Alice Varon, Executive Director
Office: 845 687 2058
Cell: 917 406 3945
(Brooklyn, NY, September 14, 2015) - Certified Naturally Grown (CNG), a non-profit organization offering peer-review certification to farmers and beekeepers throughout the United States, has announced that their draft certification standards for aquaponic operations have been released for public review. Since June of 2014, CNG has been working in consultation with its Aquaponics Advisory Council to develop a new program to certify aquaponics operations. This program will complement the certification programs CNG currently offers for soil-based produce and livestock farmers, and to beekeepers using natural methods. The draft CNG aquaponics standards are posted at www.cngfarming.org/aquaponics.
Certified Naturally Grown seeks feedback on these standards from diverse perspectives, including aquaponic producers, researchers, soil-based farmers, and interested members of the public. Feedback can be provided via an online survey that’s also posted at www.cngfarming.org/aquaponics. The public review period will continue until midnight on Monday, October 12. CNG anticipates the new aquaponics certification program will launch by January, 2016. Sign up to receive updates on the program's development at www.cngfarming.org/aquaponics.
"We invite all aquaponics producers, their customers, and other members of the farming and research communities to review the standards and share their feedback with us, so we can present the strongest program possible" said Alice Varon, Executive Director of Certified Naturally Grown. "Aquaponics is an emerging approach to sustainable farming that's particularly well-suited to navigating the challenges of food production in the twenty-first century"
"The development of this new certification program is a great opportunity for aquaponic farmers to get recognition for their efforts in raising vegetables naturally. CNG is an excellent organization with a long history offering certifications for farmers that grow food using ecological methods. The aquaponics industry is fortunate to have CNG finalizing the certification standards for aquaponics" said Rebecca Nelson, co-founder and co-owner of Nelson and Pade, author of Aquaponic Food Production, and Adjunct Instructor at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.
"CNG certification will enable aquaponic farmers to verify our commitment to ecological practices and assure customers that our food is both good for them, and good for the planet" said Gina Cavaliero, Directing Manager of Green Acre Aquaponics, and co-founder of the Aquaponics Association.
What is Aquaponics?
Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising fish or other aquatic animals) with hydroponics (growing plants in water) in a symbiotic closed-loop system. The waste produced by aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants. In turn, the plants purify the water before it is returned to the fish.
About Certified Naturally Grown
Certified Naturally Grown offers peer-review certification to farmers and beekeepers who work in harmony with nature, without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified seeds, to produce food for their local communities. CNG was founded by farmers in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley in 2002. Today there are more than 750 CNG certified producers in 48 states nationwide. They are all listed at www.cngfarming.org.
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