The Game of the Rose
Every three hours, one 35-ton cargo plane loaded with fresh flowers leaves
Colombia to feed decor-lovers' whims in Europe, North America and Japan. It
joins scores of others criss-crossing the globe from Africa, Asia and Latin
America, leaving behind a trail of soil and water pollution, corruption and
human - mainly female exploitation. The Game of the Rose is a highly-readable,
investigative exploration of the Third World and the cut-flower market.
The four chapters in part 1 describe the nature and the reach of this far-flung
business enterprise. The authors identify the key actors: those who grow flowers,
those who trade and transport them, and those who finance their growth (with
official development assistance).
Five chapters in the second part of the book focus on the flower sectors in
Colombia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, India and the Netherlands. Issues examined in part
2 involve the impact of structural adjustment economic policies, labour conditions,
health and safety issues, the environment, the 'substantial' tax exemptions
that countries such as India offer to 'large industrialists' who develop export-crops
such as flowers and ultimately the development model 'that prepared the ground'
for the global flower trade.
The Game of the Rose: The Third World in the Global Flower Trade,
by Niala Maharaj and Gaston Dorren. International Books, Utrecht, The Netherlands,