Every 23 April for Sant Jordi, millions of roses are sold all over Catalonia. The great demand, concentrated in only a day, provokes that a great majority of them have to be imported. According to data of the Market of Flower and Ornamental Plants of Catalonia, in year 2015 only 15% of the roses were supplied by local producers, especially from Maresme. This implies that the rest of them come from multiple destinations like Spain or Holland, but the biggest world producers are Colombia and Ecuador and even some of them arrive from Kenia and Ethiopia.
Importation and farming of these roses are involved in different problems, one of them is the high consume of fossil combustibles and greenhouse effect gases caused for its transport. Other are the precarious conditions that suffer the workers who farm these roses, because a lot of them don’t have a fair wage and they may have grave health problems related to chemical products inhalation destined to farm these roses. At last, the use of biocides and the high consume of water cause very negative effects into the environment.
To raise awareness of this situation the Catalan Society Company of Environmental Education, promotes the campaign #RosesSenseEspines with the aim of reflecting about the environmental, economic and social impacts that exist behind this tradition. It also intends to foster a change of habits through the proposal of alternatives that reduce this type of consumption.
In the following links you can consult the web of #RosesSenseEspines campaign and diverse articles about this problem. Also you will find the review of a film that shows the dark side of farming roses business.