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The Game of the Rose

The Game of the Rose Today it is well-known that commercial flower-growing is the most environmentally destructive form of agriculture known to mankind, and that workers on flower-farms in Third World countries are underpaid and exposed to unhealthy working conditions.

This is the result of the pioneering study, The Game of the Rose, published by Niala Maharaj and Gaston Dorren in 1995. Follow-up studies were carried out by the Pesticide Action Network, the International Labour Organisation and other specialised organisations. Environmental publications such as Sierra Magazine published articles on the subject; national and international media followed. The UK’s Independent newspaper carried a full-page article. Soon, action on this subject followed as fair-trade labels on flowers were imposed in one European country after the other.

For a brief introduction to The Game of the Rose, see its back-cover blurb.

'This study shows how cheap labour, the use of scarce agricultural land and water and the drenching of workers in toxic pesticides enables the flowers and the profits to flow to the North.' - The Ecologist

A short introduction to a complex subject...but enough to make the average consumer think twice next Mother's Day. - Orbit

order The Game of the Rose
The Game of the Rose: The Third World in the Global Flower Trade, by Niala Maharaj and Gaston Dorren. International Books, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 1995.