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Gardenia Organic, Women-owned Business, is First New York Florist to Earn 'VeriFlora Certification'

January 27, 2011, New York, NY - Gardenia Organic, a New York City based sustainable florist, has earned VeriFlora Preferred Retailer status for its commitment to sustainability practices.  Gardenia Organic is the first New York florist to be recognized for the rigorous environmental practices they undertake in order to practice agricultural sustainability.  VeriFlora is considered the gold standard in ensuring sustainability practices in the flower industry.

 Just in time for Valentine's Day, lucky New Yorkers have an easy way of switching from pesticide & chemically drenched conventionally grown cut flowers and opting for green. Gardenia Organic's philosophy is 'heartfelt luxury' - giving flowers with love and respect for the source and workforce that grew them. They use only the best hand-chosen; to order flowers to create individual modern yet, classic arrangements. Orders can be placed online at www.gardeniaorganic.com or by calling 646 688 5753.

Hannah Ling, owner of Gardenia Organic, is widely recognized as an influential florist. Having challenged the established view of floristry she continues to highlight the issues within the floral industry. Gardenia Organic opened its doors just over three years ago and has since achieved phenomenal recognition:  they were named "Best Florist" in 2008 by New York Magazine, were invited to showcase their work at the 2010 Macy's Flower Show and claim many a VIP and celebrity amongst their clientele.

"We are so honored to have been the first florist in New York to sell only sustainable and fair trade flowers.  We're thrilled that more florists are moving in that direction and we are delighted to again be leading the way by becoming the first New York florist to be recognized by VeriFlora," said Hannah.

VeriFlora is a certification program that establishes criteria in sustainability and product integrity for all the products that are sold under its label.  The VeriFlora logo guarantees that all flowers and plants have been grown and distributed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.  VeriFlora flowers and plants are held to the highest standards of freshness and quality. The VeriFlora Preferred Retailer program recognizes floral retailers who have received training and education in the environmental, social and quality benefits of growing and handling flowers according to the VeriFlora requirements.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent third-party, conducts the certification in order to ensure fairness and accountability.  All certified companies are held to the same standards.  To receive the VeriFlora certification, a company must participate in rigorous on-site inspections, document audits, in-depth interviews, and an annual follow-up.  

In addition to economic sustainability practices, VeriFlora-certified growers and handlers must practice fair labor, providing employees with quality work environments.  

"Being recognized for our commitment to environmental responsibility validates all we've been working for over the last 3 years," said Ling.  "Most people don't realize that 70% of the flowers sold in the US are imported from South America where some growers use 25 pesticides that have been outlawed in the US.  This is only one of many reasons why at Gardenia Organic we rooted our mission in providing organic and fairly traded products."

Gardenia Organic provides gift deliveries throughout New York City, corporate and private home installations & accounts, as well as wedding and event design.  Always excited to brighten someone's day with a beautiful bouquet, Gardenia Organic is located in New York City.
 
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party sustainability and environmental certification, auditing, testing and standards development for more than 25 years. SCS programs span a wide range of industries including green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retailing and more.

For more information please contact:

Lisa Skriloff, President, lisa@multicultural.com
Agata Porter, Account Executive, agata@multicultural.com
Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.
212-242-3351

Hannah Ling
Owner
Gardenia Organic
Hannah@gardeniaorganic.com
646-688-5753

Meghan Connolly Haupt
Director of Marketing
Scientific Certification Systems
mchaupt@scscertified.com
510-452-8020