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BELLVUE, Wash. - QFC Supermarkets here will be the first grocery chain in the nation to carry a rose named in honor of civil rights leader Rosa Parks. Forty QFC stores will sell the vibrant red "Freedom" roses for $16.99 per dozen. The stems will come in specially-marked packages with details about the life and accomplishments of Mrs. Parks, according to project developer Organic Style Ltd.
Organic Style Ltd. said it will donate a portion of every sale to the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, which was co-founded by Mrs. Parks and Ms. Elaine Eason Steele in 1987.
Organic Style has earmarked an estimated ten million stems - or about 835,000 dozen bunches - of Freedom Roses in 2008, all of which will be certified sustainably grown by Veriflora, an international program that guarantees environmental protection and fair labor practices.
On Dec. 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks' historic refusal to surrender her seat to a white male passenger led to the 381-day bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to the 1956 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.
Founded in Seattle more than 50 years ago and headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., the QFC division of The Kroger Co. operates 75 stores in Washington and Oregon.