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Marc Laberge starts aquaponics consulting business:
"Soilless organics discussion is a silly rich country debate"
Canadian commercial aquaponics pioneer Marc Laberge is pleased to announce that he now offers consulting services for commercial aquaponic projects. "After being in the private sector since the late nineties, locked in with shareholder agreements, I am now finally free to work outside of my native province of Québec."
Marc Laberge at his aquaponics project in Quebec
Laberge is said to be very excited about this, but at the same time, saddened by the Quebec CARTV organic watchdogs refusing to respect the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standards that would allow his aquaponic plants to be certified as organic.
"Elsewhere in Canada, aquaponic farms are sprouting up and are being certified as organic. However in Quebec, the CARTV refuses organic certification because the roots are in water and not soil."
Marc Laberge's first aquaponic greenhouse operation.
That whole debate about soil vs water organics has taken its toll on the 51-year-old pioneer, who questions the definition of organics. "Ask any city person what it means and you’ll get the same answer; “a food that is grown without the use of cancer causing chemicals”. Then ask an organic soil farmer and you’ll get; “saving our soils for future generations”."
According to Laberge, no one can top aquaponics. "We do not even use soil. It is a silly rich country debate that is slowing down the progress of feeding this planet without harming it. Let the public decide by labelling Organic 1 and Organic 2,” he says.
Besides Laberge's strong views on organics, he also warns about aquaponic-blinded people getting into aquaponics 'without any real agriculture farming experience giving aquaponics a bad name'. “Yes aquaponics work, but you need to treat the place like a real commerrcial business.”
Laberge refers to his findings that many aquaponic facilities are poorly designed that they can not succeed. "I take design of both the fish and the plants, very seriously, both sides must be profitable. What works in one country may not necessarily work in the other, this is why a Preliminary Study is so important. Better to spend $20K on a study and know where you stand, then to lose a few million on a poorly designed facility that had no real study done by an expert in the field."
Laberge has now partnered with a team of proven experts in their fields, and plans to help feed countries soilless organic clean foods, one city at a time.
For more information about his consultancy:
Marc Laberge (e-mail)
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