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Eco-Friendly Shopping: Are Consumers’ Wallets Ready to Decide at Retail Level?

Exploring Floral Certification: U.S. Consumer Perceptions & Willingness to Pay for Sustainable Environmental Practices in the Floral Industry

By Cindy Hanauer, Grand Central Floral

Floral certification in the US for sustainability refers to a variety of programs offered by organizations and government agencies that promote sustainable practices in the floral industry. Currently, the majority of these programs are geared toward growers.

Some examples of certification programs that focus on sustainability in the floral industry include the Veriflora program, certified by SCS Global Services, which offers certification for sustainably grown flowers and plants as well as product sourcing and company operations. Another program is the Florverde Sustainable Flowers certification, which focuses on social as well as environmental sustainability.  The other floral certifications which are prolific in the floriculture industry are:

  • Fair Trade Certified Flowers
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified Flowers
  • USDA Certified Organic Flowers
  • American Grown Flowers Certified
  • Global G.A.P. Certified Flowers
  • Responsible Floriculture Certification
  • Fair Flowers Fair Plants Certification
  • MPS-GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Certification

These certifications may require compliance with a set of environmental and/or social standards, such as minimizing the use of pesticides and other chemicals; using sustainable and eco-friendly farming techniques; data collection and tracking of energy and water use; protecting worker health and safety; and increasing transparency in the supply chain.

Achieving these certifications can provide growers with recognition and credibility for their retail customers who take sustainability seriously and want to appeal to consumers who prioritize buying from businesses that act responsibly in terms of sustainability.

But do customers really want to do business with environmentally-certified floral retailers?  How important is it to them, and would they pay an additional price to support it?

Here are some important headlines from the questions asked from the study:

The Study Asked: If an environmentally friendly certification existed for retail flower providers, I would be more willing to make purchases from a certified environmentally friendly retail flower provider than from a retail flower provider not certified.”

 What would your customers say?

According to the study, 17.68% of the respondents “strongly agree” with that statement, however 38.03% of the respondents did not respond as strongly and simply “agree”.  This showed that a majority of participants (55.7%) agreed or strongly agreed.  And interestingly, 29.74% of the respondents “neither agree or disagree”.

The Study Asked: Please indicate how much more, if any, you would be willing to pay for flowers and floral designs from an environmentally-friendly-certified retail flower provider if such a certification existed.

How much extra would your customers pay?

Over ¾ of the respondents said that they’d pay up to 5% in increased price for a environmentally-friendly-certified floral product. On top of that, a majority of participants (54.7%) indicated they would pay at least 10% or more for flowers from a certified floral provider.

Does this surprise you?  Did you think it would be more or less?

To read the full study, view additional articles, and watch webinars,click here. 

You can share any of your own business experiences with us at info@floralmarketingfund.org.


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