Pat chills out in the
cooler that keeps
Costco’s roses at the
perfect 35º temperature.
JOHN VALLS PHOTOGRAPHY
Consumer reporter Pat Volchok
gives a behind-the-scenes look at
Costco products and services. Send
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82 ;e Costco Connection APRIL 2011
A ROSE IS A ROSE, right? Not so fast. Some
roses are sustainably grown, supported by a
commitment to protect ecosystems and wildlife habitats, conserve water and soil, and promote decent and safe working conditions.
These certified beauties, known as Rainforest
Alliance roses, are now the only long-stemmed roses offered in Costco warehouses.
A new standard of floriculture
Wanting to learn more about this latest
development, I sit down with Costco’s warehouse floral team: Kim Thomas, Kevin
Gleason and Ken Hackman.
Kim tells me, “Costco was the first retailer
in the country to commit to only selling sus-
tainably grown long-stemmed cut roses. This
assures the company and Costco members
that the beautiful flowers they purchase in the
warehouse are not causing harm to the people
who grow them.”
The team analyzed many sustainability
certification programs before selecting the
Rainforest Alliance ( www.rainforest-alliance.
org). Particularly appealing was the require-
ment of annual, independent third-party
audits. In addition suppliers cannot earn the
nonprofit’s green frog certification seal with-
out performing agrochemical reduction, eco-
system conservation and fair worker practices,
including equitable wages, decent housing and
access to schools, healthcare and training.