Australian Organic is a member based, not-for-profit, industry body with a responsibility to protect and promote the agricultural and ecological resources of Australia.
Martin Meek joined the Flannery franchise group of stores with Mal Flannery in 1993, where he was managing director and equal partner until 2008. He created the online store, Daintree Organics and holds a stake in United Organics, a certified organic fresh produce wholesaler based at the Brisbane Markets.
Kim Morgan’s passion for organics resulted in the establishment of the certified food business mOrganics. Kim is the representative for Gemtree Vineyards and coordinates International Trade Missions and stands at trade and consumer events in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia.
Leo Watling and his family have been eating certified organic products for over 20 years. When his wife suffered a serious health concern, exacerbated by the food she consumed they switched to organic foods. In 2013 Leo and his wife Jenny developed their own Certified Organic retail business, Apples and Sage Organic Wholefoods.
Bernadette Favis originally worked as a corporate lawyer and governance professional before she rediscovered her love of plant based oils and established Cocolife, a health food purpose driven company. Winner of the Young Organic Leader Award at the 2017 Annual Awards for Excellence, Bernadette Favis is recognised for her achievements and her sustainable outlook.
Sonya Dowling is Director of Australia’s longest established certified organic chicken and turkey producer, Enviroganic Farm. Sonya liaises directly with clients including Inghams and Woolworths. She believes it is vital the organic industry is well represented and has a united voice.
Iain Scholes, Braemar Investments Group, has grown his family certified organic beef cattle business at Mena Park over the last 20 years. Alongside the day-to-day management of Mena Park, Iain oversees and manages all properties within the Braemar Investment Group, supplying Arcadian Organic & Natural Meat Co.
RECENTLY RETIRED MEMBERS
Quentin Kennedy owns and manages Kialla Pure Foods, an organic cereal grain processing operation based in Darling Downs, Queensland. Kialla supplies within Australia and exports to Asia and New Zealand. Quentin has served on the Australian Organic board since 2005.
Andrew Monk is highly regarded in environmental, food safety and organic auditing systems. Managing Director of Mulching Technologies; Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of New England; Chairman for Enervest; and Chairman of ASX listed company Murray River Organics (ASX:MRG).
OUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Born in Toowoomba, Niki’s rural roots have always been close to her heart and have driven her interest in agriculture; while food, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle led Niki to begin her study of Nutritional Medicine and live an organic life.
In 2014, Niki was able to realise her dream of combining her highly developed skillset with her passion for the organic industry. Niki has held senior leadership positions within the Organic industry and is the Founder of Naturalis Advisory; a consultancy specialising in the organic sector, assisting businesses to review, design and implement successful business strategies from start to finish. Niki has an extensive background in Sales and Marketing across the FMCG industry, spanning more than 15 years. Educated and trained within the highly competitive liquor industry, Niki has held leadership positions in domestic and global businesses delivering solid commercial outcomes.
Niki joined leading organic industry body Australian Organic Ltd in 2018 as General Manager and was appointed to the position of CEO in June 2019. Niki has been with the company for 13 months. In her time she has navigated a demerge, key staff changes, industry turmoil and several changes at board level. Through all of this, Niki had stayed the course, delivered on key strategies and built a robust, dynamic team. Niki is a great asset to Australian Organic and an excellent ambassador for the organic industry. Australian Organic has set some ambitious and progressive goals for 2020 and we are sure Niki and her team will succeed – not just for AO members but for the organic industry as a whole.
CEO Updates 2019
Martin Meek is partner at United Organics, a certified organic wholesaler specialising in fresh produce. United Organics has been around since the early 90’s and is the only certified wholesaler to have a selling floor in the Brisbane Markets – supplying retail trade, restaurants and internet traders. United Organics sources from certified organic growers across the country and also exports to Hong Kong and Singapore. Martin is also the produce buyer for United Organics, speaking with farmers directly and understanding their challenges as their businesses are co-dependent.
Martin understands that the horticulture sector is the most vulnerable to fraudulent organic claims, as well as the corrosive and pervasive trends of “Sustainable, ECO, IMP, Spray Free, Local and Certified.” Products at United Organics are not packed, as they deal with many small scale producers in an industry that do not have the protection of packaging and the accompanying labelling laws. Implementing measures that will give Certified Organic Growers protection in this changing landscape is a principle driver for standing for re-election.
Martin has been involved in the organic industry since 1993 when he started with Flannery’s Natural Grocers; he and his wife Genevieve bought into the company around 2 years later. Martin remained partners with Mal Flannery until 2008 when the stores were sold. His time with Flannery’s provided an intimate insight into the wants and needs of the organic consumer.
Martin appreciates that every decision he makes as a business owner, and every decision made as a board, eventually trickles down to impact the organic consumer with their purchasing decisions. He adds that if he can help implement measures to protect our growers, the flow on effect is protection for the consumers – the winner being everyone in the organic industry.
Kelly joined AOL in July 2019. As Executive Assistant, Kelly directly supports CEO Niki Ford, the Board of Directors and the Industry Advisory Committees. Kelly also supports the AOL team with day-to-day diary management, meeting coordinations and administration support.
Contact for: CEO & Board coordination, Advisory Committee queries, Government & industry communications, grant applications, meeting & general enquiries
Kelsie started with Australian Organic in August 2018 as the Memberships Coordinator. After 5 months in this role, Kelsie transitioned to Events and Social Media Coordinator. After working in commercial radio for 9 years, Kelsie enjoys socialising so managing events comes naturally. Being GEN Y – social media is her jam! She thoroughly enjoys being able to create shareable and relatable content.
Contact for: Social media, events, ambassadors and influencer program, podcasts, videography & photography
Rhonda has been with Australian Organic Ltd as a Finance & Administration Manager for nearly 13 years, and enjoys working with members and certified operator across a broad range of industry issues. Rhonda is a wealth of knowledge surrounding the history of Australian Organic, its members and past and current industry issues.
Contact for: finance & invoicing, membership, general information.
Amanda joined Australia Organic Ltd early 2019 as Marketing Projects Coordinator with over ten years’ experience working within corporate marketing teams delivering design, event and marketing projects. Amanda leads the projects executed by AOL including major campaigns Australian Organic Awareness Month, Australian Organic Industry Awards and projects across the marketing calendar.
Contact for: projects, partnerships, campaign management
Harriet joined Australian Organic in April 2019 with a background in digital marketing and creative writing. Harriet oversees day-to-day management of the AOL & AOS websites, manages member communications including monthly newsletters, digital and print publications and assists with media enquiries.
Contact for: website queries, advertising, publications, general communications
Carla joined Australian Organic in December 2019 and is responsible for the development of curriculum aligned educational activities. As a registered nurse and Home Economics teacher, Carla believes teachers play an important role in students’ knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for making healthy choices and how their choices affect wellbeing and sustainable food futures.
Contact for: Australian Organic Schools Program, educational resources & partnerships
Shari joined Australian Organic in February 2020, with a background in not-for-profit, member-based organisations, as well as sponsorships and events. Shari will oversee partnerships for Australian Organic, looking after members and sponsors in order to strengthen ongoing relationships.
Contact for: Member queries, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, Bud Organic Club
Owen Gwilliam is Australian Organic’s Chief Technical Officer. He has carried out organic auditing, training and consulting in 15 countries, over the last 19 years of his career in Organics. Having served the Australian Organic industry in all levels of certification – from farm auditing, to certification management at Australia’s largest certification body – he is now focused on standards development, market access, and industry development.
Contact for: Australian Certified Organic Standard queries
Australian Organic is a member owned not-for-profit industry body. We support and promote certified organic businesses.
The Bud logo is the oldest Australian organic certification mark in the country still currently in use and represents Australia’s leading certification logo, ‘Australian Certified Organic’ – ensuring integrity of organic products in the marketplace.