Certified American Grown is a unified and diverse coalition of U.S. flower farms representing small and large entities across the country. Together, America's flower farmers are giving consumers confidence in the source of their flowers by providing the only third party guarantee in the floral industry that the bouquets and bunches that are purchased were actually homegrown.
Launched in 2014, the iconic and beautiful Certified American Grown logo is now the largest and most successful consumer facing brand promoting the origin of flowers in the market. Today the program certifies hundreds of millions of stems of flowers each year. The brand is now a widely sought after guarantee, appreciated by retailers, designers and consumers alike. Not only does the brand communicate the domestic origins of the flowers and foliage, but it also stands for the kind of high quality, variety and farm freshness people desire and prefer.
“As domestic cut flower farmers, we are extremely proud supporters of the Certified American Grown program. The collective energy and effort of all the domestic growers across the country is a powerful statement and key differentiator. It clearly demonstrates that, by working together, we can make an impact highlighting the special value behind our products. There is no doubt that raising the awareness of origin among the discerning consumer has benefited our operation as well as all the domestic cut flower farmers in every state!”
– Mike Mellano, CEO, Mellano & Co.
The Board of Directors for Certified American Grown
Certified American Grown is led by a Board of Directors consisting of American flower and greens farmers and one advisory member. The members of the Board are flower and greens farmers from throughout the United States who are committed to a unified promotional and advocacy effort that establishes an identifiable and iconic brand that communicates to the public the domestic origins as well as the high quality, freshness and consistency of American Grown Flowers.
Each council member represents one of the program’s seven districts.
District 1. – Rita Jo Shoultz, Alaska Perfect Peonies - Chairwoman
- Lane DeVries, Sun Valley Floral Farms - Treasurer
- Benno Dobbe, Holland America Flowers
- Rene Van Wingerden, Ocean Breeze Farms
- Diana Roy, Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
- Michael A. Mellano, Mellano & Co. - Vice Chair
District 3. – FJ Trzuskowski, Continental Floral Greens
District 4. – Frank Arnosky, Texas Specialty Cut Flowers
District 5. – Michael Genovese, Summer Dream Farms
District 6. – Andrea Gagnon, Lynnvale Farm
- David Register, Fern Trust
- Erik Hagstrom, Albin-Hagstrom & Sons Inc.
Advisory Member – Ko Klaver, Botanical Trading Company - Secretary
For several years, a passionate group of American flower farmers from all across the country has been brainstorming about the need -and incredible opportunity - for a single “American Grown” floral brand.
It began in 2012, with a roundtable discussion at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers' annual conference, held in Tacoma, Washington.
Invited to give the keynote presentation, Kasey Cronquist, former CEO of the California Cut Flower Commission, shared his inspiring message: "Heart and Soil: Reclaiming the American Cut Flower Industry."
Motivated to take the idea further, flower farmers from around the country began to dream about the potential for promoting domestic flowers and foliage in a new and strategic way.
In 2013, the American Grown Flowers & Foliage Task Force was formed. It included flower farms large and small, established and emerging. Many contributed seed funds to the initial branding budget, which helped identify a name, “Certified American Grown Flowers,” a tagline, “take pride in your flowers,” and a contemporary logo that evokes Americana and agriculture, as well as fashion and style.
But this is not just a pretty logo and slogan.
In 2014, the American Grown Flowers worked with an independent verification agency to develop a third-party system of source verification to establish the only guarantee in the industry that could ensure that the flowers, bouquets and bunches were grown and bouqueted in the United States.
Participating American flower farms participate in a rigorous audit process prior to receiving their certification that qualifies them to add the Certified American Grown logo to their floral packaging, web sites, and other marketing materials.
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The American Grown Flower Movement isn't a trend. It is a cultural shift in response to universal concerns about jobs, the economy, the environment and a desire to connect with nature and live in the season. Farms, retailers and florists who display the new Certified American Grown logo will differentiate themselves in the consumer's mind as an important new resource that highlights homegrown flowers.
– Debra Prinzing, Author and Consumer Advocate