Daily News Archive
From February 11, 2002

Give an Organic Bouquet this Valentines Day

At last, organic flowers are now available! Organic flowers are safer for the environment and farm workers, yet few have tapped into this market until last month. So this Valentines Day, instead of pesticide-laden roses, you can surprise your sweetheart with organic flowers.

Most of the nation's cut flowers come from countries where the environmental regulations are even less stringent than ours, and are routinely sprayed with toxic pesticides. Flowers often have pesticide residues when you buy them. Dangerous herbicides are also widely used in the United States. For example, Atrazine, an herbicide that is a known carcinogen, has been found in drinking water supplies in many Midwestern communities.

A California-based company, Organic Bouquet, recently made its debut with organic tulips. The bulbs are organically grown by Sun Valley Floral, the largest fresh-cut flower grower in the United States. These tulips are now sold wholesale to Whole Foods Market.

Next month, Organic Bouquet plans to introduce over 100 specialty varieties. "We plan to include a fragrant variety in most of the bouquets and be able to offer them at competitive price points," said CEO Gerald Prolman.

The company's co-founder is Dave Smith, who co-founded Smith & Hawken, which is a $100 million garden catalog and retailer. Smith estimates the potential market for organic flowers to exceed $150 million by 2006. "Organic floral is the natural product industry's newest category, competing in the $230 billion LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) market," said Smith.

For more information, see www.organicbouquet.com.