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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on February 14, 2012

These are some of the ethiopian rose types produced by the dutch company, SCHREURS.

The British retailer, Marks and Spencer plc (also known as M&S or YourM&S; colloquially known as Marks and Sparks or, simply, Marks) is headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, with over 700 stores in the United Kingdom and over 300 stores spread across more than 40 countries. It specialises in the selling of clothing and luxury food products. M&S was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds.

Here are the guidlines and aims of the M&S project:

This project is helping the Ethiopian Horticulture Produce & Exporters Association (EHPEA) access the UK fresh flower market through the development of its own standards that, through benchmarking against International standards become acceptable to the UK retail sector. EHPEA has developed a code of practice to drive environmental and good agricultural best practise for the industry. This will be benchmarked against international standards. However, Ethiopian horticulture also needs to develop ethical trading and labour standards due to weak labour laws and the project is working to achieve this.

The project is:

  • Developing a silver and bronze standard/ code for the Ethiopian Horticulture sector;
  • Developing the standards to include a collective bargaining agreement to improve labour standards for workers on the farms;
  • Putting together a multi-stakeholder working group to approve the standards;
  • Benchmarking  the EHPEA Code of Practice at silver level with Global GAP;
  • Benchmarking the EHPEA Code of Practice at silver level with ETI / SMETA and GSCP; matching compliance criteria  and development and benchmarking of the Code Rules and regulations;
  • Providing training in ETI standards;
  • Preparation of training materials relevant to ethical training initiative standards and
  • Supporting a pilot group of 4 farms working to achieve the silver standard;
  • Promoting the EPHEA standards at international conferences and with international working groups e.g. GSCP so that standards gain publicity;
  • Sharing experience with the sector and to discuss market opportunities for Silver labelled produce in the UK
  • Purchasing a minimum 500,000 roses from farms that meet the silver standards.
  • Highlighting Ethiopia as a sourcing country to customers through M&S website

The key aims of the project are to:

  • Raise labour standards in Ethiopian Flower Farms
  • Raise Technical standards in Ethiopian Flower Farms
  • Develop local training capacity
  • Increase sourcing of Ethiopian Roses to the UK
  • Promote Ethiopia as a reliable and robust sourcing county
  • Raise awareness of International Standards in the Ethiopian Horticulture Industry


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