Last week, community leaders in Montgomery County, Maryland expanded their Green Business Directory to include Certified Naturally Grown and USDA organic farms. The most populated county in Maryland, and one that borders Washington, DC, Montgomery County makes it easy for residents to discover a variety of ecologically-minded services, restaurants, nonprofits, and now, farms and gardens.
(Photo on the left is from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm, which is a CNG farm featured in the directory.)
Instead of writing their own standards, Montgomery County recognizes a variety of businesses that are certified through ten different third-party standards, including CNG.
“Our County has an enduring farming heritage and we must all do our part to build a more sustainable community for future generations,” said County Executive Ike Leggett during his announcement on March 8 (pictured below).
The Green Business Certification Program is a voluntary recognition program managed by the county’s Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and Montgomery College. The directory both provides a route for local businesses to improve their sustainability efforts, and encourages local consumers to consider green businesses when making purchasing decisions.
“With Montgomery County’s program there is potential for an exciting multiplier effect,” said Alice Varon, Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. “I am not aware of other jurisdictions using third party certification standards to recognize sustainable farming practices, but it offers an easy, ‘off-the-shelf’ program.”
Does your county have a Green Business Directory, or something like it? Contact CNG if you’d like to see this happen in your county. We’re interested in leveraging the support of Montgomery County to inspire more programs like it!
Photo above from Your Chef's Table, CNG since 2016.