What's Happening

Domestic Cut Flowers Come to Congress

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Last week a cut-flower event happened in the halls of Congress – a press conference announcing the creation of the brand-new Congressional Cut Flower Caucus, headed up by California Reps. Lois Capps and Duncan Hunter.  And look who’s behind the dais at the event, with Rep. Capps and other proponents of the domestic cut-flower industry!  Friend of Rant Debra Prinzing, leader of the Slow Flower movement!

I wasn’t able to attend (I was busy covering another event), but I’m told it went well, with Debra speaking, alongside members of Congress and others.  The event was of particular interest to growers in California and Washington State,  the top two states in cut-flower production, but also attracted interested farmers from Alaska, Oregon, Maryland and Virginia.

According to Rep. Capps’ press release:

Ninety-seven percent of the roses Americans purchased for Valentine’s Day came from foreign countries, such as Colombia and Ecuador. And on New Year’s Day, four of every five flowers used to decorate the floats in the annual Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, Calif., were imported.

Growers say that domestic production of cut flowers now accounts for only 25 percent of the U.S. market, compared with 75 percent in 1991.

More DC news on the cut-flower front – the USDA proudly reported that domestic cut flowers were used at the recent state dinner at the White House.

Supporters of imported flowers can be found in the Miami area, where most of the imported flowers enter the U.S.  Thus, the event was covered in the Miami Herald.

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Congressional hearing rooms don’t usually look this floral. I know because I worked in them for 30 some years.

From the press release:  “Other attendees of the caucus launch included Kasey Cronquist, CEO of the California Cut Flower Commission, Lane DeVries, Board Member and 2013 California Cut Flower Commission Chair, Debra Prinzing, author of, “The 50 Mile Bouquet” and local flower  advocate, and Diane Szukovathy, a flower farmer from Mt Vernon, WA.”

Photos courtesy of the California Cut Flower Commission.

Posted by on March 13, 2014 at 11:14 am, in the category What's Happening.
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6 Responses to “Domestic Cut Flowers Come to Congress”

  1. I am glad to hear domestic cut flower growers are getting organized. With the USDA reporting over 8000 farmers markets, you can bet there are plenty of underrepresented small flower growers boosting the rural economies by selling bouquets at these markets. Thank you Debra Prinzing, those of Congress who listen, and the White House for using local flowers.

  2. Susan says:

    Good news, indeed! There’s no reason, with all the farm markets and cut-flower growers in America, that so much has to be imported. Hopefully this is just the beginning of good things to come. Debra Prinzing rocks!

  3. Darcy says:

    Fantastic!
    not only are these gals from the PNW but let’s go LOCAL
    and keep jobs here

  4. It would be interesting to see/read why: “… domestic production of cut flowers now accounts for only 25 percent of the U.S. market, compared with 75 percent in 1991.” Then local growers might be able to better meet local demand.

  5. commonweeder says:

    I’m so glad to hear about this. I would think that we can all try to buy local flowers, encourage our florists to buy local flowers, and manage with green sorts of arrangements when winter has us in its clutch.

  6. Stella B says:

    I walked into the grocery store earlier this week and noticed that some of the cut flowers by the entrance had big “Grown in California” stickers. I bought a bunch of California grown lilacs.

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