Earlier this year, I was sitting in a Congress member’s office with a couple of flower farmers, talking about the issues facing American grown flowers and the importance of supporting our domestic flower farmers. The congressman acknowledged that he had no idea that over 80 percent of flowers sold in the U.S. were being imported. My colleagues and I explained that we were meeting with him that day to highlight the challenges facing our domestic farms, and that we had recently created a positive campaign encouraging the American public to buy local, American grown flowers.
“Buy American flowers, eh?” he said when responding to our explanation of purpose. “I bet if I asked the three of you to take off all the clothes you’re wearing that were made in another country, I’d have three naked guys sitting on my couch.”
He was right.
As I sat there, I knew exactly where my suit was from: jacket and pants were made in Italy, shirt was from Malaysia, T-shirt was from India. All imported. (My tie was Made in the U.S.A., but I didn’t know that at the time).
It’s common knowledge today that the majority of the U.S. textile industry has been taken offshore for cheaper labor, less regulation and better margins. So the last time I bought a suit, I can assure you I hadn’t included selecting “Made in America,” a point of criteria.
I just assumed it wasn’t an option.
Then I saw this Men’s Wearhouse commercial.
Inspiring right? Feels like a comeback. Something I want to be a part of.
Having just launched the Certified American Grown Flowers brand with a coalition of passionate, hardworking flower farmers from around the country, this commercial spoke to me. Where my suit is made matters. Supporting these American craftsmen makes a difference. I have a choice.
In the same way, the Certified American Grown Flowers campaign has been developed to drive consumer awareness. You can choose to buy American grown flowers.
Hardworking flower farmers in many communities in this country are growing fresh, beautiful, local flowers. Every day. Despite the large presence of imports in the market today, there is a choice. A decision to be made. A decision that matters.
We are asking people to look for the Certified American Grown Flowers brand or the CA Grown brand when they buy flowers. We’re pointing out why it matters and how they can be part of the solution. We’re informing them about an important choice.
So, while I planned to buy a new suit for the Society of American Florists’ annual convention – the fanciest affair of the year – my plans have changed. My next suit will be Made in America. When I get back from convention, I’m going to get one. Maybe two. Because it matters.
Where have you made similar commitments to support ‘Made in America’ products?
Did you know there was a Certified American Grown Flowers program for flowers?
Please share your answers and thoughts in the comments section below.