The flowers that were lost during the unrest in Ecuador last October, are now going to be used for the Dead Flower Project. The dried flowers will be sold through a special campaign that runs until mid-December. The objective of the project is to help the families of nursery workers affected by the strike. According to the initiators, the interest is exceeding all expectations.
Dozens of nurseries were hit by the strike and associated violence, which lasted for 1.5 weeks. The strikers protested against increasing fuel prices, among other things, last October. Many companies couldn’t get their goods to the airport due to blockades. The rioters also attacked companies and intimidated workers. They were trying to persuade employees to join the demonstrations. Many nurseries closed down.
During this time, 11,000 tons of flowers were lost. The sector estimated the damage at $40 million. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, branch organisation Expoflores and PR agency Paradais DDB are now making a virtue of necessity. The dead flowers aren’t thrown away, but gift-wrapped in nicely designed, paper packaging, stating the name of the project plus some background information, and sold via several different channels. Online channels include social media and the project website www.deadflowerproject.com. When customers click on a product on the website, they’re redirected to the Mercado Libre web shop. The dead flowers are also sold through various direct sales points.
Customers can buy one flower (7 dollars), a bouquet (15 dollars) or a box of flowers (60 dollars). Online orders are delivered in approximately three days.
In principle, the target group is everyone. But in practice, it’s mostly companies or organisations that help the project by purchasing large quantities, reported José Serrano on behalf of the project. “So far, the project has been remarkably successful. We don’t have exact sales figures yet. They won’t be released until the end of the campaign.”
The proceeds of the project will go to the families that didn’t have any income when their employers’ nurseries were closed. Serrano explained that the money won’t be paid directly to the families, but it will be used to set up certain funds that they can make use of. The campaign will run until the 15th of December or while stocks last.