or visit the websites of the flower campaign or de bloemencampagne

Newsletter by the Secretariat of the Review Committee FFP

The newsletter is to inform you about the latest news in the flower industry around the whole world. Our writers are the members of the Review Committee of FFP and sympathising organisations. Please click here for the Newsletters on the site of the Flower Campaign