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Who decides whether the producer’s system is “designed to adequately to perform certain functions that are critical to the overall health of an aquaponic system” (e.g., bio filtration, removal of fish waste solids, water circulation, aeration, degassing), and why aren’t these standards more specific?

Since Certified Naturally Grown does not require any particular design or kind of system, it is not possible to set very specific standards for assessing whether a system is performing functions critical to the overall health of the system. There are just too many variables. However, CNG does require Producers to ensure that their aquaponic system is designed to adequately perform these essential functions. In the application process, producers will be required to describe in their own words how their system is designed to perform these functions.  A preliminary assessment will be based on the answers they provide initially, and in subsequent correspondence. Further assessment will be made by the inspector during an on-site review. During this review, recommendations may be made for system improvement. Indeed, this is one of the benefits of our peer-review system! But, if there is disagreement between producer and inspector about what is adequate, the case may be taken up by CNG’s Aquaponics Advisory Council, if there isn’t precedent, or by CNG staff, if the Council has already addressed the particular question.

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