Disease is serious problem affecting many farms. Vibrio species and several viruses, including WSSV and IMNV are ravaging farms year after year. There are many tools available to address these problems and while there are no magic bullets, many farms simply do not take the steps that can and should be taken.
Many farms and processing plants want to be certified to any number of standards but are concerned that they do not know what to do to comply. We offer in-depth auditing to any standards and can assure you that you will be fully prepared to pass the audit when it is done. This includes ACC audits, Global Gap, WWF, MBA, any organization that has published standards.
Partial list of services offered by AquaInTech Inc. as of October 2012.
This is a partial list of the services that we can provide. These are examples of things that we have actually worked on. There are many other areas that we can help with. Just ask.
Business Plan Preparation
Assist in the processes involved in starting aquaculture facilities (finfish, shellfish or algae), hatcheries, maturation facilities, feed mills and processing plants. Our philosophy is geared towards using state of the art technology and ensuring that the client benefits from current literature and what innovative technological leaders are doing. This can eliminate some of the trial and error element as well as ensure less potential problems. Issues that relate to biological, environmental, sustainability (both real and what requirements are for WWF/ACC or Global Gap) and fiscal components are all taken into consideration. While we do not manage projects in the sense of daily operations we can work with management at any level to assist in developing SOPs, determining and monitoring compliance with Best Aquaculture Practices, etc.
Conduct in-depth operational technical audits of fish and shrimp farms and aligned operations (hatcheries, maturation, processing plants, feed mills). Determine extent of problems and perform deep critical investigative analyses of underlying causes and proffering potential short term and long term solutions. Comprehensive solutions to existing problems and prevention of future problems by means of novel approaches using state of the art innovative cutting edge technologies that provide simple solutions.
Animal Health Management Programs
Proactive programs designed to maintain awareness of the impact of factors that affect aquatic animal health in conjunction with a cohesive functional program that when properly implemented will ensure a heightened awareness of animal health. Development and operation of detailed programs that ensure true sustainability benefits and substantiative compliance with certification program requirements for programs of this nature. This is a form of insurance that can save you from losing your farm or hatchery from preventable disease problems and prepare you to deal with health problems in the earliest stages that can lead to serious potential losses. These programs are required components of some standards and the degree of detail required varies between standards.
After the fact examination of the underlying causes of problems that are impacting the financial health of the operation. This entails an in depth examination of all factors that are known to impact operational integrity offering constructive solutions to avoid problems in the future as well as determining, where possible, the underlying causes of operational failures or shortcomings related to employee malfeasance and/or mismanagement. Constructive suggestions are made to facilitate future planning and optimizing productivity and profitability. This often ties in with technical audits.
Research and Development
Assist in the development of products for aquaculture. This is typically geared towards animal health and prevention of disease and minimizing the impact. It can take the form of a university based collaborative effort or we can work with any component of the supply chain. Typically it might consist of assisting other companies in product evaluation and development and licensing of products and/or collaborative efforts to generate real world value intellectual property. Types of projects range include animal physiology, genetics programs (family and individual selection), molecular biology, endocrinology, nutrition, immunology, etc. I can assist with grant preparation or write grants in their entirety.
As an experienced auditor with a strong relevant and in depth background in aquaculture, I can assist in preparing companies in dealing with the complex range of issues that relate to current and future certification programs. ACC audits (currently being conducted by CBs) are only one type of process audits and just happen to be the first.
Pre-certification compliance audits.
Audit according to accepted or under development standards with a detailed analysis of compliance issues. This is essentially preparing the party for the audit. A mock audit is conducted from a consulting framework to ensure that the auditee understands the nature of the likely expectations that are required to be met in the face of the eventual audit. This ensures that there will be very few non-conformity issues and that if there are that they are expected and readily dealt with.
Compliance with audit framework without a formal audit.
Auditing against standards under development with a significant and meaningful additional component of ensuring that the audits are in fact being conducted to levels that goes beyond what the NGO audits will encompass. These audits are preparing the client for being in essential compliance with the standards but with a greater tilt towards true sustainability. The client can elect to advertise that they are in compliance in essence (although they cannot use labels etc. as these are IP of the companies that have promulgated the standards). All of the existing audit frameworks have weaknesses in them and there are contentious issues regarding what constitutes true sustainability. I can audit against aquarium, grocery store chain, specific country and otherwise non-formalized standards.
Financial and Management Issues and Investor Advice
A third party, non-biasedanalysis of the underlying reasons for cost overruns performed independently or in conjunction with auditors and/or management teams. Detailed analysis of operating costs and capital expenditure layouts (OPEX and CAPEX) geared towards allowing owners to verify the legitimacy of the size of prospective investments. Validation of business plans for lending institutions and investors at any level of the investment community from local to international venture capitalists. Preparation of detailed business plans for the development of projects related to any aspect of aquaculture from building a farm and associated vertically integrated required support infrastructure to peripherals such as indoor green house completely closed recirculating systems. Preparation and evaluation of business plans and components prior to submission to or on behalf of interested parties. Educating and advising investors in risks and upsides of projects as well as explanations of industry trends and in depth analyses of the veracity of the elements of these projects that might impact the project outcome.
Preparation of technical articles, review papers, position papers on specific topics relevant to operations, commentary on science (good and bad) based observations, magazine and newspaper articles, blogs, detailed analysis of topical subjects, assisting NGOs in review and evaluation of position papers and book chapters. Editing and reviews of the above.
Technical and Sustainability Audits
In depth, detailed audits geared towards ensuring operational efficiency taking modern technology and innovation into account. These are operational assessments of how the business accomplishes its stated goals. Typically all facets of input are examined and followed through the production process to the final outcome, harvest, processing and recycling of components not used and those that are required to ensure sustainability. A thorough and detailed analysis of each of these components in conjunction with a science based analytical perspective geared towards optimizing productivity, maximizing profitability and maintaining the degree of competitiveness required to ensure a viable business model in conjunction with all of the elements essential for ensuring real sustainability. A written report details the processes as explained during the audit to ensurethat they have been communicated properly and a critical analysis of each of the processes and its components as they relate to the overall stated goals of the audit.
Development of HACCP Plans and ISO 22000 Compliance Programs
We can work closely with processing plants and their potential and current clients to ensure that their existing HACCP plans comply with legal requirements and the components of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Dealing with compliance issues with ISO 22000 and other audited standards that require companies to adhere to specific sets of standards.
Market Development Issues
Discussions of trends noted in domestic and global aquaculture growth patterns as they impact regional and national aquaculture practices and organizations. These can be discussed with individuals as they relate to their businesses, investing firms seeking advice regarding the provision of capital to various organizations, small groups in areas where the impact from competition needs to be gauged and considered in framing long term strategies to larger groups that are concerned with multinational issues such as tariffs and non tariff trade barriers and illegal practices of, typically, the US government in an effort to protect vocal lobbying groups interests. We can also working with vertically integrated groups to optimize market penetration in the most lucrative markets.
Technical workshops and presentation
Preparation and participation in workshops and preparation of presentations on any and all aspects of aquaculture ranging from the conceptual structuring to processing and marketing issues. This can be directed at small targeted audiences or large generalized audiences. These are logical, detailed and concise explanations of audiences need as they relate to any relevant aspect of aquaculture, either requested or offered. I have lectured audiences in many countries at trade shows, conventions, and sales trips in groups ranging from a half a dozen to thousands on topics ranging from general topics about aquaculture to highly esoteric subjects.
Discuss any and all facets of the aquaculture industry from any number of perspectives with a focus on opportunities, growth and other areas. I can do due diligence on projects saving investors a fortune in time and greatly accelerate the learning curve for those that are interested. On a number of occasions I have been told that talking to me for a few hours gave a perspective that extensive research failed to supply.