Press Release 21 May 2020
Leading industry organisation Australian Organic is thrilled to announce CEO Niki Ford has been successfully appointed to the ACCC’s Agriculture Consultative Committee (AgCC) and will also join the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program 2020.
As part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the AgCC provides advice and information on issues affecting the agriculture sector. Members are drawn from a range of backgrounds and industries within the agriculture sector including peak bodies, industry associations, and industry advisors. Members typically hold office for a period of two years.
As chief representative for Australian Organic, Ms Ford will join the AgCC’s current membership committee of 22 other key industry organisations including WoolProducers Australia, Grain Trade Australia, and the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
Members provide input on issues and processes affecting the agriculture sector that fall within the scope of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010; emerging issues or market developments of concern to the agriculture sector; information dissemination strategies and appropriate networks available to enhance communication with the agriculture sector, and other issues as requested by the ACCC.
“To be invited to join the AgCC is a huge honour and is exciting for Australian Organic to now have a seat at the table with representatives from other top industry bodies,” said Ms Ford. “This year we will be fighting for domestic regulation to be enforced for the organic industry in Australia so being part of the committee will enable us to discuss this, along with other issues, in greater depth.”
Ms Ford will also commence with the NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program 2020. Selected from more than 80 applicants, Ms Ford is one of 12 outstanding women who will be mentored over the course of a five-month one-on-one program working with some of Australia’s most experienced leaders. Now in its third year, the mentors will assist the selected applicants in defining and planning their leadership aspirations.
The 2020 mentee group hails from across the nation and boasts a broad range of expertise from science; research and development; farm health and safety; education; and farm business management.
“As the CEO of Australian Organic, the peak body for the organic industry, Niki has a passion and a vision for the future of Australian agriculture, and we’re delighted to have her join this year’s program.” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
Ms Ford said it was a privilege to be associated with such an accomplished group of women and mentor leaders. “Like many CEOs today, I have never actually had a formal mentor so I feel the opportunity to learn from one will be invaluable for both myself and Australian Organic in terms of future growth and development. Being part of the program also gives Australian Organic the chance to broaden its connections, and further educate people about the role of organics in agriculture.”
Ms Simson, who is the first female president of the NFF in its 40-year history, said the NFF is committed to encouraging female leadership in agriculture.
“In 2020, women make up more than 50 per cent of agricultural tertiary enrolments and on farm women are at the forefront of the adoption of ag-tech and innovation,” said Ms Simson. “Yet women continue to be under-represented in the senior levels of our industry. The 2030 Roadmap, NFF’s plan for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030, details a target to double the number of women in leadership positions by 2030. Through this program and together with the industry, the NFF is determined to meet this goal.”
Ms Simson added the program is helping to make serious inroads towards this. “Graduates of the 2018 and 2019 programs have gone on to assume federal and state government-based board roles and to be high-profile female advocates and leaders of our sector.”
For media enquiries, and to interview Australian Organic CEO Niki Ford, please contact:
Fleur Michell Account Manager/Content Editor – The Connect Agency
P: 0407 077 493