NGOs and trade unions are withdrawing from the Flower Label Program e.V. (FLP). Financial problems mean that FLP cannot carry out any farm controls in the near future. There is now a high risk that the quality certificate will be put to misuse.
As of 31 December 2011, the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) FIAN Germany, FIAN Austria, Brot für die Welt, terre des homes, the One World Center Herne and the German Construction-Agriculture-Environment Trade Union (IG BAU) withdrew their membership in the Flower Label Program e.V. (FLP). The reasons these organisations gave in January 2012 for leaving the association were the substantive changes in the association and the financial collapse of the quality seal. Up to that time, FLP e.V. had consisted of four interest groups: human rights organisations, trade unions, trading companies and flower-growing enterprises.
FLP was no longer economically viable last year; the offices in Cologne (Germany) and Quito (Ecuador) had already closed. This was due to the considerable number of members who left the association and the de-certification of FLP companies.
Substantive differences centred on whether FLP should be transferred to Fairtrade. NGOs and trade unions had not succeeded in pushing through this proposal with producers and traders. FLP e.V. expressly states, however, that the possibility of affiliating with TransFair will continue to be carefully examined even after the withdrawal of NGOs and trade unions.
FIAN is concerned that because of the financially caused incapacity to act, the FLP label could be misused. Companies could now advertise with the label without any controls actually being carried out that the FLP standards are adhered to. FLP e.V. also accepts that there is the risk of misuse. From 1 November 2011 to 3 June 2012 no certifications will be made, says FLP, because the office does not currently have the administrative capacity to carry out farm controls.
Background: FLP certification is based on the International Code of Conduct (ICC) for the Production of Cut Flowers. It was developed jointly by the participating NGOs trade unions, producers and commerce and has been setting clear standards since 1998. The ICC contains labour, social and environmental criteria based on the UNO Human Rights pact, the relevant conventions of the International Labour Office (ILO) and environmental standards. In this way, FLP has been able to assert improved working conditions such as permanent contracts, maternity protection and occupational health and safety for some 20 000 workers on cut flower plantations in Africa, Asia and Latin-American.