Kroger in 2017 to celebrate 30 years supplying Kentucky Derby’s annual Garland of Roses
CINCINNATI – In celebration of Kroger's 29-year history of providing the Kentucky Derby's annual Garland of Roses, the company released a new video Friday that showcases the 'Journey of the Roses' – from a Rainforest Alliance-certified grower in Bogota, Columbia to the Winner's Circle at Churchill Downs– and highlights the humanity and passion embedded in every step along the way.
"We are committed to conscientiously driving sustainability and innovation into our supply chain," stated Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Kroger's director of sustainability. "We are honored to support the Kentucky Derby, and our partnerships with the Rainforest Alliance and Passion Growers ensure that the flowers used to create the iconic Garland of Roses are produced responsibly."
Kroger supplier Passion Growers produces the "Freedom" roses featured in the garland on their farm in Bogota, Columbia. The roses – which are Rainforest Alliance certified based on Passion Growers' ongoing commitment to their employees and a sustainable environment – are transported directly to Louisville, where a team of master florists stands ready at a local Kroger store to hand-sew more than 400 roses onto the garland.
This annual process, which takes place on the eve of the Kentucky Derby, can last up to 12 hours and is open for the public to watch.
Kroger has been the official florist of the famous garland since 1987. The Kentucky Derby, also referred to as the "Run for the Roses", is the most famous horse race in America. Filled with history and tradition, the race attracts over 150,000 spectators annually. The Garland of Roses, which is presented to the derby winner, is one of the world's most-recognized floral arrangements.