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Certified American Grown celebrates fourth anniversary

Certified American Grown, a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms that includes small and large entities in multiple states nationwide, celebrated its fourth anniversary in July.

Today, the coalition includes 60 farms that represent over half of all U.S. cut flower and foliage production. Here’s a timeline of the brand’s progress and initiatives:

CERTIFIED-AMERICAN-GROWN Launched in July 2014, Certified American Grown is a consumer-facing brand that promotes the origin of flowers. Over the course 48 months, the brand has earned attention and followers due to its guarantee and promise to retailers, designers and consumers that the flowers they are purchasing and designing with are homegrown on an American flower farm.

Cut flower farms that earn the designation of Certified American Grown participate in the only third-party certification process that guarantees the flowers and foliage bearing the Certified American Grown label were homegrown.

The movement uses the “field to vase” moniker, something that resonates with consumers in much the same way as the restaurant industry’s “farm to fork” approach.

In addition to cut flower farm certification, Certified American Grown is also the host of the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, now in its fourth season.

The dinner tour is a series of gatherings that place seasonal, homegrown and sustainable American Grown Flowers at the center of the table where American grown food, beer and wine is served by a farm-to-table chef. Each artisan-style dinner is held on an American flower farm where guests hear from the farmer and a flower designer and learn about the science and art of flower farming.

In 2017, the dinner tour earned the 2017 Marketer of the Year Award from the Society of American Florists’ Floral Management magazine. The award recognizes original, highly successful marketing campaigns that increase awareness and the overall sales of cut flowers.

And just this June, the U.S. Senate declared July “American Grown Flowers Month.” The resolution supporting the designation noted that Senate recognizes that purchasing flowers grown in the United States supports the farmers, small businesses, jobs and the U.S. economy; that growing flowers and greens in the United States is a vital part of the U.S. ag industry; and urges “all people of the United States to proactively showcase flowers and greens grown in the United States in order to show support for our flower farmers, processors and distributors as well as agriculture in the United States overall.”

To celebrate American Grown Flowers Month, more than 1,200 stores nationwide created marketing campaigns and store displays promoting American Grown Flowers. Winners of a contest related to American Grown Flowers Month will be announced soon.

Kasey Cronquist is the chief executive officer and ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission in Sacramento, CA, and administrator at Certified American Grown. He can be contacted at kcronquist@ccfc.org.