Santa Cruz — Last week, Sakata Seed America teamed up with Kitayama Brothers, KB Farms, to join dozens of floral industry businesses nationwide to surprise unsuspecting passersby with two free flower bouquets each — one to keep and one to give to a friend, family member, colleague, or even a stranger. The random-acts-of-kindness effort — called Petal It Forward and organized by the Society of American Florists (SAF) is designed to help people start their day with more smiles and less stress. The effort illustrates research from the University of North Florida (UNF) that shows living with flowers reduces stress.

“Petal It Forward Day is an inspiring and fun way of giving back to our community. 2020 has been filled with challenges that have created added stress and taken a toll on mental health and wellness. Now, more than ever, we see the need to brighten someone’s day through the positive effects of flowers,” states Alicia Suits, Senior Marketing Manager for Sakata Seed America.

The UNF research findings on flowers and stress relief, and the need for mood-boosting gestures, seem timely: A survey by Wakefield Research in July showed that 68 percent of Americans experience stress weekly, and 32 percent report feeling stressed daily. Women are even more affected, with 25 percent reporting feeling stress multiple times a day.

“KB Farms has partnered with Sakata Seed every year since Petal It Forward Day’s inception in 2015 for this initiative. This year, we donated 150 bouquets to the ‘keep one, share one’ concept,” says Jasen Henderson, KB Farm’s Marketing Manager. “Statistics show that while 80 percent of people reported receiving flowers makes them happy, even more (88 percent) said that giving flowers makes them happy.”

Sakata Seed and KB Farms staff members practiced extra safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic; masks and gloves were worn, and people were encouraged to take bouquets directly from the supply buckets to minimize close interaction and maintain social distancing.


About Sakata Seed America

Headquartered in Morgan Hill, CA, Sakata Seed America is a major research, seed production and marketing-distribution subsidiary of Sakata Seed Corporation, established in 1913. Sakata Seed America serves as the headquarters for the North American operations. Sakata’s objective is to quickly and efficiently meet industry expectations for quality seed, innovative genetics and excellent greenhouse and field performance. The Sakata Mission: To contribute sustainably to the betterment of life and culture of people around the world with values created through our innovative flower and vegetables varieties and through our services.

About Kitayama Brothers

KB Farms works with a wide variety of customers from local florists who need their flowers delivered in water to national wholesalers requiring delivery in any of the US’s 50 states; many retailers carry our flowers in pre-made bouquets and individual bunches.

About the Society of American Florists

The Society of American Florists is the national trade association to the floral industry, representing growers, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers, importers, educators, designers and allied organizations.