Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) was created as an alternative to the USDA National Organic Program, which was scheduled to take effect in October, 2002. The CNG concept received quite a bit of national publicity and quickly expanded to become a national program. What is perhaps most unique about the Certified Naturally Grown program is that it is administered almost entirely online via the internet.
CNG started as a grassroots regional marketing label created by and run for small, direct market organic farmers in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State in July of 2002. By May of 2005, 350 farmers in the US had registered as 'Certified Naturally Grown’. They are now around 800. PGS programs in the UK, Ireland and now Canada are also using, or planning on using, the online management software created to administer the program.
Certified Naturally Grown certifies fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, flowers, bedding plants and limited livestock operations. Honey is under a pilot program. There are no CNG processors and no plans to include processors at this time although many farms sell their own jams, soap, cheese, etc made from their own produce.