After decades of failed attempts to have Australian grown flowers added to the national country of origin registrar, an industry body has come up with their own solution.
The country of origin labelling would mean any imported flowers must be identified as such, making it easier for consumers to put their money towards products that benefit the economy and Australian farmers.
Flower Industry Australia chief executive Anna Jabour has been fighting for years to have flowers added to the registrar as she hoped for better transparency for consumers.
"The federal government has previously declined to add flowers to the mandatory labelling scheme so in the interim while we continue to advocate and ask [Agriculture Minister] Murray Watt to allow flowers to be a part of it, we've come up with our own solution," she said.
They've launched green and gold, biodegradable bands with the words, "Australian grown" clearly visible for Australian producers to purchase.
"Board members have been advocating this to the government for twenty years, we've been through this process before," Ms Jabour said.
Not only is it better for Australian's to purchase from local producers, she said, but there's also pest and disease risks associated with importing flowers.
"There's big issue around imports, including decimation of the local industry and the chemicals used on flowers, and the simple fact that consumers have a right to know where the product they're buying is from,"
"I was just floored about the number of imports, we estimate around 50 per cent are imported.
"And the industry used to be prominently Australian grown in the last twenty years, imports have risen 408 per cent in value in the last twenty years and the revenue of the local industry has decreased by 66 per cent.
"If that doesn't raise alarm bells then i don't know why it's so hard for the government to add flowers to country origin labelling when we've got stats like that openly available."
Ms Jabour said that having these labels would ensure the Australian public could know where the flowers they buy are grown.
"Whether they are Aussie grown, or imported and overwhelmingly I think the Australian public will choose Australian grown and it'll mean our flower growers will be better off."
302 Flowers owner and flower farmer Anna Sfyris who's based in Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges supports the labels, with her own already ordered and on the way, she hoped to see them widely used across the industry.
"I think it's a great idea because they're biodegradable and they're functional, so you can use them, but also know that they're not contributing to waste and then promote awareness of Australian locally grown flowers," Ms Sfyris said.
"I think people want to support their fellow Australians and buy local you know, I think we've sort of learned it from COVID-19 and people essentially want to care for each other.
"We just need to be informed so they can make the choice about what they want, and I think the Australian people have the right to know who grew it and where it came from."
Incredibly passionate about caring for the Australian land she farms on, she hopes the government will soon approve Australian flowers to be officially labelled as such.
"It's a bit incredulous, why wouldn't they support a local industry, everyone benefits it," she said.
"It creates employment, and creates a healthy interaction in the community."
Ms Sfyris has hopes that more people will take up flower farming, as she's already noticed more home-grown flower stalls popping up.
"I've noticed since we've become a farm, and since COVID-19, so many more have popped up, looking toward Trentham, there's a lot of people starting their own flower farms, and that's what we need to promote."
For more information on the labels, click here.
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