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"Mothers: the heroes of Colombian floriculture"

The Colombian floriculture sector knows that supporting the social and
economic development of women, particularly of mothers, goes far beyond a
commemoration. As an agricultural business association, we know that it is of utmost importance to comply with the SDG, but it is just as important to focus on eradicating poverty, the promotion of an economic shared prosperity, social development, and the welfare of society. At this point the role of women and mothers is fundamental", said Augusto Solano, CEO of the Association of Colombian Flower Exporters, Asocolflores.

He adds: "Although the flower-growing activity has an extremely important agricultural component, exporting flowers must involve social accountability commitments and shared vale, fundamental to the overall development of human beings."

During the Floral Distribution Conference 2024 of the WF&FSA, Jeroen Oudheusden, Executive Officer of the Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI) said: "We have been doing a comparative evaluation of the 16 main certification schemes since 2013 and Florverde Sustainable Flowers (FSF) complies with all the required good agricultural practices, social and environmental criteria that we measure". Most Colombian flowers have the Florverde Sustainable Flowers (FSF) certification.

In 2023, the Colombian flower-growing sector received two significant awards in the social and economic fields due to the work on behalf of gender equality in rural areas for the program "Blooming Together", and its contribution in closing social gaps and generating conditions for access, dwelling and development of women within this sector.

"For our floriculture, the celebration of the next Mother´s Day means that we will pay them tribute, but also, and even more importantly, that we will continue to work towards our commitment with the lady workers in their rural communities where Flowers of Colombia are produced", said Solano.

"Flowers of Colombia have demonstrated that coexistence with nature is predominant in guaranteeing social welfare and economic development. Today, it is known that sustainability efforts must focus on the three prior conditions, which are just as important, and none of them can be attained apart from the others. We are increasingly consolidating our work in favor of care for water, reducing the carbon footprint, the use of clean energy, and respect and promotion of biodiversity. At the same time, we know it is equally important to provide human beings with suitable working conditions; in this respect, women and mothers, especially those who are heads of households, constitute our priority", Solano adds.

Asocoflores team highlights the importance of women in Colombia's floriculture sector, saying: "the country's flower exports generate every year 200 thousand formal direct and indirect jobs. 60% of the direct jobs are held by women, mostly heads of households who, through their jobs offer welfare to their families. Thus, flowers directly generate more than 66,000 jobs for women which constitute 60% of the total workforce of the sector. According to official figures published by the Government, the above number represents 70% of the rural formal jobs held by women in Colombia."

Lastly, Asocolflores CEO emphasized that "the Colombian floriculture is ready to celebrate the coming Mother´s Day, demonstrating that the companies, regardless of the country or the segment of the economy, can and should work strategically to contribute to the Sustainable
Development Goals, promoting equality, equity, and inclusion from top to bottom. Women from all over the world make an immense contribution to the planet´s sustainability. As mothers, they are the pillars of their families and the vital foundations of society. On their special day, we want to take the emotional power of the exceptional colors, fragrances and textures of Flowers of Colombia bouquets to pay homage to all mothers."

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