In the near future, cigars with Florida Sun Grown tobacco in them will carry a second designation, as the Florida Department of Agriculture has created a “Fresh From Florida” designation to certify that the tobacco does indeed come from the Sunshine State.

“We are going to add it to future cigar boxes,” Jeff Borysiewicz told halfwheel about the new designation and logo that was created as part of the announcement. He noted that all FSG cigar tobacco is inspected at the farm by the USDA and a Certificate of Origin is issued by the state for everything that comes from the Clermont-based farm.

“The Florida Department of Agriculture has been very helpful along the way providing expert soil analysis, tissue analysis and University of Florida Ph.D. agronomists if needed,” Borysiewicz noted. While he acknowledged that tobacco isn’t the department’s speciality, their tools, training and resources in plant science have been helpful to him and his team.

As Borysiewicz explained in an email sent to consumers on Saturday morning, the designation “Fresh From Florida” designation goes back to the 1970s to differentiate orange juice being sold under that Florida-made header but that was actually coming from Brazil. Since then, the designation that has been added to citrus, strawberries, blueberries, lobster and stone crab claws.

It is a similar designation to those used for Champagne, tequila, Scotch whisky and bourbon, which all have geographic requirements to bear the specific name. It is also a differentiator that has been used in coffee as well as cigar industry, the latter most notably by Habanos S.A. to protect from other manufacturers trying to call their products Cuban-made when they are in fact produced elsewhere. A similar push has been tried to protect tobacco grown in Connecticut from being confused with Connecticut-seed grown in Ecuador and elsewhere, though that protection has so far not been successful.

FSG tobacco has been used in a number of lines, including the eponymous FSG line along with the Davidoff Exclusive Tampa Florida Sun Grown, Davidoff Florida Selection Limited Edition 2018 and The American from J.C. Newman.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.