Since June of 2014, Certified Naturally Grown staff have been working in consultation with our Aquaponics Advisory Council to develop a new program to certify aquaponics operations. The first step in this process is now complete! We have finished the initial draft of CNG's standards for certification of aquaponic operations - addressing questions such as water quality, allowed and prohibited inputs, and materials used. Now we seek public feedback on these draft standards to help us ensure they are complete and appropriate. The draft aquaponics standards are posted at www.cngfarming.org/aquaponics. Please take a look and share your feedback!
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. This program will complement the certification programs CNG currently offers for soil-based produce and livestock farmers, and to beekeepers using natural methods.
"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.