Last week, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) introduced a bipartisan resolution designating July as “American Grown Flowers Month.” Co-sponsored by Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Rep. Don Young (AK-1), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02), and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), House Resolution 413 declares July as the month to celebrate the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers and demonstrate Congress’ commitment to support America’s flower farming families.
Congressman Carbajal spoke from the House Floor, introducing the legislation and encouraging fellow members of Congress to support American Grown Flowers Month.
“I have seen firsthand the value the grown flower industry adds to our economy and communities during my visits with our Central Coast growers,” said Rep. Carbajal. “California produces three quarters of all cut flowers grown in the United States. I am committed to recognizing their contribution by designating July as American Grown Flowers Month, in order to celebrate the beauty this industry brings to our homes and celebrations year-round.”
Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist responded to the declaration.
“On behalf of America’s flower farming-families, we thank Congressman Carbajal, the resolution’s co-sponsors and all of the members of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus for their support for designating July as American Grown Flowers Month,” Cronquist said. “This resolution will go a long way in raising the profile of the American Grown Flower movement and educating the public on the importance of buying and supporting American Grown Flowers.”
Today approximately 77 percent of all flowers sold in the United States are imported. A consumer research study recently found that 74 percent of people had no idea where the flowers they purchased were grown, yet 58 percent of them would prefer to buy homegrown blooms if given the choice. The Certified American Grown program was launched in 2014 to help educate the buying public on the importance of the origin of their flowers. Certified American Grown now certifies hundreds of millions of stems of flowers each year, guaranteeing consumers that the flowers they are purchasing were grown in the United States.
“Origin matters,” says consumer advocate Debra Prinzing, author of the book Slow Flowers and member of the Certified American Grown Council. “As the founder of American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4), I have witnessed a profound culture shift in flower buying in the United States. Like the slow food movement, more and more Americans are looking for a better and more sustainable choice when buying their flowers.”
Rep. Herrera Beutler said, “Washington state is one of the top producing states for flowers. This legislation will help bring attention to the cut flower industry here and the local businesses and economic activity it supports. I am a proud co-chair of the Cut Flower Caucus and am very pleased to cosponsor this resolution that supports Southwest Washington businesses.”
Rep. Jimmy Panetta said, “As a co-chair of the House Cut Flower Caucus, I am proud to join my colleagues in recognizing the important contributions of our nation’s flower growers. Their efforts not only beautify our homes, their businesses generate thousands of jobs and are staples in our communities. Designating July as American Grown Flowers Month will further highlight the contributions of this industry.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter said, “I am proud to be a co-chair of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus, representing the hard-working flower farmers in my district. I see value in the American jobs these
farms create, the people they employ, the economic impact it brings to our communities and American Grown Flowers Month is great way to celebrate and help educate the public on the valuable contributions these flower farming families make to our country.”
House Cut Flower Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Chellie Pingree said, “As consumers have taken their love of buying local to new levels, the number of Maine farms growing and selling flowers has more than doubled in the last 10 years. It’s been a fantastic way for smaller-scale farms to diversify their business while reaching new customers. I’m proud to support this resolution of American Grown Flowers Month to help spread the word that the most beautiful flowers blossom close to home.”
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Lisa Murkowski plan to introduce a similar measure in the Senate this week.
“We really appreciate Sen. Feinstein and Senator Murkowski on their leadership on agricultural issues generally and cut flower issues in particular in the Senate,” Cronquist says.
Launched on July 1, 2014, Certified American Grown represents a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms, including small and large entities in multiple states across the country. Certified American Grown flower farms participate in an independent, third-party supply-chain audit to verify both origin and assembly of the flowers they grow. When it appears on bouquets, bunches and other packaging or store signage, the Certified American Grown Brand and logo gives consumers confidence in the source of their flowers and assures them that the flowers they purchase come from a domestic American flower farm. Learn more on the Certified American Grown flowers website, or follow the coalition on social media.