Bill would strengthen American flower industry

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, has introduced the American Grown Act, legislation requiring the federal government to purchase cut flowers and greens grown in the United States.

“It seems like a no-brainer that the United States should be putting American farmers first by choosing not to import cut flowers” said Young, a member of the Congressional Cut Flowers Caucus. “Unfortunately for the federal government, this is not the case.

“American farmers are hugely disadvantaged by the foreign growers that are subject to fewer environmental regulations and labor standards, and it is time Congress does something to help our country’s farmers compete.”

According to Certified American Grown, a diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms representing small and large entities nationwide, some 80 percent of cut flowers and greens purchased in the United States are imported from other countries, putting American flower and greens farmers at a disadvantage.

By requiring the federal government to use American grown flowers and greens to decorate its facilities, we will be supporting our farmers and raising awareness of their beautiful products, Young said. The bipartisan legislation is supported by Certified American Grown and the California Cut Flower Commission.