In Europe, during the early 1990’s, reports of deplorable circumstances in the flower industry in developing countries made their way into the public sphere. In response, a group of German NGOs established the German Flower Campaign (GFC) as a year-long awareness-raising initiative in Germany. The campaign soon realized that the timeframe was not sufficient, and therefore established itself as a more formal and ongoing campaign.

A major project of the GFC was collaborating with European NGOs, trade unions, and producers to establish an international code of conduct for producers in the cut flower industry, and putting pressure on the German association for imports and traders of cut flowers to adopt the code of conduct as the criteria for its labeling program. Since achieving that policy change, the GFC has focused on program implementation and has continued to raise public awareness about continuing problems in the industry.

This paper will examine the GFC’s strategy and tactics in lobbying for change in the label program, as well as discuss the impacts and outcomes of the policy change such as benefits to workers on participating farms and increased civil society space. Finally, the paper provides several “lessons learned” for future campaigns.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | International Trade Law