Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc. (FOG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation established in 1987. FOG operates two programs: Education & Outreach and Quality Certification Services.
FOG began as a grassroots organization, with the office located at various times in someone’s kitchen or an unused corner of a barn. The Organic Food Production Act of 1990 required that the USDA develop national standards for organic products, and FOG was heavily involved in the development of the National Organic Program regulations governing organics. The National Organic Program Final Rule was published in the Federal Register in 2000. FOG continues to be very active in policy, including continuing development of the NOP standards, food safety and genetically modified food. FOG is also active in developing and implementing Farm Bill programs.
In 2001, FOG received its USDA accreditation to certify farms as organic under its certification program, Quality Certification Services (QCS). QCS offers USDA ISO Guide 65 and USDA National Organic Program accredited certification options for farming, wildcrafting, livestock, processing, packing and handling operations. As the largest certifier on the United States eastern seaboard, QCS meets the needs of operations regardless of type, location or size. QCS offers the following certification options: Certified Organic, Certified Transitional, Certified Hormone/Antibiotic Free, Organic Aquaculture, specific trade practices, and Food Justice Certification, which will allow for consumers to choose to support a more just agricultural system.
FOG’s Education & Outreach Program conducts teaching, research, and service that engages the organization with external constituencies. Education & Outreach projects generate knowledge, share resources, and apply the expertise of FOG in ways that advance organic agriculture and healthy and just food systems. Staff educate producers, consumers, media, institutions and governments about the benefits of organic and sustainable agriculture, presenting at tours, conferences, workshops, classes and other educational opportunities to a wide audience ranging from school children to farmers and agronomists in Uganda on topics including but not limited to: organic and sustainable farming practices, Farm Bill opportunities, certification options, marketing, food systems, social justice and opportunities and challenges in the organic marketplace.
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Together, we can create a sustainable, local, just, organic food and farm system that is environmentally and ethically sound.