“On the front”: pesticides, transport, Hugo Clément torpedoes the flower business before Valentine’s Day

A week before Valentine’s Day, Hugo Clément investigated the hidden side of flowers for the program “Sur le front” broadcast this Monday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on France 5.

Less than a week from Valentine’s Day, Hugo Clément conducted the investigation into the “uplifting” business of flowers, from Brittany to Africa. The program broadcast this Monday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on France 5, torpedoes the sector and its problematic excesses in terms of health and ecology.

“I realized that at no florist the origin of the flowers was indicated, we asked ourselves the question and what we discovered is astounding”, explains Hugo Clement.

1500 kilometers of transport for nothing

In the program “Sur le front”, he realized an ecological aberration concerning hydrangeas grown in Brittany.

“A day after leaving Brittany, he was in the Netherlands. From the Netherlands, which is a huge logistics platform for the distribution of flowers all over Europe and all over the world, this bouquet came back – to our great surprise – in France, to be sold at a florist in Île-de-France. The bouquet transited through a foreign country when it ended up being sold here !”, he says on France info.

In total the bouquet has traveled almost 1500 kilometers, for nothing. A huge carbon footprint which is far from marginal according to the journalist. “85% of the bouquets of cut flowers that adorn our interiors come from abroad and are produced under disrespectful of the environment and workers“, he said today that France Inter, partner of the report.

Pesticides galore

In a video shared on his Tik-Tok account, Hugo Clément also destroys the use of pesticides. Especially in roses, the star flowers of Valentine’s Day, many of which are grown in Africa.

@hugoclementk See you this Monday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on France 5! ?✌️ #surlefront ♬ original sound – Hugo Clément

“The advantage of horticultural farms that grow only roses and are installed in Ethiopia or Kenya is that there is no need to heat the greenhouses. The labor is also much less Dear…”

“On the other hand, we use pesticides in very large quantities. In Ethiopia, in the warehouses where pesticides are stored, there are several products that are no longer used in Europe and which continue to be applied to flowers in Africa. So they arrive on our market having impacted the local environment with prohibited products. Around the cultivation area, a lake is totally polluted by the discharge of chemical residues”, he laments.

And to add that he and his team were able to find “107 and 111 pesticide residues respectively detected on the bouquets of flowers and the hands of the florists monitored. And seventy in their urine. Cut flowers arriving from Kenya or Colombia are not controlled in Europe because we do not eat them!”.

However, another mode of production that is more respectful of the environment is possible with, for example, the entrepreneur Hortense Harang, who relies on local production of seasonal and local flowers.

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