Florverde(R) Flower Growers Recognized by GLOBALGAP Standard

    BOGOTA, Colombia, July 8 /CNW/ -- Florverde(R) has announced a
significant milestone for both the organization and the flower industry in
Colombia.  GLOBALGAP (The Global Partnership for Good Agricultural Practice)
has recognized Florverde's socio-environmental practices with the GLOBALGAP
international seal; Florverde and GLOBALGAP standards are now equivalent and
mutually accepted by all trading partners.  The GLOBALGAP seal and standard is
one of the most important and recognizable certifications in the world
promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

    "This is an important step for Colombian floriculture," indicated Augusto
Solano, President of Asocolflores.  "The standards of these two certifications
-- Florverde and GLOBALGAP -- preserve and protect fertile soil and natural
resources with the mission to achieve sustainable agriculture.  Retailers and
flower wholesalers around the world will be able to recognize and feel more
confident than ever before that Florverde meets these high international

    Before receiving certification, GLOBALGAP actively observed Florverde
operations for more than a year.  After meeting and exceeding the stringent
GLOBALGAP requirements, the more than 100 Florverde certified farms are now
internationally recognized as GLOBALGAP certified.  Additionally, Florverde
has been invited to participate in GLOBALGAP's development and governing
committees that set standards for agriculture and environmental practices
around the world.

    "For the past twelve years, Florverde farms have been committed to
leading the flower industry in social and environmental practices," stated
Solano.  "We're pleased that our efforts have been recognized by GLOBALGAP,
one of the most important standards and certification programs in the world."

    GLOBALGAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the
certification of agricultural products around the globe.  The GLOBALGAP
standard and certification is designed to reassure trade partners that the
most advanced and beneficial production methods and processes are adhered to
by certified farms.  Complying with the international standard minimizes
detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reduces the use of
chemical inputs and ensures a responsible and comprehensive approach to worker
health and safety.

    About Florverde
    Established in 1996, with the Spanish name meaning "green flowers," the
Florverde program has made ongoing advancements to improve Colombian workers'
quality of life and to ensure that Colombian-grown flowers meet specific,
environmental standards.  The Florverde-certification program was created by
Asocolflores, the association representing Colombia's flower growers and
exporters, with a vision to leading the flower industry and improving
practices by establishing and regulating a strict set of social and
environmental standards, as well as a code of conduct.  Today, more than 171
farms, covering more than 7,600 acres devoted to growing flowers in Colombia,
have qualified for, or are in the process of qualifying for, Florverde


For further information:

For further information: Jairo Cadavid, +1-571-257-9311, Ext: 0115,
jcadavid@asocolflores.org, or Natalia Ochoa, +1-571-257-9311, Ext: 0160,
comunicaciones@asocolflores.org, both of Florverde Web Site:

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