Navigation Links
Cheap love costs the Earth

Ecology and conservation biologist at the University of Leicester, Dr David Harper, who has conducted research for over 25 years at Lake Naivasha in Kenya, today warned that cut-price Valentine roses exported for sale in the UK were 'bleeding that country dry'.

Dr Harper, of the University's Department of Biology where he is a senior lecturer, claimed that cheap roses grown by companies that had no concern for the environment were having a devastating effect on the ecology of Lake Naivasha- the centre of Kenya's horticultural industry.

Instead, Dr Harper urged UK shoppers to buy Fair Trade roses, produced by companies that were conscientious and had a transparent supply chain.

Dr Harper said: "Roses that come cheap are grown by companies that have no concern for the environment, who cut corners and avoid legislation, who sell their flowers into the auction in Amsterdam so that all the buyer knows is the flowers "come from Holland".

"In reality, they have come from Kenya where the industry is - literally - draining that country dry."

However, some companies took a more responsible approach and sold direct to British supermarkets - many of them being "Fair Trade" certified.

Said Dr Harper: "These companies want a sustainable future for the wildlife and the environment, as well as the people, where they grow their roses. Sadly, there are not enough of them.

"At Lake Naivasha, the good companies make up about half of the total. That is not enough; together, the industry is sucking the lake dry. The country's legislation is strong, but its enforcement is weak so companies whose only interest is profit take advantage of that."

Dr Harper said the demand for the ten thousand tonnes of roses sold in the UK for Valentine's Day and for Mother's Day had contributed to the devastation of the ecosystem at the lake.

Almost half a million people now live around the shores of the lake - drawn there by the flower trade. The shanty towns that have emerged around the lake have no sanitation- water comes from the lake and sewage returns to it. This pressure - from people - is destroying the lake that supports their jobs lives and their livelihoods.

David and his colleagues from other UK - and Dutch - universities first raised the alarm about the situation in 2002, just as the new Kenyan Water Act was passed.

Since then, the lake has continued to shrink.


Contact: Dr. David Harper
University of Leicester

Related biology news :

1. Nanotech could make solar energy as easy and cheap as growing grass
2. Twinkle after-effect can help retinal patients detect vision loss quickly and cheaply
3. The power of multiples: Connecting wind farms can make a more reliable - and cheaper - power source
4. Cheaper drugs now closer to realization with new DropArray technology
5. Iowa State researchers look for smaller, cheaper, 1-dose vaccines
6. Pharmaceutical breakthrough may make a range of drugs cheaper and more available
7. Substantial improvement in essential cheap solar cell process
8. New cheaper method for mapping disease genes
9. TGen investigators devise faster, cheaper way of analyzing the human genome
10. Caltech scientists develop barcode chip for cheap, fast blood tests
11. Biologists expose hidden costs of firefly flashes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. ... human interface solutions, today announced expansion of its ... ™ touch controller and display driver integration ... of smartphones. These new TDDI products add to ... (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... Minn. , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that ... in Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November ... be able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... and learn how iMedNet has been able to ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics ... human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into the ... vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer electronics ... and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive industry ... vehicle. Europe , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Muncie, IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Aeronautics (AMA) and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized ... Mathewson and other AMA team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... PORTLAND, Oregon , November 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Deep Market Research Report is a professional and ... Genomics industry.      (Logo: ... basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, ... analysis is provided for the international markets including ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) ... research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing ... lower margins but higher volume share for the ... and scale, however, margins in the CRO industry ... (CRO) Market ( ), finds that ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ... at the following conference, and invited investors to participate ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December ...
Breaking Biology Technology: