FOG’s Organic Journey: Cultivating Sustainability since 1987

Since 1987, Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers Inc. (FOG) has championed organic, regenerative, and sustainable agriculture. As a nonprofit, we played a vital role in shaping the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations, contributing to the development of organic standards in the Organic Food Production Act of 1990. The publication of the NOP Final Rule in 2000 marked a significant milestone. Today, we actively engage in policy development, addressing NOP standards, food safety, and the impact of genetically modified foods. Explore our journey through a timeline of events, showcasing our ongoing commitment to a sustainable and thriving organic agricultural community.

  • 1987

    FOG began as a grassroots organization, with the office located at various times in someone’s kitchen or an unused corner of a barn. in 1987 FOG is established to established to support and promote sustainable organic agriculture through educating consumers, farmers, businesses, policy makers and the general public about issues associated with organic farming.

  • 1990

    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.


  • 1998

    The Neighborhood Nutrition Network was formed in 1998 to develop a sustainable network of community members of all ages, agriculture educators, farmers, health professionals, teachers and business owners who are helping build the capacity of the North Central Florida community to fulfill its food needs.

  • 1999

    The Agricultural Justice Project came to life when immigrant farm workers and community-scale farmers came together to envision a food system that was fair and just.


  • 2000

    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.

  • 2001

    The name ‘Quality Certification Services’ (QCS) was adopted by the organic certification program of Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc., (FOG) in 2001 to adapt to expanding services, a growing clientele, and demand for a geographically neutral name. QCS is simply a new name for the same committment to customer service and affordable certification as shown in FOG’s 25-year-history of certifying organic operations. Quality Certification Services offers accredited USDA National Organic and GLOBALG.A.P. certifications among others.


  • 2008

    GIFT (Gainesville Initiative for Tasty Gardens) Gardens program was established to build free raised-bed gardens for under-served, low-income Alachua County residents severely suffering from the 2008 economic climate, as government funds for welfare and food pantry donations are dwindling. The gardens empower residents to be self-sufficient and provide access to healthy food.

  • 2010

    AJP officially launches the Food Justice Certification


  • 2013

    Fresh Access Bucks began in 2013 with a Specialty Crop Block Grant awarded to FOG by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In 2015, FOG was awarded the USDA’s Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive Program (FINIP) grant to expand throughout Florida markets. Fresh Access Bucks program was created to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by providing economic incentives at the point of purchase for SNAP participants. FAB enables farmers markets to accept EBT and allows SNAP users to purchase double their food dollars for fresh, Florida-grown fruits and vegetables at farmers markets.

  • 2016

    Starting in 2016, FOG received funding from Farm Aid for multiple years to support educational opportunities and advocacy work that directly benefit family farmers within and beyond Florida through a statewide on-farm workshop series and national policy advocacy work to support organic agriculture.


  • 2017

    FOG celebrates its 30th anniversary looking back on the last three decades of fighting for social justice in organic agriculture, primarily ensuring that healthy food gets to people most in need, educating organic farmers on issues and policies that affect them and educating and promoting the public about issues related to organic agriculture and improved food systems.

  • 2017

    FOG’s first ever statewide Organic Food & Farming Summit takes place in Gainesville, FL as an opportunity for farmers to interact with innovators and leaders in organic agriculture to gain knowledge and training through farm tours, workshops, a trade show and a day of presentations on available resources.


  • 2018

    FOG’s second statewide Organic Food & Farming Summit sees over 300 attendees!

  • 2019

    FOG releases the first episode of its bi-weekly podcast Fresh Take featuring guest experts sharing their expertise in sustainable living, organic agriculture, local food systems, and more.


  • 2020

    With funding by the The Food Safety Outreach Program, FOG developed The Road to Safe and Healthy Food Podcast Project which saw the creation and publication of podcasts and webinars on relevant food safety related topics in both English and Spanish for farmers.

  • 2021

    The Backyard Market is a virtual farmers market created by Florida Organic Growers that was created to provide additional opportunities for farmers and food entrepreneurs to sell their products locally and directly to their communities. Our mission at The Backyard Market is simple- sell local, shop local, and support our local communities through our virtual market.


  • 2022

    The Southeast Transition to Organic Partnership Program is a Coalition of partners that offer a comprehensive range of resources and support to transitioning and existing organic producers. This coalition of partners serves producers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is a certifier-neutral program.

  • 2022

    Funded by the USDA’s Local Food Promotional Program, the Florida Local Food Project developed an online platform for connecting those working within Florida’s vibrant local food landscape. By fostering stronger relationships among local food system actors, the project seeks to unlock the potential for greater access to fresh, locally-sourced products and enhance the economic sustainability of our local food producers.