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In the US, the custodian of organic certification standards is the US Department of Agriculture.  The National Organic Standards Board is an advisory committee comprising organic grower and industry representatives charged with:
  • recommending whether substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic production or handling.
  • assisting in developing standards for substances to be used in organic production.
  • advising the Secretary of Agriculture on other aspects of the organic regulations.

In September 2015,  The National Organic Program established a 16-person task force to explore hydroponic and aquaponic production practices and their alignment with USDA organic regulations.

The task force will prepare a report for the NOSB about the current state of technologies and practices for hydroponics and aquaponics, as well as how those practices do or do not align with the USDA organic regulations. The NOSB will utilize the report to determine the best path forward regarding recommendations on hydroponics and aquaponics production systems.

This is an interesting development because the general view of the organic movement is that if the growing system does not feature soil, it’s not organic.  Several certifying agencies have certified aquaponics systems.  The organic movement want the soil credo reinforced and the commercial hydroponics and aquaponics industries want the standards liberalized.


In almost all developed nations, certified organic produce attracts premium pricing (often 2 – 3 times that of non-organic produce).  The hydroponic/aquaponics folks want some of that action and the organic growers want to keep the club exclusive.

Suffice to say, the battle lines are being drawn.

In this presentation, we put the case for organic certification of iAVs.

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