At Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers (FOG), our primary focus, for a fact, is Florida. However, no matter where we are, we truly care about Mother Earth in its’ entirety and we are working everyday towards our mission of supporting and promoting Organic, Sustainable and Regenerative agriculture.
FOG Interim Executive Director and Quality Certification Services – QCS (QCS) CEO met with the Dominican Republic’s very own Minister of Agriculture, Osmar Benitez, to discuss ways of strengthening Organic Agriculture in the nation.
We salute and applaud the efforts of Dominican Republic Minister of Agriculture Mr. Osmar Benitez for his unrelenting support for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture! Mr. Benitez created the Organic Committee in Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD), which he used to head as the Executive Director before becoming Minister. In 2018, he successfully conducted the 2nd Organic Summit in the country (the last Organic Summit was held in 1998).
Thank you Minister for your support for not just organic, but for overall agriculture in the Dominican Republic! A true leader with vision. Your efforts are very much appreciated.
Derek Sindler of
Quality Certification Services (QCS) was one of four authors who contributed to
a recent study (through the University of Florida) on sustainable rice
production. The work is currently in circulation through Scientific Research, an academic publisher.
The following is an
excerpt from the study:
Pesticide runoff from the rice production area of Las Matas de Santa Cruz in NW
Dominican Republic degrades biodiversity in the ecosystems of the Yaque del
Norte River, Montecristi National Park, and Caribbean Sea. This degradation
prompted the Dominican NGO AgroFrontera to develop a program for the creation
of a new sustainable rice value chain, starting with the formation of a rice
growers association in Las Matas. This project was to evaluate “organic” as a
potential certification for the new growers association. The project found that
while organic certification is years away, other barriers to a sustainable
rice value chain exist: competition with US rice imports due to Dominican Republic-Central
American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), an informal labor system,
and access to credit. Recommendations for the new growers association include:
to lower the cost of production to compete with imports, to formalize the labor
system, to mediate financing for rice producers, and to maintain balanced
leverage across the value chain. A recommendation for future research is the
resiliency of farmer institutions against internal corruption and in-fighting.”
For a more in-depth look into the study, please visit the link provided: