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Demand For Roses Is Damaging Kenya's Ecology

Published on Feb 14 2011 11:43 AM in Supply Chain

Demand For Roses Is Damaging Kenya's Ecology

When it comes to expressing love, roses are often considered the best medium to do so. However, supermarkets should stop and think about the effects that the demand for cheap Kenyan roses on Valentine's Day has on the area's ecology, warned a respected biologist ahead of the day of love.

University of Leicester ecology and conservation biologist, Dr David Harper spent over 30 years researching wetland conservation at Kenya's Lake Naivasha. With seventy per cent of roses sold in European supermarkets coming from Kenya (mostly from Lake Naivasha), he said that supermarket promotions of flowers over Valentine's Day increases the export of water, which is the scarcest natural resource in Kenya. "This has to change for the future of the industry as well as the lake and the country. In the UK, M&S is selling a dozen Fairtrade Kenyan roses for £10 while Sainsbury's is offering a dozen 'Fairtrade for free' roses for £4.99.

© 2011 - ESM: European Supermarket Magazine

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