🌿 Meet the 23 candidates to the World Board 2021-24! 

Find out more about who they are, what they do, and read their candidacy statements below. 

Overview of Candidates

David Amudavi

Kenya

Robert Blakemore

UK/Australia

Jacques Caplat

France

Henry Chang

USA

Sarah Compson

United Kingdom

Bablu Kumar Ganguly

India

Bernward Geier

Germany

Fortunate Nyakanda

Zimbabwe

Paul Holmbeck

Denmark

Kate Kibarah

Kenya

Prof. Krishnamurthi

India

Julia Lernoud

Argentina

Karen Mapusua

Fiji

Marty Mesh

USA

Eugene Milovanov

Ukraine

Charikleia Minotou

Greece

Shamika Mone

India

Miyoshi Satoko

Japan

Marco Schlüter

Germany

Neil Sorensen

USA/France

Jennifer Taylor

USA

Simone Tully

Australia

Hannes Van Den Eeckhout

Belgium

Candidacy Statements

"I believe that organic agriculture — or ecological organic agriculture as we have come to broadly view it — is the agriculture that we need to embrace in research and development, policy and programmes, and investment plans. Efforts to promote it will certainly shape the global agriculture agenda."

 

Current Position(s)

  • Executive Director of Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT)
  • Current World Board Member
  • Project Coordinator of the African Union-led Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative 
  • Coordinator of the BMZ-GIZ supported Knowledge Centre on Organic Agriculture project for Eastern Africa

Highlights

  • PhD in Adult and Extension Education with minors in Developmental Sociology and Natural Resource Management (NRM) 

  • Recognised reviewer of reputable journals and external examiner for Egerton University, Kenyatta University in Kenya and Makerere University in Uganda

Personal Statement

“I still stand with the statement I made when I vied for the membership to the World Board for the first time in 2017. The relationship between the work of IFOAM - Organics International and Africa’s Continental Initiative – The Ecological Organic Agriculture - cannot be gainsaid. The relationship has been strengthened through my current membership to the IFOAM World Board. We live in a world facing phenomenal challenges (notably rising poverty with increasing global population, climate change, food and nutrition insecurity, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, and lately the COVID-19 pandemic among others). These challenges are bound to increase in intensity and require people who have the capability and desire to face the challenges with solutions and strategies and to make the world a better place for current as well as future generations. Such people reside around the world and have capabilities which, if well-harnessed, can help propel agriculture in the right direction to guarantee a decent and healthy living for all.

As a strategic player in the development of the African Union-led Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) in Africa, and with a sound professional training, I believe I will not only continue to add value to the quality of oversight provided by the IFOAM World Board in promoting organic agriculture but also be an agent of change in pushing the agenda of Organic 3.0 and strengthening synergies with other relevant initiatives in Africa that are globally aligned with the principles and practices of organic agriculture. The EOA initiative stems from a response to the African Heads of State and Government Decision on promoting Organic Farming. The goal of the EOA initiative is to mainstream EOA into national agricultural production systems, policies, and practices by 2025 in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security, access to markets and sustainable development in Africa. To achieve this goal, it is framed around six pillars: Research, Training and Extension; Information and Communication; Value Chain and Market Development; Networking and Partnerships; Policy and Programme Development; and Institutional Capacity Development. 

I have played a significant role in supporting the development of the EOA initiative, with support from the current coalition of partners (African Union Commission, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) in implementing the initiative in nine countries in Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia in Eastern Africa, and Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Benin in West Africa. I support the Continental Steering Committee through its Secretariat, which has been formally endorsed by the African Union Commission, to scale out EOA to other African countries.  It is pleasant to note that IFOAM - Organics International is a member of this Committee and its role is very much recognised. I play another important role as Project Coordinator of the Knowledge Center for  Organic Agriculture (KCOA) in Eastern Africa funded by BMZ and executed by GIZ. My organisation, BvAT and with co-hosting arrangement with PELUM Uganda  is responsible for four East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania under this initiative. The Country implementing partners in these countries are PELUM Kenya, PELUM Uganda, Rwanda Organic Agriculture Movement (ROAM) and Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM). The project has international partners including IFOAM - Organics International, FiBL, ICIPE and Access Agriculture. The overall objective is to introduce knowledge hubs successfully as an innovative strategy for promoting organic agriculture by actors in the regions of West, East, Southern Africa and Northern Africa. This initiative is aligned with the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I).

With the foregoing responsibilities and mosaic of partnerships established around the continent and with links to global networks, my candidature, and partly representing the face of Africa, should be valuable to the mandate of the IFOAM World Board. I therefore believe there is a lot we can achieve with my continued membership in the IFOAM World Board to unlock the potential for realising our vision and goals in the organic sector.” - David Amudavi

“What I can bring to IFOAM - Organics International is the rigor of a solid scientific background backed up with practical, hands-on working knowledge and ability to communicate to a wide audience, scientific or laity.”

 

Current Position(s)

  • Global Consultant and Permaculture Practitioner
  • CEO VermEcology

Highlights

  • PhD in Soil & Tropical Agroecology
  • Research scientist with 250 papers, 500 new species (and three extinctions)
  • Published four books

Personal Statement

"Growing up on mixed farms, I have promoted organics and Permaculture starting from 1980 on Lady Eve Balfour’s Haughley farm up to a 2016 survey of Sir Albert Howard’s Indore site. As a Research Ecologist, I am shocked at the rapid rate of the largely unrecognized global topsoil loss to erosion (brown rivers and dust-storms), pollution (few insects or song-birds) and rapid acidification (no worms nor roots). In my surveys, I find earthworms excluded from agrichemical fields. Extinctions are the greatest threat as these are pernicious and irreversible (I published the extinction of three species and completed IUCN Redlist assay for many other endangered worms). Next is critical topsoil loss and, perhaps surprisingly, the lesser of our problems is the much-discussed/funded climate issue. The cause of most damage in all three cases is bad agriculture. The embarrassingly simple solution for all these issues is with proper 100% organic farming to fix the soil and sequester carbon in humus.

Rapid farmer uptake can be achieved by practices learned as from the two-week Permaculture Design Course, that has many parallels to objectives of Organic 3.0, and that further aims to “teach the teachers” being especially useful for younger farmers as they replace the old-guard of agrichemical farmers. Transition costs can be deferred by de-commissioning defunct or non-essential projects (e.g. Space search for Life on Mars or in deep oceans) and facilities (e.g. many Oceanic institutions or Chemical Agriculture colleges) and by removing harmful subsidies that alone support failed agrichemical farming and detract from organic competitiveness. Anyone anywhere can make compost to use for growing healthy plants.

I wish to apply to IFOAM World Board to help contribute towards the rapid transformations required to put us on the right track and heading in the proper direction. Conceptually “Organic 3.0” has worthy aims. However, the UN’s SDGs framework is, in my opinion, inadequate as they insufficiently support soils that are foundational for any other aspirational goals. Without a solid soil foundation, other SDGs are meaningless and unachievable. 

My strengths contribute to IFOAM - Organics International’s organizational strategies for biodiversity, soil ecology, climate, etc. Specific skills are, as a broad-vision ecologist, my ability to focus on key strategic issues and to provide meaningful, practical and doable solutions for policy or practice. My experience is in polar, temperate and tropical soils in both richer and poorer regions: e.g. UK, EU, US, Asia, and Australasia / Pacific (I have also travelled extensively in west and east Africa, China, India and the Middle East). The ultimate monitor and mediator of healthy soils is a robust earthworms community, which is where my expertise lies, treading in the footsteps of Darwin, Howard, Balfour, Carson, Fukuoka and Mollison who all also appreciated the humble worm. Abundance of earthworms, drawdown of atmospheric carbon (due to the buildup of humus) and fewer cancer or allergy hospitalizations can all be measures of IFOAM - Organics International success.

I have attended and presented talks at local, national and international meetings and webinars including COPs, IUCN and IPCC. To overcome a massive agrichemical lobby, organic supporters need to retain integrity, honesty and purposeful credibility. Organic farming is yet marginalized as a peripheral concern. Mutual benefit may grow from my grand vision for an essential and inevitable INTERNATIONAL SOIL ECOLOGY INSTITUTE to redress embedded indifferent complacency for our precious soils and their essentially irreplaceable soil biota." - Robert Blakemore

“The understanding and development of organic agriculture around the world is a priority in the fight against the climate crisis, against the collapse of biodiversity and against hunger. Our responsibility is huge: without denying any of its requirements, organic agriculture can provide rapid and large-scale solutions to these three major crises.”

 

Current Position(s)

  • Independent Consultant, author, lecturer
  • Secretary General of the NGO "Agir Pour l'Environnement’
  • Board of the French organic label "Bio Cohérence"
  • President of IFOAM France

Highlights

  • Co-Founder of ‘Réseau Semences Paysannes’ (Farmers' Seed Network)
  • Wrote several books on organic agriculture 
  • Completed a PhD in social anthropology

Personal Statement

Brought up on a small farm, I was aware that conventional agriculture was leading us to disaster. But it was while working in Benin, West Africa, that I really understood that organic agriculture, by proposing a new agronomic basis, was the only one able to tackle world hunger by restoring farmers’ autonomy and dignity.

After 25 years developing and popularizing organic farming in France and Europe, I have decided to contribute to its development on a global scale by applying to the IFOAM World Board. I have been fortunate enough to be successively involved in many aspects of organic agriculture: agronomy, farmers’ movements, environmental benefits, development, political negotiations, scientific debates, as well as popularization. 

Graduated as an agronomist, I first worked as a field adviser, accompanying farmers in their organic conversion. This crucial experience allowed me to know the reality of the technical, economic, psychological and social difficulties faced by a farmer in transition. It is essential for effective action under the "supply pillar" of IFOAM - Organics International’s strategy. I have also been strongly involved in plant-breeding; I deepened the anthropology of development and then turned towards the anthropology of knowledge, which led me to get peasant knowledge recognized as constituted and legitimate knowledge.

When I was a staff coordinator of the FNAB (French Federation of Organic Farming), I was then standing at the interface between local groups and public authorities. I learned to negotiate with ministries, to represent collective claims, and to act as a mediator and educator between technical realities on the one hand and administrative and political constraints on the other hand. In particular, I have written and contributed to the adoption of support measures for French organic farmers (“aide au maintien”, tax credit). How well I know what is at stake in the "Policies and Guarantees" pillar!

I would like to put my experience at the service of IFOAM, to help ensure the visibility, understanding and development of organic agriculture around the world. But also reaffirming and strengthening the primary role of farmers (especially women). It is essential to enhance the value of subsistence organic farming, which is sometimes not part of the official organic networks in some countries where "organic" is perceived as being mainly for export. As such, my partnership with networks such as GRAIN or La Via Campesina will help me to work towards bringing the organizations of peasant agroecology closer to IFOAM.

As organic farming is not a concept but a practice shared by millions of producers, I see my presence on the World Board as part of a collective approach. To fully serve the global organic movement, I will complement my personal expertise with the experience and advice of longstanding IFOAM actors, representing both the involvement of French bodies in organic agriculture and the diversity of farmers' histories around the world.” - Jacques Caplat

“My goal is to be an agent of change and promote the organic culture to every consumer level and every corner around the world. From backyard farming to sustainable, organic farming, I envision utilizing every mode possible to reach out to the masses.”

 

Current Position

  • Executive Director of Henry Organic Health, Inc

Highlights

  • Guest speaker at multiple international events

Personal Statement

As an elected board member, my mission is to lead a united front and promote IFOAM initiatives, most importantly, Organic 3.0. In my tenure, I would like to help raise awareness of the organic movement to ensure that organic culture and lifestyle become the mainstream. I would like to commit to projects that further increase the global percentage of organic farmland.

My passion for promoting the organic culture and lifestyle began in the 1980s. In 1982, I acquired the New York Food Emporium from organic forerunner Mr. Ernest and Berry. In 1984, I was invited by the State Department of China to visit with Chairman Mao’s Haitian distributors. I then conferred with the president and professors of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences regarding organic development. In 1985, I organized five buses of organic supports from New York City to Washington DC to introduce the organic concept to the FDA alongside organic forerunner, Dr. Gary Null. A year later, I founded the Longwood Shiitake Organic Farm in Avondale, Pennsylvania. I was then tapped by Campbell Soup to become a consultant in exotic mushrooms.

From 1988 to today, I continue to promote organic ideology through consultancy, workshops, and speaking engagements in various countries around the world, including the US, Canada, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan. In 2005, I was invited by the State Department of China to deliver eleven speeches with the agenda: Change China Green Food to Organic Food. I was honored when the State Department of China’s monograph dubbed me as the “father of international organic.”

Since the 1980s, I have been promoting the organic culture and lifestyle to more than 20 countries. Throughout the years, I have gained 1.5 million followers. I am determined to lead a grassroots effort to expand the reach of the organic movement.

I plan to increase the frequency of conventions on the regional level, webinars, and educational programs. I would like to initiate projects in local communities to teach the organic way of life through practice. Lastly, I plan to raise awareness through my speaking engagements. These gatherings always attract over 10,000 attendees. I would like to invite IFOAM members to be guest speakers. They will be able to share the IFOAM mission, the organic movement, and current information in their field.

All of these initiatives will ultimately bring the right people together to support each other. United, we can make a difference. Thank you for your time and consideration.” - Henry Chang

“I believe that the organic movement can play a critical role in informing and improving the environmental and social impacts of agriculture worldwide. I would relish the opportunity to represent the movement and would bring my energy, enthusiasm, passion and commitment to advocate for the solutions that organic can deliver. I believe that leadership qualities of World Board members should reflect organic principles, not just in terms of underlying beliefs but also in relation to ways of working, so would seek to embody them in all that I do.”

 

Current Positions

  • International Development Manager at Soil Association, UK
  • Member of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) standards committee
  • Organic Cotton Ambassador at Textile Exchange
  • Chair of IFOAM Organics Europe Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders

Highlights

  • Regularly presents and advocates for the organic movement internationally 
  • String track record of convening and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders across the globe in order to support and develop the organic movement 
  • Experience across a range of organic topics both in relations to principle and practice, including GM, social justice, and regulation

Personal Statement

As awareness of the realities of climate change, biodiversity collapse and the need to fix our broken food systems continues to grow, people are more ready than ever to listen to and learn from the perspectives and experiences of the organic movement. Emerging from the Coronavirus crisis presents an opportunity to rethink our food and farming systems, favouring those that share responsibility for risks and rewards and take a holistic approach to agriculture. 

If I am elected to the World Board, I will relish the opportunity to help IFOAM OI connect, highlight and mobilise the wonderful work of our worldwide community to enable the global transition to organic and agroecological principles and practice. This is essential if we’re to meaningfully address the fundamental challenges faced by humanity and the rest of the living world.

I have a lifelong passion for organic agriculture and the principles underpinning it. My experience working for the Soil Association over the past 15 years has given me a broad insight into the different tools and levers that can be used to effectively enable and encourage the development of organic practices. As chair of the IFOAM OE Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders, I have a strong understanding of both the power and limitations of Regulation to fulfil the organic principles. My experience with IFOAM OE and the Leading Organic Alliance (LOA) has illustrated the potential and need for going beyond regulation and engaging a range of Organic 3.0 tools if we’re to help move the mainstream as well as ensure organic remains at the leading edge. I feel strongly about addressing the Principle of Fairness within organic. Working with IFOAM OE as they realise the ‘Fair Play – Fair Pay’ pillar of the 2030 strategy and being a member of the LOA’s Social Accountability Working Group have given me a good picture of the potential ways that the organic movement can address this foundational principle. 

I’m also a passionate advocate for ensuring the organic movement engages beyond our own sector. Working as part of multi-stakeholder initiatives, I enjoy the challenge of finding common ground without compromising core principles, and I understand the importance of paying attention to the bigger picture as well as the detail. I have knowledge of the organic sector beyond food and strongly advocate for greater engagement with the textile sector, given the significant and widespread impact that textile production has, and the significant benefits that organic brings to the environment and communities, particularly in cotton producing countries. 

I believe that leadership qualities of World Board members should reflect organic principles, not just in terms of underlying beliefs but also in relation to ways of working. Systems and processes that allow meaningful engagement, transparency, constructive challenge and consensus-building are vital for successful leadership and these are qualities that I can bring to the Board. I have direct experience of working within the IFOAM structures and would love the opportunity to enhance and develop the great work already taking place through the three action pillars (supply; demand; policy and guarantee) that underpin the IFOAM OI theory of change.

As a member of the World Board, I will bring energy, enthusiasm and commitment to serving IFOAM OI members. My professional experience will enable me to work effectively with my fellow Board members to ensure the strategic priorities are fulfilled. I am confident that my collaborative, positive and inclusive approach will strengthen our work and ensure that we continue to be greater than the sum of our parts.” - Sarah Compson

“I look forward to contributing to the growth of the organisation, its regional bodies and the global Organic agriculture movement through passion, commitment and teamwork, while amplifying the voice of the peasants and the smallholder family farmers across the world.”

 

Current Positions

  • Founding Member of PGS Organic Council, India
  • Founding Board Member -  Slow Food India Network
  • Current World Board Member – IFOAM - Organics International

Highlights

  • Outstanding Practices in Agroecology 2019 – presented by World Future Council
  • Lush Spring Prize 2017 – presented by Ethical Consumer & Lush Cosmetics 
  • One World Award 2014 – presented by Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH & IFOAM - Organics International

 Personal Statement 

Having been involved in the field of rural development, working with marginalised communities in India for the past 43 years, and being an Organic farmer myself, I have a deep and empathetic understanding of the plight that the peasants and smallholder family farmers are facing, the world over, today.  

Having been instrumental in the genesis and growth of a number of development institutions, peoples’ organisations and networks for more than four decades, and having been both a promoter and practitioner of organic farming for over three decades, I have gained a range of multifaceted experiences, competencies, and leadership skills, which are essential to be part of a team that leads the global organic movement. 

In 1990, along with my partner, I co-founded the Timbaktu Collective and established a 32-acre agro-forest habitat and intentional community called “Timbaktu”. It is a non-profit which works at the grassroots, with marginalised people in the drought-prone and ecologically challenged Anantapuramu District in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Collective works in 186 villages, partnering with 24,323 families who are members of 14 community-owned and -managed Cooperatives.

Through various thematic programmes, we have been helping to regenerate and revive the local economy, enhance livelihood opportunities, regain food security and food sovereignty, work on large-scale ecological restoration, ensure financial inclusion of women and the rights of children and people with disabilities, as well as promote producer-own business enterprises of smallholder farmers, agricultural labourers, honey hunters and artisans. We also work in promoting the Dharani Farming and Marketing Cooperative, a member of IFOAM - Organics International. It is a successful business enterprise that procures, processes and markets the organic produce of its members under the brand name ‘Timbaktu Organic’. All the members are certified organic as per the peer-based Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) inspired by IFOAM. In October 2019, I initiated a School of Agriculture, on a 100 acre Biodynamic farm, that offers a two-year experiential learning certificate course to young people of our area in Regenerative Agriculture. It is a residential course covering Permaculture, Organic and Biodynamic principles. 

Most importantly, I have profound faith in the value and relevance of organic and life sustaining regenerative agriculture in nourishing our ecosystems, providing healthy food, strengthening the socio-economic status of smallholder family farmers, and promoting equitable and just relationships between farmers, consumers, traders, investors, and public institutions. 

I was elected to the World Board of IFOAM - Organics International in 2017, when the OWC was held in India. It has been a phenomenal learning experience for me and I do think my contribution has been good for the organisation. I am honoured to offer my candidacy for elections to the IFOAM - Organics International World Board for a second term – 2020 to 2023.” -  Choitresh Kumar Ganguly

“I dream of and engage for a 100 % organic world –still in my lifetime! Yet with our fast growing expansion, I see increased risks.”

 

Current Positions

  • Executive Director of COLABORA - Let's work together
  • Consultancy advocacy & lobbying at the UN level, EU-Commission/Parliament, national governments & ministries
  • Activist, journalist and filmmaker

Highlights

  • Author of “Saving seeds from your own organic garden”, editor and co-author of books on organic farming and related subjects
  • Documentary film projects (The farmer and his prince with Farmer David Wilson & Prince Charles, Ancient grain for future farms & TV film The Eco rebels from the Himalaya)
  • Cooperation activities & experiences include Greenpeace, IUCN, WWF, Rainforest Alliance, Slow Food, Friends of the Earth and IFOAM - Organics International

Personal Statement

My activist and professional life in the organic movement is at the core of my heart. I have been a movement person for 45 years, starting as Hippie and Rock’n’Roller in the peace and anti-nuclear movement. “Organic” became and still is center stage in my life.

My first in-depth encounter of organic was as a trainee on one of the oldest biodynamic farms in Germany followed by working and learning on other farms, where my special interest was in cows and dairy farming. I have been living since 33 years on organic farms and since 2002 on our own ‘small’ farm with a focus on horse breeding.

After graduating in agriculture I worked as a non-chemical weed control scientist and lecturer at the University of Kassel / Witzenhausen. My first activities for IFOAM have been in the organizing team for the Organic World Congress 1984. Realizing that I was not born for a life as a scientist and seeing my skills to engage and build movements, in 1986 I  became the General Secretary of IFOAM - Organics International. Consequently, I devoted for almost 18 years my passion and professional life to serve the organic movement worldwide. 

After such a long time as IFOAM Director, I started 2005 with COLABORA - Let's work together, a new professional life. But giving up my leading role in IFOAM, I have not left the Federation. I joined IFOAM and the EU Group and initiated a range of joint projects. The highlight was to be on behalf of IFOAM the lead co-organizer for the United Nations Department of Information International Congress in Bonn. I enjoy being an active IFOAM Ambassador. I actually live Organic 3.0, by connecting IFOAM and organic with other movements like Slow Food or the environmental and the “Economy of Common Good” movements.  

As a Board member I will defend tirelessly our principles and counter attempts to sacrifice our integrity e.g. on the altar of market expansion. If I get elected, I would like to focus on international outreach and lobbying, representation and communication, strategic development and also on every necessary fundraising. I do ask for your vote of confidence not because of my IFOAM merits, but rather for what I'm able and want to give to our federation in the future. This includes my preparedness to serve also on the Executive Board , if I get elected.” - Bernward Geier

“IFOAM - Organics International’s key roles are to strengthen our members capacity to make change, and position organics and agroecology in the global sustainability agenda. IFOAM’s regions must have a strong mandate and support. And visionary initiatives such as the Young Organics Global Network and ALGOA/Global Alliance of Organic Districts should be helped to go fully global. To this work, I will dedicate political, market and organizational leadership experience, and proven commitment to building strength through diversity, and bringing new allies to our movement.” 

 

Current Position

  • Director, Holmbeck EcoConsult, advising leaders in government, business and NGOs around the world on organic policy, market development and strategy

Highlights

  • Director of Organic Denmark for over 20 years, uniting organic farmers, food companies, food professionals and consumers. Lead role in policy for 60 % organic in all public kitchens and market partnerships making Denmark world leader in organic sales, with 30-50 % of the market for many basic foods
  • A leading contributing author of seven organic action plans, including The Organic Action Plan for Denmark: Working together for more organics, recipient of silver Future Policy Award for sustainability from the UN (FAO, 2018), Future Policy Council, and IFOAM - Organics International
  • Grand Prix winner, One World Award 2021, awarded by IFOAM - Organics International and Rapunzel

Personal Statement

The organic movement is creating solutions for sustainable farming and communities all over the world. One person, one farm, one community at a time. A unique movement where engaged people can work together for biodiversity, health, climate, fair trade, elimination of poverty, and a host of other sustainability goals—all at the same time. We have made great strides. But there is so much more to do. This is why I am seeking a seat on the IFOAM - Organics International World Board. 

After speaking with IFOAM members from around the world, I see two areas in particular where I will focus my efforts.

  • Strengthen our members’ capacity to make change. With a focus on capacity building, training, and sharing best practice, IFOAM can empower our members to drive market development, political policy, education, agenda-setting communication, and membership efforts. I will bring a strong track record of market partnerships developing the world’s highest organic market shares, and concrete political results for organics at the local, national and international level. I also bring decades of hands-on experience with capacity building, project development, and fundraising in a transformative organic NGO, Organic Denmark, as well as experience advising IFOAM members on four continents in political advocacy, strategy, and market development.  

  • Position organic farming and agroecology in the global sustainability agenda. IFOAM - Organics International must continue to rise to the heights of global debates, positioning organic farming and agroecology as a solution for climate, food security and biodiversity crises. To this effort I bring decades of results embedding organic farming and food as a central tool in national and international policy for climate, biodiversity, economic development and public procurement. And I bring international advocacy, debate and negotiating experience, going back to a leadership role in the successful campaign for a total EU ban on GMOs in organic production, and for making the first EU Organic Action Plan. 

I will also continue to fight for organic integrity, so we deliver more benefits for people and our planet—watchful of initiatives that undermine organic principles. I support and actively use our ambitious agenda, Organic 3.0. And despite decades of executive leadership, I enjoy a collaborative, supportive advisory role of board work. Drawing on over 20 years as member of the National Advisory Council on Organic Farming and Food (1995-2015), advising Denmark’s Minister for Food and Agriculture.

The work in our remarkably diverse World Board and membership requires a culture of respect and curiosity. To this work, I will bring experience in working with and uniting people across national, religious, racial, and ideological divides, respectfully finding common ground and fighting together for real change. I bring lessons from a decade of effective community organizing in low-income communities in the USA. And from decades of success in Denmark building alliances and drawing strong support to organic farmers and food from trade unions, NGOs for consumers, climate, nature and farming, and from 10 of 11 political parties in the Danish Parliament. Creating a supportive market and advocacy ecosystem allowing organics to thrive. 

Stepping down after 25 years of leadership in Organic Denmark, I will bring political, market, and organizational experience to the World Board, but I also look forward to tuning in closely to members’ needs. As we say in Denmark, “there is a reason why we have been given two ears and just one mouth.” - Paul Holmbeck

“Over the past few years, our lifestyle has changed. We have forgotten the importance of a ’Healthy World’. The importance in the protection of the health and wellbeing of current and future generations, protection of our animals, protection of the environment, and in general protection of our planet Earth."

 

Current Position

  • Director of Kate's Organics Limited
  • Board Member - Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN)

Highlights

  • Top Under 40 Women Kenya
  • Continental Lifetime Achiever Award (2018/19) - CEO Global Pan African Awards 
  • Kenya Excellence Beverage Awards 2019 - Most preferred Green Tea – Kate’s Organics Green Tea, Most preferred Healthy Drink - Kate’s Organics Every Day Detox Tea, Most Preferred Natural Anti Oxidant Drink -  Kate’s Organics Aloe Vera Juice

Personal Statement

My passion for nutrition, health and wellness, in other words ‘Healthy Living‘ started in my childhood. I was an obese child, and the challenges and humiliation that comes with your peers looking down on you over the years became a blessing in disguise, which eventually led me to my journey of promoting healthy living. I am a Clinical Nutritionist and a Colon Hydrotherapist, a career I pursued with the intention of helping myself and for the fact that I was very passionate about it. 

Advising on the adoption of healthier lifestyles goes hand in hand with eating clean, healthy food, and this saw me start a nutrition consultancy & colon irrigation clinic as well  as Kate’s Organics Limited, a response to the growing need to provide a broad range of solutions to improve human health and well-being, the promotion of organic production and the consumption and promotion of a healthy lifestyle across Kenyan society. Kate’s Organics works with organic certified smallholder farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The company portfolio consists of an organic range of products.

Over the years, this has given me an opportunity to deeply get involved in the organic world through the interaction with the various stakeholders, increased  knowledge, acquired experience, in Kenya, Africa and beyond. It has given me a platform to meet and interact with various players in this field.  I have also had the privilege to work closely with organic farmers, especially those that grow the produce for us and since Kate's Organics works with widows and single mothers, it has enabled us to support, mentor and provide a livelihood for them and others. In addition, I have been elected to various boards, headed Agribusiness Business Groups, won both local and international awards, written books, and mentored many amongst other things.  

I recently founded an NGO called Organic Action Network in Kenya, ORGANIK, as I realized there was a gap in production to meet the overwhelming demand for organic food today. The NGO aims at supporting and creating awareness on organic production and consumption. Its main objective is to catalyse and coordinate transformative action on organic production and consumption in Kenya. I believe my input and contribution through my experience in the organic industry will be of great value. I am open to learn more, get challenged and gain experience as a passion is something that is built in you. It is my desire also, that this position will enable me to empower women and youth in Africa, and when replicated at a regional or global level can lead to more impact of the sector to rural livelihoods. The future is organic!” - Kate Kibarah   

"Save soil health, produce organic foods & save the humanity at large by strengthening IFOAM"

 

Current Positions

  • Chairman, Indian Society for Certification of Organic Products (ISCOP) &
  • Chairman & Managing Trustee Krishnamurthi International Agricultural Development Foundation (KIADEF)

Highlights

  • Author of Organic Agriculture Sustainability

Personal Statement

"I hail from an agricultural family from a rural background and I possess the nuance of the indigenous as well as modern organic agriculture. I have earned the degrees of B.Sc. (Ag.)., M.Sc.(Ag.)., Ph.D. in Agriculture from the Regional Post-Graduate Centre of the famous Agricultural College, Coimbatore, India and an MBA from New Port University in the USA. I am a Fellow of the Indian Society of Agricultural Chemists; Fellow of the Indian and International Society of Soil Science and Fellow of the Indian Society of Plantation Crops.

I have served as the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Director of Agricultural Extension Education in the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore and the Director of Research of the United Planters’ Association of Valparai, Anamallais in Coimbatore District.

I am the Founder President of the Indian Society for Certification of Organic Products (ISCOP) in 2003, accredited by the APEDA of the Government of India, which has a strong and vibrant team of senior scientists representing all gamut of Agriculture in ISCOP and a large number of operators in the country. ISCOP has certified systems of organic farming, organic inputs, production, processing and trade. I have considerable experience in organic farming and certification. ISCOP has certified organic inputs from Canada and the USA.

I had the privilege to have served as one of the members of the organizing committee for the first World Congress on Organic Certification held in Rome in 2005. I have attended the Organic Conferences organized by IFOAM - Organic International in Turkey, Italy, Seoul, Nuremberg and New Delhi.

I have firm faith in the important four cardinal principles of IFOAM - Organics International: Health, ecology, fairness and care.

I am a healthcare provider since I am a homoeopathist (closely related to the principles of organic agriculture) and an Advanced Pranic Healer and Counsellor of Human Welfare.

I am an Environmentalist and a Pollution-Control Consultant. We advocate for Agroecological Farming.

We are very fair in our certification programs and in dealing with consumers, taking care of the safety and healthy production of organic foods for the consumers and creating consumer awareness about the importance of organic food.

I am quite sure and definite and vouch that I will be able to contribute a lot to IFOAM - Organics International & Organic Agriculture if I am elected as a World Board Member." - Dr K. Krishnamurti

“We are at a critical time and I want to contribute with all my energy so the IFOAM Network strengthens its role as a change actor in the building of the future we all want to see. Now is the time, and we all need to do our part, share all our knowledge and passion.”

 

Current Positions

  • Co-president of Young Organics Global Network
  • Current World Board Member

Highlights

  • Advocating for the empowerment and inclusion of youth in the organic movement since 2010
  • Representing the IFOAM Network at different events 
  • Working on the Membership Task Force, the Action Group Task Force, the SoS Task Force, and the Network Committee of IFOAM - Organics International

Personal Statement

I’m fortunate to have been raised in a family where organic has always been the norm and a priority. Not only farming or marketing, but the approach to life it represents. 

The opportunity to be closer to farmers, producers, and consumers made me realise that we are not alone in this dream of building a better world. We set a roadmap for that future we want to see.

Later on, I did an internship at IFOAM – Organics International’s office in Bonn, which got me closer to the organic movement outside my region. That’s where I took my first steps in advocating for organic agriculture at a global level. In 2011, I started to work in organic research at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL). While working on the production of the yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture” for over eight years, I got to know organic actors from all around the world and learn about the realities each of them face.

In 2017, at our GA in Delhi, I received the privilege of being elected to be part of the IFOAM – Organics International World Board. These last four years on the board have been a wonderful experience. I learned a lot and got even closer to our organic network, and it also showed me that there is still much work to be done. I want to continue working on its further development and multiply the actions we started to implement in my first term, and start new ones.

We are at a turning point in human history. We not only have hunger, inequality, lack of access to essential resources in many corners of the world, but we also have a climate crisis. The climate emergency is worsening the problems and challenges we already face, and it is hitting harder to those who already suffer the most. We need to keep showing why organic agriculture is an important part of a sustainable and fair future. We now have an exceptional opportunity to present the world an alternative to business as usual, to demonstrate the enormous potential of organic agriculture and the vast knowledge this movement gathers.” - Julia Lernoud

“We must take firm stands on greenwashing and resist any weakening of the core messages and principles of organic agriculture. This can be a fine line and we will need to negotiate this through our collective wisdom and experience. IFOAM - Organics International has to maintain a balance between providing services to members and engagement with external partners and collaborators.”

 

Current Positions

  • Director of Land Resources Pacific Community, 
  • Current Vice-President of the World Board

​​​​​​Highlights  

  • Involved in development of the Pacific Organic Standard– the first organic standard that contains requirements around climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Supported development of Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community (POETCom), a network across 15 Pacific Island countries and territories with over 40 member organisations reaching thousands of organic growers
  • Developed regional PGS system, facilitating trade and creating local market recognition of organic products, and initiated an online Policy Toolkit to assist governments and stakeholders develop supportive policy environments

Personal Statement

“My interest in organic agriculture grew from a deep respect and concern for our shared environment. Soil is degrading, climate changing, and waters being poisoned—the last years have been a stark reminder of the damage being done. The bushfires in Australia and village relocations in Fiji, where the government has identified 80 villages that will need to be relocated due to sea level rise, and of course COVID are just some of the examples. Food is another issue that brought me to the organic movement — food that is real and flavourful and nourishing. It is central to community and cultures and brings us together.

Much of my work over the last 17 years has been in supporting organic farmers and organic farmers organisations. Every action and decision we take must be viewed through the lens of the farmer. To that end, we need to ensure INOFO is given the resources and capacity required to strengthen and become an effective inclusive platform and voice for organic farmers. We need to continue the development of certification systems to better serve farmers and the whole value chain. This includes supporting development and evolution of systems such as PGS, working for equivalence in organic standards, and ensuring that social justice is not forgotten. Facilitating accessible, relevant organic certification is a key to livelihoods for many of our farmers and trusted certification is key for those who process, market and consume organic products. Recently I’ve also had the opportunity to learn more about organic textiles and the enormous impact growing that segment of the organic world could have for farmers and our environment and would like to see how we can engage with this industry more effectively.

The Self-organised Structures play an important role in connecting the people of our movement and actioning the work of IFOAM. I would like to continue to bring IFOAM closer to its membership across the globe and the evolution of the regional bodies to having a more engaged role in forming IFOAM - Organics International policy and strategy is important for our future development and to ensure our movement is inclusive and truly global. 

If elected to the World Board I will bring the experience of a diverse and rich region of the world to IFOAM - Organics International. I will put my extensive networking, advocacy and fundraising skills, experience in board work and passion for the organic movement to work.” - Karen Mapusua

‘Climate change is affecting the future of our precious planet and true sustainable agriculture can play a key role in helping the effort to change the path we find ourselves on. I have advocated that organic farmers need to be at the table when discussions are held about compensation to farmers for environmental services performed.’

 

Current Position

  • Co-Founder of Mesh & Associates LLC

Highlights

  • Co-Producer of What’s Organic About Organic?
  • Public Speaker/Guest Lecturer
  • Executive Producer

Personal Statement

“I had an epiphany when I was a farmworker in 1972. After spraying an entire apple orchard, I took a break to rest and realized that the silence around me was only silent because I had just scared away or killed every other living bird, insect or reptile. I realized that the poison I sprayed is not the way our food should be produced. So I committed myself to farming a different way for the sake of the environment, the people who would eat the food we were growing, and the workers who were working around dangerous materials. That year coincidentally was the same year IFOAM - Organics International started.

I started growing organically and went on to see the need to help educate both farmers, consumers, policymakers, media, and eventually, realized the potential help or hindrance the folks making public policy are for the advancement of organic agriculture. I have helped envision and start many nonprofit organizations. I have served on numerous Boards and represented organizations speaking both in the US and in other parts of the world. My passion and work have resulted in many benefits to small-scale farmers in having someone on their side. I believe that IFOAM - Organics International can be helpful in that effort, as more and more farmers face corporate consolidation and expansion, corporate influence on governments, and losing market to multinational companies who are seemingly most concerned about quarterly balance sheets.

I have debated “GMO experts” and advocates to present the organic viewpoint and cautioned about what the future might hold in terms of BT resistance, herbicide-resistant weeds, overuse of toxic materials to the detriment of the environment and human health, and other negative effects, all of which have come to happen. My international work has helped grow organic production and capacity in other countries. I have never been scared to speak truth to power, as when it is truthful, I know I have the high ground, often resulting in policymakers supporting more sustainable solutions. I have piloted creative solutions that then wind up in law or active ongoing programs. With colleagues, I have contributed to working out trade barriers for better flow of organic products and have won discussions with USDA and the National Organic Program to help protect the interests of small- and family-scale farmers, grower groups, and get organic agriculture recognized for its huge potential.

I have helped start local, state, regional, national, and international organizations, entities, and efforts to try and help small- and family-scale farmers. I understand that organizations require funding and am not scared to help good entities try and raise needed funds or figure out new ways to try and help. I have experience in seeing examples of both good and bad organizational governance and how a strong helpful Board can be an asset to the staff that is really doing the work.

One effort that I am still proud of undertaking that took years to try and create was helping create the Agricultural Justice Project. We had discussions before and during IFOAM - Organics International events to help develop what are considered some of the highest Social standards for North America. We helped to move discussions of including the principle of fairness to be embraced in IFOAM - Organics International. The effort to ensure fair prices for farmers and living wages for workers continues, but we still have hopes and dreams of future success. I would hope that IFOAM - Organics International continues to be concerned about fairness in all relationships.

I would be honored and stand ready to help support IFOAM - Organics International’s strategic plan, to contribute to Organic 3.0 work, to better understand the process for policy position development and help IFOAM - Organics International achieve greater global success for organic agriculture by serving on the World Board." - Marty Mesh

“If elected to the World Board, I can commit all my skills, energy and networks to IFOAM – Organics International. I am able to prepare for and attend World Board meetings and to participate in the work of the World Board.”

 

Current Position

  • Co-founder and President of Organic Federation of Ukraine
  • Board Member of IFOAM Euro-Asia
  • Editor-in-Chief of ORGANIC UA Magazine, published by the Organic Federation of Ukraine since 2009

Highlights

  • Author of over 40 scientific articles on the organic marketing and other subjects related to organic agriculture
  • Initiator and organizer of 11 all-Ukrainian Organic Fairs that are happening in Kyiv every September during annual Organic Weeks in Ukraine. Organic Federation of Ukraine organizes 4-day International Exhibitions “ORGANIC” every year, which have become one of the strongest and most effective promotion tools of organic in Ukraine
  • Member of the Organic working group at the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine

Personal Statement

“I was born in 1967 in Ukraine. Since my graduation from the National Agricultural University of Ukraine in 1991, all my life has been in agriculture (farming, foreign and domestic trade with grains and other agricultural commodities, advisory services, high positions at the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture and other state and public institutions).

Since 1999, I have been active in the organic sector (farming, consulting, research, publications, marketing, foreign trade, lobbying etc.). In 2005, I co-founded and since that time became President of the Organic Federation of Ukraine — the Ukrainian organic umbrella organization that unites farmers, processors, scientists, consumers, traders, and all others who are interested in the development of organic agriculture and the organic movement. In 2005, I received IFOAM Key persons training at the Bonn office of IFOAM - Organics International in Germany.

In 2005-2007, I was authorized by IFOAM - Organics International to represent it at the Organic Conferences in Kyiv (Ukraine) and in Tbilisi (Georgia), and I had a range of my presentations and speeches on the subjects of the organic sector development in Ukraine and many other countries across the world.

In 2007 I initiated the holding of the International Conference on the Organic Sector Development in Eastern/Central European and Central Asian countries. I have co-organized, in cooperation with local and international partners, five above-titled Conferences: in Kyiv (Ukraine) in 2008; in Tbilisi (Georgia) in 2009, in Astana (Kazakhstan) in 2010, in Izmir (Turkey) in 2012 and in Kyiv (Ukraine) in 2015. All above conferences were strongly supported by IFOAM - Organics International, FAO, the World Bank, the European Commission, BIOFACH, the Avalon Foundation, EkoConnect and many other esteemed organization,  and they became high-level events not only for the above regions but for all of the organic World, promoting organic ideas, attracting more people and organizations to choose the organic style of life.

I have long-term cooperation experience with IFOAM EU Group, bringing the best European organic experience to Ukraine. In the last 6 years, I have been attending most events organized by IFOAM Asia, developing the cooperation with organic movements of Asia. I will do my best to make the world more organic!” - Eugene Milovanov

“The range of categories of stakeholders of Organic agriculture is huge and related to farming, food systems, inputs, policies, economical strategies, research, consumers, the alternative rural development etc. All these people must be part of different initiatives of IFOAM - Organics International and of different policies and (co)actions.” 

 

Current Positions

  • Manager & Owner of Minotos Organic Farm
  • Ex-President of  IFOAM  Agri Bio Mediterraneo (ABM)

Highlights

  • Educational experience for more than 600 hours for organic agriculture, environment, farming systems, entrepreneurship and agriculture, sustainability, agroecology, environmental education, etc.
  • Research contribution to the sector with publications in different journals, experimental experience, fieldwork, participation at events, conferences, seminars, workshops
  • Consulting experience  for 25 years on sustainability and environmental and social priorities and programs

Personal Statement

“I was born in Athens, Greece in 1968. I finished studies as an agronomist and I accomplished a specialization in Organic Farming (a postgraduate program) and a PhD on Sustainability.

My will to participate in the World Board of IFOAM - Organics International is based on my vision to disseminate the important role of organic agriculture worldwide and its undoubtful relation with the environment, its conservation, management and protection. The last 25 years I have been strongly involved with the sector as a result of my studies as an agronomist, my work as an organic farmer, my research and my contribution in different levels as fieldwork, experiments & applications, certification, promotion etc. 

My involvement with IFOAM - Organics International started in 2008 when I was elected as President of IFOAM AgriBioMediterraneo for three different periods (2008–2017). This period was a continuous challenge for understanding the importance of the contribution of all of us for the development and the dissemination of the role of organic agriculture as part of the solution to the important problems and dilemmas of our days (climate change/crisis, loss of biodiversity, the uses of land, the landscape, the degradation of important ecosystems,  the steps for achieving social equity and a fair value chain). These challenges remain at the same base and are updated according to our days’ conditions and situation.

The holistic approach for the agricultural sector could offer values for all, related to food, social wellbeing, rural development, consumption, and a new innovative strategic approach and policies. Organic 3.0 constitutes a benchmark for the future of the organic world because it is a multiparametric proposal for covering the different needs and environmental and social priorities. With the adoption of Organic 3.0 at different continents, civilizations will facilitate the embracing of organic agriculture as an opportunity for a sustainable agricultural model based on ecosystems services.

Strong synergies and enhancement of networking could strengthen the promotion of the sector, and as IFOAM - Organics International cover a worldwide policy that could focus and (re)act on all the important environmental issues, related with agriculture, like water, poverty, natural resources, food systems, biodiversity, sustainable rural development, rural communities etc.

IFOAM - Organics International is part of a common vision, because of its approach for environmentally friendly behavior and policy. It is challenging and inspiring to have the opportunity to contribute to the development and the work of IFOAM - Organics International and make the common vision a reality for all. As a result, I am indicating that I will offer the needed hours and work to IFOAM - Organics International if I will be elected.” - Charikleia Minotou

“We are at a junction in the organic movement globally, where we need to build synergies and find opportunities between all stakeholders in the organic value chain to strengthen ourselves as a holistic organic movement. And I believe this is possible only when the farmers get their long-awaited respect and deserved position instead of just being faces on advertisements to get projects and be beneficiaries in various projects."

 

Current Positions

  • President of Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmer Organisations (INOFO)
  • Treasurer and Managing Committee Member, Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI)
  • Researcher turned organic farmer and entrepreneur

Highlights

  • Bringing farmers first in all dialogues
  • Farmers traditional knowledge and skills strengthen the movement

Personal Statement

“I am a researcher turned organic farmer and entrepreneur by choice originally from Maharashtra, central state of India. I do organic farming presently on 4 acres (1.6 Ha) of leased farmland, where I grow traditional rice varieties and vegetables with my partner in Kerala, southern state of India. Since 2017, I also started a partnership firm called Naisargic Organic in Kerala, to support organic farmers from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Kerala.

After finishing my postgraduate degree in Biodiversity, I decided to take the less trodden way of exploring biodiversity in agriculture. To better understand agriculture I travelled to Vidharbha region (Wardha district) of Maharashtra, the farmer-suicide prone belt of India and worked there for almost two years. It was back then that I decided to drop my PhD and work for the farmers. In Vidharbha, though I was quite young to address any solutions to the existing problems, I was able to have a strong foundation in my career.

It was after completion of a biodiversity project in Coorg that I was offered a job (2012) in the national movement — The Organic Farming Association of India (OFAI). It is a network of organic farmers and consumers across the country. As an organisation, they work with farmers in different states convincing them to implement organic cultivation practices. Earlier, I worked as the Research Director in the central office in Goa. In June 2018 I was elected Treasurer and Managing Committee member to take the lead to drive the movement of organic farming in India.

Through support from OFAI, I had been traveling across the country documenting seed savers and the diversity of traditional seeds. My work paid off when my documented book, “A Source Book on India’s Organic Seeds”, was officially released by the then Hon’ble Minister Ms. Maneka Gandhi, Department of Women and Child Development in February 2015. This book serves to increase the accessibility and availability of these indigenous organic seeds for the organic farmers in villages as well as cities. 

If elected as a WB member, I will continue to bring the challenges of the marginalised smallholder organic family farmers and the solutions that they offer to the global issues on climate change and land degradation through their enormous think tanks of traditional indigenous knowledge. I would work hard using my skills on networking and advocacy at local to global, to recognise and value their knowledge as equal to any laboratory scientists or professionals in the value chain. I do offer my strong commitment, experience and full support of my organisations INOFO and OFAI.” - Shamika Mone

“After this incredible moment of Corona outbreak, people will become more health-conscious, careful with foods, and involved deeper with their local community for security. Organic foods and lifestyle can support this value transformation. I find the role IFOAM will play in the near future is significant more than ever.”

 

Current Positions

  • Vice president of IFOAM Organics Asia
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Regional Representative in Japan

Highlights

  • Established the organic community platform in Chiba prefecture, 2020
  • Started a youth team to promote organic agriculture and food
  • Actively took part in efforts to establish the National Organic Promotion Law in Japan, which was successfully implemented in 2006

Personal Statement

“I first became acquainted with IFOAM as a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I majored in Community Studies, and I chose Organic Movements for my area of focus. From the start of my involvement within this movement, I have worked closely with local and national governments. All stakeholders in society should be included in advocating the values and principles of Organic Agriculture. These efforts can only be multiplied if public sectors are also actively involved in the process. I truly believe in the power of local governments because they can listen to farmers’ voices and support farmers directly and effectively.

I have worked with Kisarazu city where I live, declared as an “organic city”. This was the first in Japan for a small city to declare its intentions to become “organic”. Together with local mayors, we have recently formed a platform to introduce local organic foods in school meals in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. I plan to link these small cities with ALGOA (Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture), a sub-organization of IFOAM Organics Asia. I am appointed as one of the ALGOA Ambassadors and have traveled in many parts of Asia to work and advise local governments. I would like to bring my experience in working with local and national governments and ALGOA to the international organic community. IFOAM - Organics International, with its global membership in 132 countries, can have a wider and bigger impact if its influence can be extended to promoting organic agriculture in local governments and like-minded organizations.

In many parts of the world, women struggle to achieve equality and recognition as providers of foods, caretakers of our health and stewards of Mother Earth. More than half of the farming population are women and they suffer from unfairness and are often excluded from decision-making processes. As such, I am happy to be involved in the formation of an “organic sisterhood” in Asia (“Women in Organic Agriculture in Asia”) and hope to spread this experience to all my other sisters around the world especially under the cooperation with INOFO. It is my profound belief that women must be empowered to achieve full social diversity which in turn can lead to other genders being treated equally.

Lastly, I would like to contribute to the ongoing reforming of our IFOAM structure. My experience on the IFOAM Organics Asia Board will prove valuable towards building a stronger and more supportive network between IFOAM - Organics International and the regional bodies. We must support regional activities where closer relationships with members, farmers, and individuals occur. IFOAM - Organics International has been active for more than 40 years, and it has grown up through many phases. Now is the time to see opportunities and reach to the ground level in synergy through regional groups. Only this can bring stronger connections among our members and activate whole movements.” - Satoko Miyoshi

“I commit to implement IFOAM - Organics International’s strategy of promoting 3.0 that provides a roadmap for innovative, inclusive, fair and impactful organic development from farm to final consumer.”

 

Current Positions

  • Executive Director of ZOPPA Trust
  • Chair of the IFOAM Southern Africa Network

Highlights

  • Initiating the first ever organic cotton project in Zimbabwe, including training other African nationals - Benin, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique - in organic cotton and developing the value chain from field to apparels
  • Starting and leading the Zimbabwe Organic Movement
  • Spearheading development of Zimbabwe Organic Standards and successfully registering them as IFOAM-accredited, found under IFOAM Family of Standards

Personal Statement

“Having experienced the negative impacts of industrial agriculture from my parents’ farm, I abandoned all that I was taught in industrial agriculture and embarked in a world of organic agriculture that was then so much looked down on in my part of the world. With no internet, with no access to books written on organic agriculture, I used grandparents’ knowledge to influence organic farming, until I got connected with the world that taught me a lot about organic agriculture. I then qualified in Agriculture and Rural development from a local agriculture college and Swedish university of agriculture sciences. More than 25 years on, I have never looked back. I juggled my time on being a wife, a mother (raising three children) and on organic agriculture development in Zimbabwe.

In my journey to develop the Zimbabwe organic sector, I worked with Zambezi valley farmers who grew the first certified organic cotton in Zimbabwe and one of the first certified organic cotton in Africa. Using the experiences of Zambezi valley organic cotton farmers, I was part of the team that trained trainers from Tanzania, Senegal, Benin, Kenya and Benin on organic cotton production. I also trained over a thousand farmers on organic farmer participatory research using the farmer field school methodology, leading to increased confidence in adoption of organic agriculture as a farming system and selling of organic produce on the market. Furthermore, I developed the Zimbabwe participatory guarantee scheme where using the Zimbabwe organic standards led a team that trained over 3,000 producers in organic standards knowledge, application and compliance. I spearheaded the development and registration of Zim Organic, a label that is now used in shops to identify Zimbabwe PGS-certified produce. I spearheaded the development of a national organic strategy through inclusive engagement of different stakeholders that included the Zimbabwean government. The national organic strategy was endorsed by the government of Zimbabwe through the ministry of agriculture mechanisation and irrigation development.

I believe IFOAM - Organics international is as strong as its membership. Implementation of its strategy using Organic 3.0 will no doubt increase and strengthen its membership. I believe the inclusivity that is brought about by Organic 3.0 will strengthen IFOAM - Organics International’s base and strengthen the organic movement in Africa and worldwide. My passion in membership is to see increased organisations of farmers, embracing them with Organic 3.0 and designing benefit packages of different producer categories that will see a strong movement at grassroots level. At a higher level, I believe increased collaboration of like-minded organisations and movements such as AFSA at national, regional and international level with the end result to increase benefit to the farmers as they improve food, nutritional and livelihood security.” - Fortunate Nyakanda

“For many years, we have been advocating for organic farming as an efficient system to address and to fight the biodiversity collapse, climate change and soil degradation. However, although some progress was made, we are shocked when witnessing the dynamics of our collapsing ecosystem. More than ever the world needs a powerful and impactful organic movement that can contribute to deal with these serious challenges!”

 

Current Positions

  • Head of Strategy and International Affairs, Naturland (since 2018)
  • Director of local organic fruit advisory service in Germany (2016-17)
  • Former IFOAM Organics Europe Group Director (2003-2016)

Highlights

  • Political experience in the German Parliament
  • 2013–16: Vice chair of the stakeholder advisory board of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI)
  • 2013: Sherpa member of the European Commission steering board on European Innovation Partnerships

Personal Statement

“I have been walking on the organic path since the mid 1990s when I completed a four-year biodynamic farmers apprenticeship and as a certified market gardener for vegetables. After this hands-on experience, I decided to continue my education by studying agricultural sciences. My first work experience after my studies included practical research in organic fruit growing as well as policy work. From 2002, I could channel my political engagement by working in the German Parliament at a time when the federal agriculture minister was a Green Party member.  The political experience in the German Parliament helped me to understand the political mechanics and how important a professional representation in the political arena is. 

Most probably you got to know me when I was building up the organic representation in Brussels in the position of IFOAM Organics Europe Director, contributing to increasing the political influence of the organic movement and sector in Brussels and in European policies (2003–2016). It was an exciting time where we became a serious player in terms of EU agriculture and environmental policies, shaping the EU organic regulation and preventing GMOs from gaining a foothold in the EU. Since 2018, I am working with the international farmers association Naturland, where my role as the  Head of Strategy and International Affairs is to support the smallholders around the globe to develop strategies to support capacity building and designing projects to better serve their needs. In Asia, I could deepen already existing relations and start cooperating with many local organic farmer communities and structures related to organic farming such as IFOAM Organics Asia, the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association and the network of organic municipalities in the Philippines (LOAMCPH). Naturally, I got in touch with the structures of INOFO and had the opportunity to support them on their vision and strategy formulation. 

In my function as IFOAM Organics Europe Director, I was involved in 2011 in the formulation of the strategy to increase the importance of regional groups and sector platforms and to create the IFOAM action group. I think this process was extremely successful. Nevertheless, this success forced us to rethink IFOAM’s governance. How can we efficiently organize the different parts of our structures? How can we best involve the farmers, the membership? How can we share tasks between the global and the regional level? 

Looking at these challenges ahead I would like to offer my skills and capacities to the organic movement, and I am willing to serve in the IFOAM World board. I strongly believe that I can make a positive contribution to the further development of our organization. Therefore, I am willing to bring in my experience of more than 25 years in the organic movement, over one and a half decades experience in strategy, leadership, organizational development and management, fundraising and policy work.” - Marco Schlüter

"My life is steeped in organic farming and it is a core part of who I am. I believe much more needs to be done to support the transition of farmers throughout the developing world to organic systems. As an IFOAM World Board member, I would advocate for a massive increase in investment for organic agriculture by key international organizations and governments, including the creation of a global cost-share program to support the transition of millions of organic farmers in the Global South to organic production.“

 

Highlights

  • Conceptualized and coordinated innovative online platform of talks from agricultural experts on diverse subjects, AgTalks, at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Worked with national farmer’s organizations around the world and advocated for organic agricultural systems as a sustainable alternative to conventional agriculture for the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).
  • Worked for IFOAM – Organics International (2000 & 2003-2008) to increase the global visibility of its work.

Personal Statement

“In 1996, after I had gotten a job at the Wedge Cooperative in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I had an epiphany. At the time I was disillusioned about the world in general, and my efforts were focused on fighting racism, police brutality and working for a range of activist causes.  It came to me that organic agriculture was something I could truly believe in unequivocally; organic farming represented a sustainable solution to a destructive agricultural system that was polluting our waterways, poisoning our bodies, homogenizing our diets and in general wreaking havoc on our planet. Organic farming from that point on became my religion.

I had the opportunity to serve as a Clerk for Senator Janet Johnson in the Minnesota State Senate. She was very supportive of environmental causes and knew that I was an ardent supporter of organic agriculture, so she put me to the task of putting together legislation to promote organic farming in Minnesota, which came to be known as the Minnesota Organic Agriculture Promotion and Education Act of 1999, and included a wide range of mechanisms in support of organic farming, including a certification cost-share program that helped farmers to transition to organic; this legislation was subsequently replicated at the national level. As a result of this experience, I was offered an internship at IFOAM, and I ultimately worked for IFOAM for more than five years leading communications and event management.

My life is steeped in organic farming and is a core part of who I am. I have a deep understanding of IFOAM, its policies, as well as organic farming and certification norms and practices. I have advocated for organic agriculture throughout my life and at every opportunity during my career. I am very well connected internationally, with United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, civil society organizations across the spectrum, research institutions and donors. I have specialized training in governance and international diplomacy, and strong relationships with key players in governments. As an IFOAM World Board, I would bring my passion for organic agriculture to bear, taking advantage of my lifetime of experience working internationally to scale up support for organic farming.

Over the past nearly ten years I have worked extensively on land issues, including women’s land rights, community land rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. This has opened my eyes to the importance of land rights as a key component of sustainability. Organic agriculture must not be complicit in land grabs that undermine the land rights of communities for the benefit of the elite. As such, I would work to work to inscribe in organic guarantee systems that no land that comes from land grabbing from indigenous and local communities can be certified as organic, and for those that can be proven to have come from land grabs or from suspect land deals be excluded categorically from organic certification.

also believe in the pre-eminence of the IFOAM Norms as the basis of all organic standards worldwide. When the US and the EU created their official organic standards, power shifted to lobbyists. Now, though the IFOAM Norms continue to evolve, we must enter into a complicated and expensive process of influencing governments to ensure organic systems continue to represent the will of the movement. This should not be the case. Evolution of organic standards, particularly in these major markets, should be automatically tied to the IFOAM Norms and their evolution. To ensure the continued integrity of the organic system and to limit the influence of corrupt and corporate actors, we must endeavor to make IFOAM Norms not just a guide, but the source of government standards worldwide. As an IFOAM World Board member, I would do everything within my power to ensure this is the case.

Importantly, I am not bound by vested interests. I would be a World Board member exclusively in my personal capacity. I would make no attempt to enrich myself, nor any company or organization, through my engagement as a World Board member. It would be my privilege and honor to serve on the IFOAM World Board.” - Neil Sorensen

“I am passionate about organic agriculture and capacity building to enable organic change. As a member of the World Board I will work together to develop strategic recommendations that help IFOAM - Organics International further the mainstream adoption of organic practice.”

 

Current Positions

  • Associate Professor, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU)
  • Vice President of IFOAM North America
  • Board of Directors, Rodale Institute
  • Vice President of Organic Farmers Association (OFA).
  • Vice Chair of the Organic Farmers Association’s Policy Committee
  • Advisor to the National Organic Coalition

Highlights

  • PhD in Teaching and Learning - Vocational and Technical Education
  • Rodale Institute, 2019 Organic Pioneer Award Recipient, Organic Industry Innovator
  • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s 2019 Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award Recipient

Personal Statement

“I am excited to participate, serve and work on the World Board. As a World Board member, I will work to promote the benefits of organic, facilitate capacity building for organic farmers and their communities and
training of organic leaders; and will work to grow the global organic marketplace.

I have worked in teaching, research and service of organic agriculture, with organic farmers and the organic movement for more than twenty years. I am a certified organic farm owner and an indigenous, minority organic small farmer. At Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University I am associate professor and coordinator of Small Farm Programs. I created, developed, and implemented an innovative learning paradigm, the FAMU StateWide Small Farm Program, an active participatory capacity building program designed to assist and equip underserved farming populations and their families toward a thriving sustainable development. The Program came out of my previous research efforts and work, where I identified the needs of over a million small-scale farmers, globally. This research determined the lack of emphasis by agricultural research and extension development to provide targeted assistance (education, training message/technology) to the largest segment of the world’s farming population, the small-scale farmers, resource poor farmers, indigenous farmers, ethnic farmers, and women farmers. This is still a challenge in several areas of the world and the United States. The StateWide Small Farm Program uses a participatory sustainable development approach to provide relevant non-formal participatory education, hands-on training and technical assistance to underserved farming populations and their communities on organic, organic farming systems/organic agroecology farm practices, organic benefits and value, the principles of organic agriculture, etc. to enhance sustainability, encourage organic thriving livelihoods, facilitate organic food pathways, and enable change that empowers wellbeing and quality of life.

My contribution on the World Board would be towards work in support of Organic 3.0 in line with the principles of organic agriculture; to promote participatory capacity building with underserved farming populations, small farmers, indigenous farmers, minority farmers, and their communities to empower and enable wellbeing and quality of life; and work in support of strategies that enable participatory sustainable organic capacity building to achieve the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).

I am also willing to serve and work on the World Board where there is a need.” - Jennifer Taylor

"I understand that there is a significant change to the World Board. I can offer some corporate experience, strategic direction, problem-solving and networking that I feel can benefit the movement across the next decade."

 

Current Positions

  • Joint owner of SD & SA TULLY ATF MT DEWALLA Trust
  • AOM GROUP PTY LTD, Founder/Owner/Director

Highlights 

  • One of the founders of the organic beef industry in Australia
  • Retiring Co-Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia 
  • Ex-member of the Federal Government National Food Plan Advisory Group 

Personal Statement

“I have been an organic farmer for over 20 years and have established, or supported, several successful businesses during that time. Through my company I have supported and co-funded large-scale certification initiatives in Australia, New Zealand, and Vanuatu. My goal has always been to remain the champion for farmers around the world. I believe strongly that this path represents the leading edge for environmental and economic renewal across many landscapes and communities.

The world has changed, and our movement must adapt and step up to the opportunities awaiting it. This will be a period of opportunity, risk, and challenge. As well as ensuring the financial strength of the IFOAM movement, my interest lies in communicating and supporting initiatives at governmental policy level. This will ensure research and development programs across agricultural ministries include organic farming and associated support industries. As a representative from Australia, I am working hard to encourage and support our industry to consider the formation of an Oceania Regional Body.

Most organic land in the Oceania region is in Australia (35.7 million hectares, most of which is extensive grazing land), followed by Samoa (more than 97,000 hectares), and New Zealand (almost 89,000 hectares).

The highest organic shares of all national agricultural land were in Samoa (34.5 percent), followed by Vanuatu (13.7 percent), Fiji (9.7 percent), Australia (8.8 percent), Kiribati (4.7 percent), and Solomon Islands (4.4 percent). Four countries in Oceania have legislation on organic agriculture, and twelve countries have a national standard but no organic legislation.

There are more than 7,500 organic producers across the region and there is more certified organic land in Australia than any other country in the world. Currently, out of the total certified organic agriculture accounts for 70 million hectares globally, with over half of that total in Australia. In the Pacific Islands work on a regional strategy and national plans to lay the foundation of sustainable organic agriculture development in the region is in progress.

Our goals are the following:

  • In accordance with Organic 3.0 objectives, elevate the importance of organic farming practices among the mainstream research, development, innovation, and education institutions around the world.

  • Increase the participation of government agencies in key regions and regional groupings, with specific reference to Oceania.

  • Identify new priority issues and global trends, with opportunities to become more involved with global research activities.

  • Demonstrate leadership and encouragement to the global agricultural sector of the benefits of organic to the wider community.

  • Provide a focal point for the unification and collaboration of an industry composed of a diverse range of stakeholders distributed across the nation, predominantly in rural areas.

  • To highlight Australia’s commitment to the development of the organic industry and the important opportunity for collaboration with the Pacific for the co-benefits of organic." - Simone Tully

“As a consumer and professional, I want to support smallholder farmers to provide us with healthy, organic food and for them to make a fair living out of it. This is why I work on sustainable food systems, currently in Uganda. It is key to reduce hunger, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and provide healthy food within the boundaries of our planet.”

 

Current Positions

  • Social Food Entrepreneur
  • Experienced project manager and food systems practitioner
  • Co-Founder of Antwerp Food Council

Highlights

  • Extensive organic network and experience in Latin America, Africa & Europe
  • 2018–2020 Board Member of a Belgian umbrella organization - ‘Consuming Responsibly Network’
  • Organic action research in Peru and business development of short food supply chains in Belgium

Personal Statement

“I strongly identify with the Organic 3.0 approach. I believe every farmer finds him- or herself somewhere on the “agroecological ladder”: what is most important is their next step on this ladder, moving towards organic or beyond (agroecology, regenerative, biodynamic, permaculture). As citizens and consumers, we can design our food systems to recognise and reward them for each incremental step. To pull a demand-driven transition. My contribution for the present OWC, titled “Organics 3.0: Partnerships as a key to accelerate the agricultural transition in times of farmerwashing?”, testifies to my striving to integrate organic principles, continuous improvement and PGS into short food supply chains in Europe (amended Motion 68 of the 2017 IFOAM - Organics International GA). 

Strategy building, network governance, business development, partnerships, and financial management were core activities and competences when I was active as a Benelux Manager for The Food Assembly. Managing field activities, project M&E, and strong cross-cultural communication skills were key to my work in Peru as a Technical Coordinator of the Agroeco project. For the past 11 years, IPES-Food and IFOAM - Organics International have been my main source of inspiration to follow the path I choose: investing in family farmers and their communities through holistic and regenerative approaches to agriculture. This is largely inspired by my parents’ education, with solidarity and cooperation as key values, and by my career start in Peru where I worked with Andean farmers and their powerful cosmovision, agriculture together  with Pachamama instead of against her. 

My main fields of expertise are centered around food security, market access, PGS, social entrepreneurship, sustainable food systems and strategies. I have a particular interest in true-cost accounting  and I am a fond supporter of the importance of certified organic. I also strongly support IFOAM - Organics International’s work on food security and supporting agroecological farmer movements worldwide (amended motion of the 2017 GA).

With my background in development projects, advocacy, food system design and multi-stakeholder processes, I am keen on contributing to the elaboration of funding proposals and strategic position papers. Therefore, as a member of the World Board, I would propose to contribute with building partnerships and driving funding proposals around three topics:

  1. To continue the work on putting agroecology centre-stage in both food security programmes and city-region food systems. 

  2. To facilitate the adoption of PGS and demand-driven progress towards truly sustainable farming models in short food supply chain networks. 

  3. To build a worldwide enabling ecosystem for social organic food entrepreneurship, based on inclusive business models and by leveraging impact investment funds.” - Hannes Van den Eeckhout