Member service has always been a top priority for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. Our ultimate objective is to help our members prosper while making our community a better place to live and work.
FSGA represents their members on almost every local, district or state advisory committee that influences policy regarding how a farm conducts business. If it has to do with land, water or the environment, we are there to protect your interests. For example, FSGA led the way to guarantee adequate water from SWFWMD for plant establishment and freeze protection.
FSGA negotiated with EPC to allow growers to burn plastic mulch in the field, rather than send it to the landfill, thereby saving growers time, effort and an average of $40/A in disposal costs. They also obtained a waiver of tipping fees when drought conditions wouldn’t allow on-site burning.
FSGA helped form the Agricultural Development Council, which interacts with agencies before rules are enacted to minimize their impact on agricultural producers. This program addresses Greenbelt activities, land use issues, farm labor housing, water problems, taxation, wetland questions and more.
FSGA challenged Tampa Bay Water Authority when they proposed more public water withdrawal from the strawberry production area than the entire strawberry industry was pumping. Final consent decrees reduced pumping by 85% and delayed additional public water withdrawals within the intensive strawberry production area until 2008.
FSGA has led the way for virtually every chemical production tool that growers use in the field today. FSGA spearheaded an IR-4 request to allow 24 applications of Captan® per growing season, making Florida the only state in the nation with that option. FSGA also led the Section 18 permitting of Rimon® to help control sap beetles in the fields, and they were instrumental in attaining Critical Use Exemptions for key soil fumigants.
FSGA developed a Workers Compensation safety group, which significantly lowered premiums to the entire industry and provided dividends to participants with reduced claim rates.