On Saturday, I bought some roses. I had to pick through quite a few red bunches to find the ones I wanted :p, but, eventually I spotted some which were a gorgeous deep orange; a colour I thought would complement my living room rather nicely. This little chappie was broken just below the flower, so I popped him into a beaker on my kitchen windowsill. He has rewarded me by opening beautifully.
I particularly wanted roses, because the ones sold by my local supermarket are fairtrade, and when I can, I prefer to buy fairtrade. Buying fairtrade ensures that, not only is the producer paid a fair price for his/her produce, but the community in which they live also benefits. In order to qualify for fairtrade status, a small producer must belong to a slightly larger organisation, such as a co-operative. The producer then sells through the co-operative and, in addition to the fair price paid for goods, a Fairtrade Premium is paid for investment into the local community. Typically this is used for such things as healthcare or education.
The whole system is regulated by the Fairtrade Foundation with their distinctive logo, and gets a particular push at this end of the year with the advent of Fairtrade Fortnight (starting this Monday, 22nd Feb). http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/ Each time this comes around, my supermarket add something new to their growing fairtrade range. I will be searching the shelves to find what is on offer this time.