‘We need to prevent people dying from hunger’

For a period of five weeks, shops in South Africa were only allowed to sell essential products. So, no plants and flowers. As a result, growers were forced to destroy their harvests. However, many people in this country are much worse off than the flower growers. The Van Geest family, owners of LVG Plants, developed the Together We Bloom fund, an initiative to support poor South Africans. Now, as well as after the coronavirus time.

Together We Bloom kicked off on Friday the 1st of May. Not coincidentally the day on which shops in South Africa were allowed to sell plants and flowers again. LVG Plants sold 1,500 plants, a mix of phalaenopsis, curcuma, zantedeschia, spathiphyllum, among others, via the clocks of Multiflora, the flower auction in Johannesburg. They raised over 100,000 rand. All proceeds will go to non-profit organisations that use the money to provide food and drink to poor South Africans.

‘It really is time now’

“This is a very difficult time for our company, but when I look around, I know we should be grateful for what we have. Many people are queuing for a little bit of food. There’s a lot of poverty in the country. Businesses must do something to help out now”, says Geert van Geest. He is LVG Plants’ managing director, and together with his brothers Ivo and Bart, he took the initiative for Together We Bloom.

The company has 11 ha of pot plants in Krugersdorp. The LVG owners had already been wondering for a while what they could do for the poor in the country. Geert: “It really is time now. The horticultural industry must play its part. It’s unacceptable to have people dying of hunger. We really need to prevent that.”

Click here to read the full article on the impact of the coronacrisis on South Africa and LVG Plants in Floribusiness magazine.

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