Rainforest Alliance Tulips

Good news, everybody! Our Arcata Farm has just been Rainforest Alliance Certified! While their certification services have been exercised around the world, they have just begun including United States farms in their certification process and we are the very first American Grown flower farm in the US to gain certification.

Rainforest Alliance Certified Flowers

Believe it or not, our Sun Valley home in Humboldt County exists within the largest Temperate Rainforest in California, populated by Sequoia sempervirens, better known as the tallest tree in the world, the coastal Redwood.  Definitions of rainforest aside, the most important takeaway about the Rainforest Alliance Certification is what it means for us, our flowers, and you.

Sun Valley Eco-Friendly Flowers

You've probably seen Rainforest Alliance Certification seal on food, beverages, and other agricultural products all around the world. That little frog says a lot -- it assures you that the product you are enjoying comes from a farm that has met the strict standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), designed with environmental, social, and economic sustainability in mind. 

Cultivating Eco-Friendly Flowers

Sun Valley Floral Farms SustainabilityIn order to certify our Arcata farm and all its products--lilies, iris, and of course, our bread and butter, tulips--we are regularly audited for verification of our compliance with SAN's comprehensive sustainable guidelines.  These guidelines are based upon the basic principles of sustainable farming: biodiversity conservation, improved livelihoods and human well-being, natural resource conservation, and effective planning and farm management systems to reduce waste.  

Energy Management: We record, report, and make efforts to reduce our energy usage, by using renewable energy (such as our energy-efficient greenhouses and Snap Fans).  Our team members use bicycles to get from place to place, which is friendlier for the land and for our health.

Energy Efficient Greenhouses, Snap Fans

Soil and Water Conservation:  Both water and soil are some of our most precious resources -- we conserve water through the use of drip-tape irrigation, fertigation, and by monitoring waste-water and preventing contamination.  We conserve soil with natural barriers to reduce runoff, and we utilize steam-sterilization techniques to sanitize and reuse our soil, which reduces overall waste.

Working Conditions, Occupational Health, and Community Relations:  Our team members are treated with respect—not only in accordance with the conventions of the International Labor Organization, but also under our Guiding Principles, which guarantee respect and opportunities to learn and grow, along with access to training and healthcare services.    We also have occupational health and safety programs to reduce the risk of accidents and to support the health of our team members who are involved with hazardous activities (such as operating heavy machinery).

Sun Valley Floral Farms Guiding Principles

Ladybugs against pests
Ladybugs- a biological weapon against pests
Integrated Crop Management: Certification requires the shunning of highly toxic pesticides and the use of earth-friendly biological and mechanical methods (good bugs vs. bad bugs) instead.  If approved pesticides are used, they are applied responsibly and safely with the protection of our team members and the environment in mind.

Integrated Waste Management:  We manage our waste through recycling, reducing, and reusing.  As mentioned above, we reuse our soil by steam-sanitizing it; plus, leftover greenery (stems, roots, bulbs, leaves, and flowers) aren't just thrown in the garbage--we add them to our compost pile out back, where they eventually breaks down into a nutrient-rich additive which we can use again.

Sun Valley Floral Farms Compost
Our Compost Pile in Bloom

While this is an abridged explanation of what the Certification requires, it does paint a pretty full picture about Rainforest Alliance's deep-seated commitment to conservation.  What's more, these guidelines are continually being improved and advanced as our world progresses in sustainable agriculture techniques.
Lane Devries Tulips

We're proud to offer Rainforest Certified Tulips out of our Arcata Farm.  They join our matricaria, snapdragons, amazon dianthus, sunflowers, statice, solidago, and more that come out of our Baja Farm, which is also Rainforest Alliance Certified.  For us, it is about respect for the land, respect for the flowers, and respect for people -- our team members, community, and customers. For an eco-friendly certified tulip, look for Sun Valley flowers and keep your eyes peeled for that little green frog!
Rainforest Alliance Tulips
Flower Talk Lady Aster Sun VAlley Group