City passes ordinance to shed light on flower farming practices

City passes ordinance to shed light on flower farming practices

Valentine’s Day is all about showing the ones we love that we care about them. Local officials are now hoping you’ll care about where your bouquet came from too.

“I think what we need to do is be educated,” Alder Samba Baldeh said.

Inspired by a recent trip to Colombia, Baldeh spearheaded an ordinance to make Valentine’s Day also known as International Day of Flowers in Madison. The ordinance was passed by the City Council earlier this month. Baldeh hopes it sheds light on the dangerous conditions Colombian workers often endure at flower farms.

“The Colombian industry still uses pesticide, toxins that are outlawed in the U.S. and many parts of the world. These pesticides and toxins are very dangerous to women, particularly during pregnancy, so there is a lot of birth defects,” Baldeh said.

Baldeh said there’s no easy answer for change, but hopes the ordinance creates more consumer awareness. He also recommends shopping with a local florist, like Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses which grows the majority of its flowers and plants in house. Another perk: You’ll have that fresh arrangement for weeks to come.

“When we grow them locally, and cut them right here and put them in water right away and they’re not shipped in, they’re going to last a lot longer,” Sue Klein, owner of Klein’s Floral and Greenhouses, said.