Tackling gender inequality and sustainability in agribusiness

illustration of a woman sitting in a big flower

Cut flowers are one of the top export products of Colombia. It is also an industry that struggles with sustainability and health issues for the low-skilled, mainly female, labour workers. This depicts the complex interaction between gender, labour, social and environmental issues.

It is an example of the intricacies of global value chains that the research team of this 2024 Signature project focusses on. 


The aim is to shed light on the complexity of the business, raise awareness from consumers to producers and revise the international sustainability labels used in this business. The team has expertise in different areas, such as water quality, international rights, sustainability and philosophy. By combining those, different questions are raised and different views on the matter taken into account. 

Furthermore, the connection with Dutch stakeholders in the flower industry will be made. How can their experience help create better understanding of the complexity of sustainability in the agribusiness?

Theatre play

The challenges will be outlined in a review paper and depicted in a theatre play that endeavours to catalyse dialogue, empower stakeholders, and envision a more sustainable agribusiness landscape. Theatre can be used to create space for the different views  and the reflection on it.This will potentially lead to a new way of thinking about the challenges of sustainability and visualize imaginative futures for the global production of cut flowers and other agribusinesses.  


Non-UU partners

  • Prof. dr. Diego Leon Sepulveda Meija, Politécnico Colombiano Jaime Isaza Cadavidade
  • dr. John Alexander Benavides Piracón, Universidad del Rosario
  • Erika González, Las mujeres en la industria colombiana de las flores (Women in the Colombian flower industry)