Petals and a Purpose: How Falcon Farms Brings Blooms to Walmart – And a Boon to Local Communities

June 18, 2024

Falcon Farms employees are see on the work floor.

Of all the gifts from the natural world, there’s nothing quite like the flower. We give flowers in celebration and in sorrow, to show love, friendship, sympathy and more. Throughout history, flowers have played a role in religious, spiritual and family traditions all over the world. A simple bouquet can speak volumes.

It can also be surprising just how much goes into a bouquet of flowers. We all know the usual needs of plants: light, water, soil and, at times, a good dose of patience and luck. But when a customer buys a bouquet from Walmart, they’re likely displaying, sharing and enjoying a labor of love from thousands at Falcon Farms.

Since 1993, Walmart has worked with Falcon Farms to bring fresh bouquets to our customers – and even after so many years, it’s a partnership still in bloom.

“This 30-year journey as a Walmart supplier has constantly evolved, making Falcon Farms a better company,” said Juan Carlos Alvarez, vice president of sales and marketing at Falcon Farms.

Founded in 1987, Falcon Farms has grown to include 11 farms in Colombia and Ecuador with greenhouses spanning almost 656 football fields and 7,000 employees. And while they’ve worked – and continue to work – with Walmart to ensure beautiful, quality stems are available to customers across the U.S., what makes this supplier relationship special is how they also strive to support and uplift their local communities.

The Beauty of a Bouquet

“Our wonderful industry has taught us over the years that the beauty of a flower bouquet lies in the diversity of its components,” Juan Carlos said. “Likewise, we have understood that the beauty of a society lies in the diversity of its people.”

It’s this view that drives inclusivity at Falcon Farms. They’ve created programs, positions and strategies that provide employment opportunities to populations who face difficulties in accessing jobs, like the deaf and hearing impaired, those with cognitive disabilities, populations affected by armed conflicts and more. They also develop professional growth programs for these individuals within the company.

Falcon Farms employees are working with green plants under the greenhouse.

In assessing the needs of their local communities, Falcon Farms has also implemented a flexible scheduling system for single mothers, allowing a greater balance between work and childcare responsibilities. In fact, 60% of women employees at Falcon Farms are designated as heads of household. Intensive university internship programs also motivate and prepare the next generation for the workforce.

“All our job positions are accessible and designed so that people of all kinds can work with us,” Juan Carlos said.

From Seed to Stem

For Falcon Farms, community support also extends to the environment they inhabit. They understand the impact their company has not just on the people they employ, but also the land they work on. Some of their initiatives include a solar panel network at farms level, rainwater collection system, use of bio-controllers and compost, wildlife protection and others.

And their efforts expand beyond the land. All disposable plastic from their greenhouses is converted into beams and structural components for the greenhouses, and they created floral consolidation centers (FDCs) just for Walmart, placing them closer to general distribution centers to save millions of miles and gas.

Close up image of red rose bouquets.

The floral sleeves and buckets used at Falcon Farms are made using recycled material. In fact, all Walmart floral arrangements now have a floral sleeve that is made of 90% post-consumer recycled plastic. That means over one year, we’ll reduce the plastic equivalent to 18 million plastic bottles. Falcon Farms is also part of Project Gigaton, which earlier this year met its goal of reducing, avoiding or sequestering 1 gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions – a goal reached six years ahead of schedule.

I recently gifted a bouquet to my mom to celebrate Mother’s Day here in the U.S. And as many think about grabbing bouquets for new graduates or a bridal shower or maybe just to brighten someone’s day, know you’re creating a memory and supporting the work on Falcon Farms.