Fair Trade Flower-grams


For our Action Project supported by LSF’s funding, our focus was Fair Trade. We decided it was important to educate our school, school division and community about Fair Trade and the positive impacts resulting from this global strategy. We planned events and initiatives to support the sustainable and global impacts of Fair Trade.

Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.

Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, raising awareness, and campaigning for changes in the rules and practices of conventional international trade.
We had 3 action plans.

1. Educate and create awareness about the importance of Fair Trade in our school.
2. Develop an initiative that brings Fair Trade products into our school and community.
3. Partner with the City of Selkirk to create a community initiative promoting Fair Trade.


1. We began our education and awareness campaign in our school and classrooms. We shared lessons with classes from Grades 7 to 9 about the definition of Fair Trade and the sustainable impact it has on a global scale. We used resources from Fair Trade Canada and our students visited classrooms to talk about Fair Trade and gauge what products or initiatives might work at our school. We wanted our initiative to come from the students so they would be receptive and involved. We created and printed posters with Fair Trade facts and impacts and put them up all over the school. We made up gift packages with kind donations from the City of Selkirk with Fair Trade products and created a raffle. Students can place a Fair Trade fact in our draw box and be entered to win a gift pack. We then spoke at our Monday school assemblies and raffled them off each week to create momentum for Fair Trade. This really got our school community talking and learning about Fair Trade.

2. We decided our initiative would be to run a Flower-gram campaign and purchase Fair Trade roses from Florists Supply for Valentine’s Day with our LSF funds. The “flower-grams” give students the opportunity to purchase and support Fair Trade they can buy a rose and send it to their friends, teachers, family… The roses make great gifts and support a great cause and just in time for Valentine’s Day!! We sent out emails to all schools in our school division, our school trustees, and posted on City of Selkirk social media and told everyone we could think of to support our initiative. The idea is that this could be a sustainable project each year. With our grant, we can purchase the Fair Trade roses, create awareness, support a great Fair Trade cooperative in Ecuador, make our money back and run it again next year so we can support Fair Trade farmers every year!

The roses are so very beautiful and grown without child labour, unfair wages and harmful pesticides. The farm we purchase from is in Ecuador and is part of a Fair Trade Cooperative. Since we started supporting this farm, they have purchased washing machines, so they don’t have to launder in the river and they were able to hire a tutor to teach the children and adults literacy skills to better their lives! We would love to continue to watch them succeed and grow!

We had a great response and engaged many of our elementary schools and our Hutterite Colony school even had a whole afternoon of Fair Trade learning and gave each student a rose! Some classes ran a flower-gram campaign or bought them for Valentine’s Day, purchased them for themselves, one school gave staff appreciation gifts, and many of our students and loved ones participated, they even sent them anonymously to secret crushes! This was a great opportunity to educate our students about the importance of Fair Trade and I even provided links to resources and facts to support Fair Trade lessons.

There is a great impact on our environment and climate change by purchasing and supporting Fair Trade initiatives. With the Fair Trade roses, we conducted research and learned:
A) Fair Trade flowers have a lower carbon footprint:
One of the most common questions we were asking was why fly flowers over from all over the world when we could grow them in greenhouses or during summer months in Canada. So, to find out, we researched comparable data and found that Fair Trade commissioned a study about the environmental impact of roses from Kenya compared to those grown in the Netherlands (Treeze, 2018). Greenhouse gas emissions from the production of Fair Trade roses in Kenya were found to be 5.5 times lower and with 6.5 times lower energy demand, even taking into account air transport to Europe. The climate in Africa and South America is ripe for growing flowers, and often in Canada and Europe, the cost of recreating that environment can come at a heavy carbon footprint.

B) Fair Trade flower farms are reducing water usage
Ex. Ecuador
Carbon footprint isn’t the only environmental issue that is being addressed on Fair Trade flower farms. Some farms are collecting rainwater for irrigation, whilst others are using wetlands to purify the water that comes out of the greenhouses through a series of carefully constructed and efficient pools. This not only purifies the water so that there is no water pollution, but it is cyclical; the water is reused for watering the plants again and again.

C) Fair Trade flower farms protect the environment:
Ex. Hippo in Flower Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
The Naivasha region in Kenya is a popular place for flower farms due to its fertile soils and close supply of water from Lake Victoria. Fairtrade flower businesses are well aware that to maintain a sustainable business, they need to look after their environment.

Many Fair Trade flower farms are piloting natural solutions (from cow manure to compost) to increase productivity and tackle pests without harming the environment. In fact, all the Fair Trade farms in Kenya are making positive conservation steps. Some examples include planting 11,000 trees, collecting litter for fuel for a community cooker, and even running a conservation park!

D) Fair Trade is pioneering gender empowerment
Women’s empowerment is firmly on the global agenda, and Fair Trade is leading the way. There have been huge steps forward, but there are still many challenges, and the transitory nature of workers employed in the flower industry means that issues such as harassment are difficult to track. One of the best signs that this is being tackled is that women tend to stay longer on Fair Trade farms, indicating that they are happier with their working environment.

Roughly 50% of all workers on flower farms are women, this is higher than in many other sectors, and so there is a real opportunity to pave the way to better gender equality. Fair Trade Africa has run training courses on Fair Trade farms to raise awareness about women’s rights, what constitutes harassment and how to implement an effective gender policy.
Fair Trade flowers are worth it!

Fair Trade strives towards improving wages for those who produce the goods we consume, providing better working conditions, essential safety equipment and strategies to protect workers from exploitation or issues such as sexual harassment.

Fair Trade flowers are a driver of genuine, sustained positive change.

3. To celebrate, create awareness, and participate in Fair Trade, we partnered with the City of Selkirk and MCIC for World Fair Trade Day on Saturday, May 15th, 2023. We set up at Gaynor Family Regional Library. We had a stage with MCIC’s wheel of change educating about the SDGs, information pamphlets and MCIC community engagement staff to answer any questions about Fair Trade. We had student volunteers running a painting activity for children and participants to decorate their Fair Trade reusable tote bags. We had students running a chocolate taste-testing booth, so participants could sample how delicious and “guilt-free” the Fair Trade chocolate is! We also had a draw for participants to win Fair Trade products. We were very proud of the participation and attendance of this grassroots event in Selkirk.

Reflection & Celebration

Thank you to LSF Action Project for supporting our Fair Trade Action Project with your funding. We were able to focus on Fair Trade, to educate our school, school division and community about Fair Trade and the positive impacts resulting from this global strategy. We sold over 200 Fair Trade roses for our Flower-gram initiative, and we can run this initiative every year! Our World Fair Trade event was well attended by community members of the City of Selkirk, students from Lord Selkirk School Division and even participants from Winnipeg. We feel our planned events and initiatives were successful in supporting the sustainable and global impacts of Fair Trade.

1. No Poverty
3. Good Health and Well-Being
5. Gender Equality
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
10. Reduced Inequalities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
17. Partnerships for the Goals
What is your vision for Canada?
Share your vision and action today
Submit Project