jueves, 22 de diciembre de 2016

Embajadores Florverde: José Luis Gómez



Por: Juliana Díaz.

En esta oportunidad queremos presentar un miembro del Consejo Asesor y además embajador de Florverde Sustainable Flowers, José Luis Gómez del Fondo Acción. 

Economista con especialización en Economía Energética de la Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia (1985), y Maestría en Economía Política de New School for Social Research, Nueva York, Estados Unidos (1990); Becario Fulbright 1987-1989. José Luis dirige el Fondo Acción desde 2004. Tiene más de 20 años de experiencia en instituciones del sector público como el Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales, el Departamento Nacional de Planeación, el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y el Ministerio de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural. Ha sido consultor del Banco Mundial, FIDA, IICA y FAO


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: ¿Qué lo motivó a aceptar la invitación de ser parte del órgano de toma de decisiones de Florverde Sustainable Flowers como lo es el Consejo Asesor

José Luis: He seguido el desarrollo de FSF y siempre me ha interesado el enfoque de la industria frente a la sostenibilidad y la responsabilidad empresarial. Son líderes en estos aspectos y me pareció importante y relevante participar en el Consejo pues es una manera de apoyar un enfoque que le conviene al sector privado y a la sociedad.


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: 
¿Cuál es el papel de una organización, como la que usted representa, al hacer parte del Consejo Asesor de Florverde Sustainable Flowers?

José Luis: El Fondo Acción, la fundación que dirijo desde hace doce años, comparte plenamente con FSF la necesidad de invertir en sostenibilidad. Cada empresa floricultora que adopta el esquema FSF está haciendo una de las inversiones más rentables que puede hacer la industria en nuestro país al destinar recursos humanos y financieros a la sostenibilidad ambiental y social. 

Todas estas empresas han decidido cambiar sus comportamientos y políticas frente a sus empleados y trabajadores; así mismo, han adoptado prácticas responsables y sostenibles frente al uso de los recursos naturales. Como representante del sector de organizaciones ambientales de la sociedad civil, tengo el papel de aportar en las decisiones y también de comunicar las bondades, los impactos positivos de FSF.


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: En términos sociales y ambientales ¿Qué le aporta Floverde Sustainable Flowers a la floricultura?

José Luis: FSF tiene numerosas virtudes: aporta buenas prácticas para la sostenibilidad ambiental, introduce una cultura de cambio en las relaciones con los empleados y trabajadores de campo, posiciona a la industria frente a los retos que debe abordar en un mundo interconectado donde los consumidores crecientemente exigen mayores estándares en sostenibilidad ambiental y social. 


Creo que al adoptar FSF, al invertir en sostenibilidad, una empresa floricultora acepta entrar al futuro. Quienes se queden del tren, quienes no se diferencien en estos ámbitos, perderán participación en los segmentos más rentables del mercado.


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: ¿Qué tan importante es que un sello como Florverde Sustainable Flowers trabaje por la preservación de los recursos naturales como el agua?



José Luis: El agua es uno de los principales recursos naturales para la floricultura. El sello FSF hace énfasis en la importancia de manejar el recurso en distintos frentes, incluyendo las estructuras de captación, conducción y almacenamiento, el uso de aguas lluvias, la optimización del riego. Así mismo resalta el monitoreo de los valores de algunos parámetros del agua que utiliza la industria así como la que devuelve al medio.


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers:  ¿Cuál ha sido el logro más significativo del Consejo Asesor desde su punto de vista como miembro de este órgano de toma de decisiones y por qué?


José Luis: Resalto en el Consejo Asesor la participación de representantes de distintos sectores en la toma de decisiones consensuadas sobre el futuro del mecanismo. Un logro destacable es el posicionamiento interno del estándar en el sector y el reconocimiento y la homologación del mismo por otros estándares y entidades internacionales.


Conoce más del sistema de gobernanza de Florverde Sustainable Flowers en este link

Comparte tus comentarios sobre esta entrevista en la parte inferior, ¡nos encantará leerlos a todos! 




miércoles, 7 de diciembre de 2016

Florverde ambassadors: Caroline Marshall-Foster


Caroline Marshall-Foster is editor to Florist Magazine with +35 years experience in the flower industry. We are glad to have Caroline in our community of ambassadors that reflect the values of Florverde.

By: Florverde editor 

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What motivated you to accept the invitation to be part of the Florverde® Sustainable Flowers ambassadors community?


Caroline Marshall-FosterHaving working with Colombia since 1994 and seen Florverde in action since my first visit to Colombia back in 2001 I know what a difference Florverde has already made and what it can achieve in the future. Colombia doesn’t just grow the most amazing flowers that really are longer, stronger and more gorgeous but does it with love, passion, and above all, a caring way. If I can help in even a tiny way to promote what Florverde is doing, then I will be delighted.


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: You are the editor of The Florist, a successful magazine for the flower industry in the UK. In your opinion, why is it important to stimulate sustainable products in this industry in global markets such as Europe?

Caroline Marshall-Foster: Sustainability is going to become more and more important, especially amongst younger buyers and with flowers we have the power to change attitudes. Not just by putting a smile on the face of the person who receives them but – as Florverde has proved – by making a difference in the country they come from. Consumers love a ‘back story’ and in an increasingly strange world where things are changing so fast it is good to show that not everything is bad! It’s Flower Power at its best.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What is the role of florists around the world in creating a collaborative community focused on the sustainable production of flowers?

Caroline Marshall-Foster: Any florist who buys Colombian flowers should know and promote what Florverde is doing. It not only shows they are aware of what is happening and gives their flowers a provenance which consumers like but is also an incredibly strong marketing tool. Not said in a hard-nosed business way but simply because customers like to feel they are buying from reputable and responsible retailers.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: In social and environmental terms, how does Florverde® Sustainable Flowers contribute to the flower industry?


Caroline Marshall-Foster: It sets a standard and shows that even a multimillion pound industry can be caring. The difference between Florverde and other programmes is perhaps that it still has a very human touch and is part of real life working practices not just a scheme designed to tick boxes.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What are the real benefits of a sustainable market transformation and what is the role of certification labels like Florverde® Sustainable Flowers?

Caroline Marshall-FosterThe benefits are to demonstrate best practice in terms of growing and looking after workers and to counter negative comments.  There will always be people who will try and find bad things to say, especially about Colombia but having seen articles written recently it’s clear that journalists are finding it harder to be negative simply because things have improved so much! Much of that has to be because Florverde exists and is actively promoting all that is good, the role it needs to maintain and develop. 


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: Do you think sustainability is the future or the present in the flower industry?

Caroline Marshall-Foster: Both. What is happening now is a natural development and progression of what happened in the past and will only become more important as the world realises how important sustainability and provenance is. Colombia needs to continue to show that it is moving with the times and taking care of its land and its people.



What's the role of producers, florists and buyers in sustainable floriculture? are your clients aware of where your products come from and whose behind it? we'd love to read your experiences and share some thoughts!

viernes, 4 de noviembre de 2016

Friend of the month: José Luis Gómez (COL)

Have your say in November... José Luis Gómez from Colombia!


By: Juliana Díaz.


In this month we want to introduce a member of the Florverde Sustainable Flowers Advisory Council, José Luis Gómez, from the Action Fund.  

José Luis has a Bachelor Degree in Economist with a Specialization in Energy Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia (1985), and a Master’s degree in Political Economy from the New School for Social Research, New York, United States (1990); Fulbright Scholarship 1987-1989.

He directs "Fondo Acción" since 2004. He has more than twenty years of experience as a civil servant in institutions such as: the National Institute of Natural Resources, the National Planning Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He has worked as a consultant to the World Bank, IFAD and FAO, IICA. 


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What motivated you to accept the invitation to be part of the Advisory council, the decision-making body, of Florverde® Sustainable Flowers?

José Luis: I have followed the development of FSF, and the industry’s focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility has always interested me. They are leaders in these aspects and I think it is important and relevant for me to take part in the Council because it is a way to support an approach that suits both the private sector and society.


Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: What is the role of an organization, like the one you represent, when being part of the Advisory Council for Florverde® Sustainable Flowers?

José Luis: The Action Fund, the foundation that I have directed for the past twelve years, fully agrees with FSF on the need to invest in sustainability. Every floriculture company that adopts the FSF scheme is making one of the most profitable investments that the industry can make in our country, allocating human and financial resources for environmental and social sustainability.
All of these companies have decided to change their behavior and policies in terms of their employees and workers; likewise, they have adopted a responsible and sustainable use of natural resources. As the representative of environmental organizations of the civil society sector, my role is to contribute to decision making, as well as communicate the benefits and the positive impacts of FSF.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: In social and environmental terms, how does Floverde® Sustainable Flowers contribute to the floriculture industry?

José Luis: FSF has many virtues: it provides good practices for environmental sustainability, it introduces a culture of change in terms of relations with employees and field workers, and it positions the industry to meet the challenges that need to be addressed in an interconnected world where consumers increasingly demand higher standards in environmental and social sustainability.

I believe that by adopting the FSF scheme and investing in sustainability, floriculture companies agree to embrace the future. Those who miss the train and don’t make a difference in these areas will miss the opportunity to participate in the most profitable segments of the market.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: How important is it for a label like Florverde® Sustainable Flowers to work towards the preservation of natural resources like water?



José Luis: Water is one of the main natural resources for floriculture. The FSF seal emphasizes the importance of managing water resources on several fronts, including catchment structures, conveyance and storage, use of rainwater, and optimization of irrigation systems. It also highlights the importance of monitoring values ​​of some parameters of the water used by the industry and that which is returned to the environment.

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers:  What has been the most significant achievement of the Advisory Board from your point of view as a member of this decision making body, and why?


José Luis: I’d like to highlight the participation in the Advisory Council of representatives from different sectors and their consensual decision-making in regards to the future of the mechanism. A notable achievement is the internal positioning of the standards in the industry and their recognition and approval by other standards and international entities.


Get to know more about the Governance of Florverde Sustainable Flowers in this link
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we'd love to read all of them!



lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2015

Friend of the month - Lucas Simons [NED]

Have your say in October... Lucas Simons from the Netherlands!
"If you trully want to transform markets you need to change the rules of the game and prevent the sector from becoming unsustainable".
By: Juan David Hernández, MBA candidate.

In October we got deeper into the sustainability certification labels topic and share insights with Lucas Simons, founder and CEO of two companies: NewForesight, a strategic consultancy company working on sustainable market transformation, and SCOPEinsight, a farmer organization assessment company that bridges the gap between professional farmer organizations, markets and sources of finance. This guy knows exactly where the gap between small farmers and big agriculture companies is but also the role of sustainability in the business. Let's go!

Florverde® Sustainable Flowers: 
Why is it important to stimulate sustainable products in global markets?

Lucas Simons: Because if we don´t, we are left with sectors and producing systems were it is only about the lowest price, cheap food and as soon as the systems only care about it, we will promote a system of rewards of unsustainable behaviour so the farmer who cuts the rainforest or uses child labour gets the business. We are getting undesired side effects because we are rewarding the wrong behaviour and we are punishing the right behaviour. The biggest questions that we have to answer as stakeholders in agriculture are: what is important? what is is the quality? what is the value? how do we recognize it? how do we measure it? how do we value it? That means those who are able to deliver it should get the recognition and should get rewarded for it. Now you have sectors that rewards quality, innovation, environmental protection and entrepreneurship. We are seeing that marks that rewards unsustainable behaviour are becoming less vital whereas those that rewards all these aspects are more vital.



FSF: Are we taking about European markets specifically?


Lucas: No, this is a global game. This is happening in global markets: palm oil, coffee, soy, cotton and so on. It is not enough for just one country or continent like Europe to say we have certain standards. For example, we see this in the tea sector where 80% of the tea is consumed locally and 20% of the tea goes to western markets so what does it matter if 20% of the consumers demands higher standards and you still have 80% of unsustainable markets? Eventually, this is a global game but it takes time before the whole industry and sectors reach this level. It is important to work with first movers like the European Union but it doesn´t stop there, it is only the first step.


FSF: What are the driver forces of changing global markets towards sustainability?


Lucas: There are four forces that drive sustainability. The first one is how easy or difficult it is to be a farmer. What we see is in many commodity sectors it is quite easy to find opportunities in these markets. The second one is what does the market reward? We have to analyse if markets reward only lowest price or quality aspects. The third force is regarded to governments or sector organizations and how we organize our selves, if we give farmers what they really need because in many countries farmers are left to their faith so it is about how are we supporting them in an enabling environment. The forth one is how can farmers move out. Are they dependent to their livelihoods? Or are they struggling to remain being a farmer? It is about how these four forces work together to shape the outcome of agricultural production. If markets don´t care as long as products are cheap, governments are not doing the things to support agriculture and farmers cannot get out and they stay in the bottom, the sector start to compete with poverty. When famers have to accept low prices because they need to survive, now you probably have a failing system. The only way to change agriculture is to look at these forces and think: what does the market reward? does it reward quality? who are the farmers of the future? how do we stimulate them? what is the role of the government? That is how we change the rules of the game.


FSF: From your experience, what are the phases or stages of sustainability in the organizations?


Lucas: It is true that markets change but they have similar phases. When there’s an issue within the sector (it could be poverty, child labour, plant diseases, low prices or climate change that affects crops). We first start denying the issues and then we do projects because we don´t know what else to do. The second phase is very important because it begins to change and figure out how to compete. As soon as you get first movers, you have second or third movers that are doing something similar but slightly different (that is competition) so that is great. Then, you can move to the next phase and make a separation between what it is competitive and what is not competitive.
For example, climate smart is great if you compete on your technology or your way of doing things but suddenly you will need to think on research or how your are doing things. It is about growing up as a sector and starting seeing these things that finally will become a norm. These are the maturity phases and once you have to think how you can accelerate it, go quicker and more efficiently.



FSF: Are there any phases in regards of sustainability from the consumer perspective?


Lucas: That is a very good question. These four phases that I just described from an industry or sector are not necessarily the faces from the consumer point of view. The consumer (at least in western markets) goes from a non-interest to an increasing interest. People want to see action and movement. This is where labels play an important role when consumers feel they can do something when they buy their products. However, if we have a lot of labels the consumers will start to lose interest as they might be feeling like everything is solved so apparently they are already contributing to a better world.
Moreover, regular consumers also have a lot of things in their minds: they have to buy thousands of products every year, they have troubles in their jobs, they don´t have a lot of money, they have issues at home. As a result, consumers say: if you want me to buy it, you have to take care of it.



FSF: What are the real benefits of the sustainable market transformations and what is the role of certification labels such as FSF?


Lucas: If you trully want to transform markets you need to change the rules of the game and prevent the sector from becoming unsustainable. Certification labels are good to treat patients with a bad lifestyle and get them to be healthier. In this sense, the role of certifications is very important and limited at the same time: it is important because it enables you to link the issue of sustainability to the competitiveness of your brand and differentiate yourself. In fact, that´s what competition is all about. However, at some point it will become so costly and you will have to start working together with others. 
Standards like Florverde are fantastic and they are part of the process of getting to truly sustainability. The certification is a tool, but is not sustainability itself. Standards are great but the will not solve everything. Therefore, we will need to start working together in order to change the rules of the game.


What other ways do you think will drive us to a sustainable future? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we'd love to read all of them!