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!