Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

i'm interested mainly in the business end of aquaponics, so here are some questions that have been proposed to me over the last few years. granted my responses are going to be my personal opinions and will be open to full discussion.

 

Does being a back yard warrior of aquapopnics qualify you to give training sessions for profit?

 

depends on what you're training. if you're going to train people on how to do what you've done, then by all means train away, but if you only have a small back yard system, then you shouldn't be selling advice on things like commercial systems. although in theory they are the same things just on different scales, but one small system is a far cry away from a full scale commercial system. the general rule of thumb for me is like a pay grade,you can advise below what you're currently at, but shouldn't ethically go above what you've already accomplished.

 

the sale of unbacked, theorized production numbers as facts.

 

this is an easy one, if you haven't actually done it, you cant claim to be able to do it, so you shouldn't sell products like manuals and kits without proper record keeping and time stamped photo evidence. there's alot of people out there claiming that they can grow things in just 4 weeks from seed to harvest...  well.. unless you're talking microgreens, im not convinced...

 

and last but not least for now, and my personal favorite...

 

the exploitation of a 2nd or 3rd world countries labor force to seek proper profit margins.

 

now here me out on this one... while creating an aquaponics business in any 1st world country is looking harder and harder with the increase of a federal minimum wage, 2nd and 3rd world countries with no minimum wage base leaves the proprietor free to pay what ever they want...

 

but here's the twist.

 

lets say the average wage in the united states is around $8 per hour now, and the average  wage of some 2n or 3rd world country is $2 per day. with that being said, you start your operation in the 3rd world country where you could pay $2 a day per person for labor, but you actually pay them $4-$6 a day which is 2-3 times the national average.

 

you're still exploiting the 2nd and 3rd world standards of wage, but you're giving these people jobs that pay twice to three times as much as they would be making other wise, all the while securing you high profit margins.

 

on one hand it's socially unacceptable to exploit these people, but on the other hand it is socially acceptable to pay them a higher wage than average.

 

if anyone else has more questions of ethics having to do with aquaponics feel free to chime in, because i know i haven't hit them all.

Views: 1919

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

What you mean an aquaponics system isn't simply a replicator like you see on star trek?

 

I suppose if you make sure you get the person paying you to sign something aknowledging that you were only responsible for the hardware design/install of the system and you make sure there is a good manual and that there are 6 months of preserved food to tide them over till the system is cycled up, but then again, where will they get fish if they are not going to turn the thing on till they show up I don't know............  good Luck


Damon Polta said:

here's another one that i just came across yesterday via business offer...

 

being commissioned to build a system for a third party with concern as to its operational functionality...

 

what i mean to say is i was offered a consulting position to design and oversee construction on a very large system. this system would be built in preparation for an "end of the world" scenario. im talking commercial sized bomb shelter with an aquaponics system to sustain life while living under ground. i told this person that once a system is up and running that it requires upkeep to ensure the survival of the fish and to keep the system ready at all times... that the systems arent like light switches and cant just produce food like a light bulb produces light at the flip of a switch... he said that these wernt his concerns and would not be inquired on my behalf... basically he'll be building a system and leaving it empty by the sound of things... so when the D-day does come and the necessity for food has arrived... all these people will find is a very well build, but non-operational system...

 

so how would you handle this? build a system that will feed many people knowing full well that in their greatest time of need of aquaponics, the system will be worthless? could you knowing rake in a butt load of money to design a system that you know will fail the people that are counting on it?

lol i know, thats the point i made to him... and i was actually surprised when they let me know that keeping the systems running and creating a manual on how to do so was going to not be necessary... kind of tripped me out a bit...

 

it's nice to have a plan to feed alot of people when the world ends... but aquaponics is one of those things that once built and started you'd have to keep up on or else you wont have what you need when you need it... in this case food!

 

and like you said, even if there was enough stored food to last until the system was operational... how do u get fish?

Murray, we not talking about government regulation... or determining "who is a fit and proper person"...

 

We're talking about whether or not it's ethical for anyone to represent themselves as having a level of knowledge, particularly with regard to "commercialisation".. if they haven't actually been involved with, or actually run a commercial operation... and/or proven a particular methodology as having distinct benefits of commercial profitability...

To glibbly say... anything goes... and "let the buyer beware".. is a little dissappointing from the point of view of an "aquaponics association"... or from an officier of the aquaponics association... and someone who is held with some reverence...

Frankly, I would have expected a higher standard.. from both yourself personally... and as a representative of the association...

Trouble is John, we are so regulated these days we have come to expect some Gov dude to tell us what to do, when to do it, to protect us, and on and on it goes. Why not let "the buyer beware"   Is that so bad ?  And in any case, how will it be determined as to who is a fit and proper person?  
Perhaps an Aquaponics Association ????   Now there is an idea ???

RupertofOZ said:

As I said earlier Murray, my post, and intention of the post... wasn't directed to any one person or group...

And I have no desire for the discussion to descend into any person squabbling... so let's bring this back to some constructive debate...

Is your position that anyone can/should be able to provide whatever level of training they wish to... based on wahtever claim, or level of experience... and simply... "let the buyer beware"... and "the market" sort it out??

P.S .. I do note, and am heartened by the modifications made in the representation of some forthcoming training courses...

Which ones are they John who have modified their training courses?  (Perhaps a PM might be better.  Don't want to upset anyone)
and , 
I did not "glibly" say "anything goes"  I am suggesting you to mount a case, when I ask what is wrong with "let the buyer beware"   I am even suggesting that perhaps an "Aquaponics Association, now there is an idea", may be the answer.

RupertofOZ said:

P.S .. I do note, and am heartened by the modifications made in the representation of some forthcoming training courses...

I'm suggesting that, while a level of "buyer beware" is accepted as an underlying caveat Murray... that it's not really sufficient when it comes some things... like the subject of this thread...

 

As you seem to be suggesting otherwise... shouldn't you be "mounting the case".... that in fact it is all that is required???

 

As to your first point, I've already commented and PM'd accordingly several days ago... and as I said... it wasn't, and isn't my intention to single out any one person, or group in this thread... it's a bigger question than that IMO...

You are right John (as you often are) It should be discussed much more, but I must say, I am at a bit of a loss as to how it might be dealt with. There are so many toes that might be stood on.  It is something that will require much time and a lot of good heads together to come up with some sort of action plan.
Personally, I think the Association is the best chance, long term, to bring some balance to the sudden rush of "Aquaponics Training" being offered out there, but that will take time.

The Association is moving forward and this is a matter that will no doubt receive attention at some time in the future.

RupertofOZ said:

I'm suggesting that, while a level of "buyer beware" is accepted as an underlying caveat Murray... that it's not really sufficient when it comes some things... like the subject of this thread...

 

As you seem to be suggesting otherwise... shouldn't you be "mounting the case".... that in fact it is all that is required???

 

As to your first point, I've already commented and PM'd accordingly several days ago... and as I said... it wasn't, and isn't my intention to single out any one person, or group in this thread... it's a bigger question than that IMO...

If (as suggested) an Aquaponics Assosiation is the regulating agency on who can provide training. Then I certainly believe it would be unethical and improper for any officers or board members to provide training in this field.

In the kitchen and bath industry while anyone can still build and sell products to the consumers there is a group that offers and provides certification to designers that is accepted as the industry standard.  The CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer) or CBD (Certified Bathroom Designer) is a designation after completion of the course. 

This non-profit entity came into being by promoting the course to respected leaders in the industry. By gaining their support and endorsement the CKD and CBD designations were sought after by industry leaders, business owners looking for capable designers and sales people, designers themselves, and most importantly the consumers for product and service reliability.

Course content  is extensive and required experts in many fields: cabinet makers, plumbers, designers, electricians, masons, glaziers, and so on.  All of these fields already have "certification" of some some sort, or at least journeyman status. While a CKD has no certification in any specific field, they gain a familiarity to those portions, laws, or codes, that do have an affect on their project or product.

Aquaponics is basically the same in principle. It is the combination of many accepted disciplines.  Get input from respected industry leaders, for those areas that are unique to aquaponics itself, and then input from those disciplines that are needed: plumbers, electricians, aquaculturists, horticulturists, master gardeners, biochemists, carpenters, and so on.

This will work only if you have the support of the greatest part of the industry. The course should be offered without exclusivity. It should be offered as an online course AND accepted books in a home study course. It should be a not for profit, and gain endorsement by groups like the Better Business Bureau, etc. The objective is to provide and ensure that the accepted practices have been made available to the aquaponic expert and they have satisfactorily passed an exam proving so.  This is the extent of the course provider's responsibility and liability.

The complexity and extensive compilation of information to put together a course will be a daunting task. Gaining support of the majority of the industry requires an unbiased approach to all working methodologies in practice to date. The course will also have to address regional and cultural issues, in order to gain widespread acceptance. The course will have to be affordable. This will require financial support from the industry to afford the groups time and effort for the assembly of the course and curriculum.  An online course would vastly reduce the cost compared to a printed study work book.

This course would also reduce the profits to many people that are selling this information in high dollar seminars. So their support may be difficult to acquire. But if the goal is completely altruistic in its purpose to standardize information and protect the consumer, then their lack of support will show their true aim.

Very well played rick.

They only thing is the advancement in this science is still growing rapidly. New techniques and different methods are being implemented across the board. How would you begin to standardise these issuse? Unless theres some sort of subcatagories of standardization.

Yes Rick, Non profit being the case I would withdraw my above comment about who could provide training. I did not want to say it but it seemed concerning to me where all this was headed. Seems the money is in the training. I'm not sure if anyone is making a profit in the aquaponics growing industry. Seems to me that it could be done, but if its not being done yet? It could prove quite difficult at present. My first priority is to make the aquaponics work and perhaps grow into something profitable in itself. If I cannot do that I wouldn't consider teaching people to make a business out of something that I could not prove economically viable.

Rick Stillwagon said:


This will work only if you have the support of the greatest part of the industry. The course should be offered without exclusivity. It should be offered as an online course AND accepted books in a home study course. It should be a not for profit, and gain endorsement by groups like the Better Business Bureau, etc. The objective is to provide and ensure that the accepted practices have been made available to the aquaponic expert and they have satisfactorily passed an exam proving so.  This is the extent of the course provider's responsibility and liability.

The complexity and extensive compilation of information to put together a course will be a daunting task. Gaining support of the majority of the industry requires an unbiased approach to all working methodologies in practice to date. The course will also have to address regional and cultural issues, in order to gain widespread acceptance. The course will have to be affordable. This will require financial support from the industry to afford the groups time and effort for the assembly of the course and curriculum.  An online course would vastly reduce the cost compared to a printed study work book.

This course would also reduce the profits to many people that are selling this information in high dollar seminars. So their support may be difficult to acquire. But if the goal is completely altruistic in its purpose to standardize information and protect the consumer, then their lack of support will show their true aim.

Industry bodies are common and they are all (as far as I have ever observed) run by the industry itself. ( example, Rick's post above)  It is a form of self regulation.   Who better to understand an industry than those who are actively engaged in the particular industry. If you were to exclude people who are active in the particular industry then who would run the organisation?  Would you expect the Nurses or Doctors of America to step up and run an American Aquaponics Association...or perhaps the reverse.   The best system is that an industry Association is run by persons from the industry and they are directed by the wishes of the members.

steve said:

If (as suggested) an Aquaponics Assosiation is the regulating agency on who can provide training. Then I certainly believe it would be unethical and improper for any officers or board members to provide training in this field.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2022   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service