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Full Access Fresh Cut Flowers and Exploitation

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Fresh Cut Flowers and Exploitation

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For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

AbstractOur lives are filled with goods, from food to clothes to cars and everything in between. We purchase almost everything we use on a daily basis. Everywhere one turns there is talk of globalization and capitalism. These forces are significant factors in the daily lives of people all over the world. The availability of fresh cut flowers in the United States, Canada, and Europe is intimately tied to exploitation of workers in the third world. In this article I look at two case studies on different hemispheres, Colombia and Kenya, and show the exploitation of workers, especially women and children.

Affiliations: 1: Wayne State University, Email:


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1. Bachrach Eve "Inside Colombia’s Flower Industry Bringing You Mother’s Day for $50 a Week" Counterpunch 2007 Retrieved from
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4. Cox Stan Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine 2008 London, Ann Arbor Pluto Press
5. Opondo Dolan , Opondo Catherine , Opondo Maggie , Smith Sally Gender, Rights, and Participation in the Kenya Cut Flower Industry 2002 NRI Report No: 2768: SSR Project No. R8077 2002-4
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17. McGuirk Siobhan Wake up and Smell the Roses: Campaigners are Exposing the Conditions that Predominantly Women Workers Suffer in Kenya to Bring Cheap Cut Flowers to Western Europe 2008 Retrieved from
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19. Paez Sepulveda Omaira 2008 Report on the Colombian Flower Sector: Labor Conditions and the Crisis in the Sector 2009 Bogotá D.C., Colombia Cactus Corporation Retrieved from
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23. Watkins Kevin "“Deadly Blooms: Colombia’s Flower Industry is Based on the Exploitation of its Women Workers .”" The Guardian 2001 United Kingdom. Retrieved from
24. The World Cut Flower Industry: Trends and Prospects 2000 International Labor Organization SAP 2.80/WP.139. Retrieved from
25. Ziegler Catherine Favored Flowers: Culture and Economy in a Global System 2007 Durham Duke University Press

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