The Association’s governance body is called the National Council (NC).

NC Members are appointed by the membership and elected for a two-year term.

 

Graham Clarke, Chair

Through serving Soil & Health, Graham aims to achieve more sustainable food production in New Zealand which he believes is the only way to get better quality nutrition to New Zealanders. “Through ‘Healthy soil, healthy food’ we can grow healthy people”.

Not only has Graham had governance experience with Federated Farmers, the Beef Council and the Animal Health Board, he has also been a farmer all of his life and was a BioGro certified sheep and beef farmer on 1200Ha so completely understands what it means to be a licensee

Graham takes a pragmatic approach to issues and wishes to see the agri-business sector influenced as well as our own community.

Currently studying to qualify as a health coach, Graham passionately believes that organic food and products can make a significant and positive difference in all of our lives.

 

Marion Thomson

Marion considers it an honour to be involved with the Soil & Health Association of NZ through the National Council and welcomes the opportunity to continue her work with an organisation that has such an inspiring vision – Organic Aotearoa by 2020

Marion is involved on many levels with individuals, groups, schools and communities who are all on the pathway to achieving this vision. People that are working to become more self reliant, growing their own organic food, supporting organic growers, buying local, and working towards a lower carbon economy.

Currently a tutor for EIT / Tairawhiti Polytech at Auntys Garden at Waipatu Marae, Marion teaches fulltime levels 1-3 Horticulture Courses which are free and marae based. I have been involved at Aunty’s Garden and at Waipatu Marae since the large garden for the community was developed in Spring 2010. I have also taught over 100 whanau basic gardening, health, nutrition and cooking skills through contracts with the HBDHB and Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

Marion is also the OFNZ Certification Manager for the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne areas promoting ecological sustainability on a daily basis through many different projects including: information and education, green waste and food waste recycling, organic certification (OFNZ), organic gardening, green building, restoration projects.

She believes the Soil & Health Association has the potential to not only improve and strengthen not only the environmental, but also the social and economic framework of Aotearoa.

 

Michael Ryan

Michael received a BSc in chemistry and biochemistry, followed by an MBA from Boston University, USA. His career began initially in finance, developing into broader business management appointments. This has included national and regional appointments for both Watties and HJ Heinz, giving him a strong background in the established food industry.

In recent years Michael has assisted companies improve performance through incorporating or changing management systems. He has also assisted start-up businesses with strategy and funding plans.

His vision for becoming involved with Soil & Health is to assist getting the Association to the next stage of professionalism and effectiveness in the global move to healthy, natural, and sustainable agriculture.

 

Moko Morris

The national coordinator of Te Waka Kai Ora, Moko is excited about supporting maara kai in Ōtaki, (where she is based) to become Hua Parakore verified.

A former enviroschools facilitator, Moko is now a teacher in the Environmental Unit, Te Puna, at Te Wananga o Raukawa. Her year two students learn skills to evaluate the health and wellbeing of freshwater ecosystems at catchment scale, te reo Māori, and iwi and hapu studies which explore their marae, history, waiata. The students also receive a one-year subscription to Organic NZ.

Moko will also be working with Ngā Purapua (Institute of Māori Lifestyle and Advancement Centre) to develop healthy eating and cooking classes.

 

Mark Houghton-Brown

Mark has been an organic farmer in some form over 30 years on 3 continents now, and has been a longstanding Trustee of the Soil Association in the UK.

He is a company director who has serial commercial governance experience with organic brands and has made a lifetime mission, of putting sustainable agriculture into practical action.

Mark has lived in Nelson with his family for the past 10 years. He is presently Chair of Biogro Ltd and is keen to help Soil & Health, and support the strengthening of the organic movement in its further development towards the vision during the merger process.

 

Chris May

As a member of the Soil & Health Association’s National Council, Chris offers necessary experience and leadership skills that are specifically relevant to the possible merger with the BioGro Society (including BioGro Ltd) and the further developments of organics in New Zealand.

His professional career has centred around the technical aspects of organic production, building networks, value adding, inspection and engaging with certification providers (such as BioGro Ltd) to help build consumer trust in organic products and improve producer’s income.

Chris is a member of OFNZ Coromandel and serves on the IFOAM PGS committee. He also works in Asia and the Pacific supporting initiatives to help producers gain recognition in local markets and expand their organic sectors. Past leadership roles in New Zealand include President of Soil & Health Association, a leadership role in the establishment of the BioGro NZ and later the development of Organic Farm NZ (OFNZ).

 

Gaz Ingram

Gaz has been involved in the New Zealand organic scene for over 20 years, firstly as an organic pipfruit grower in Hawkes Bay and now as Organic & Biological Manager for Farmlands Co-operative Society Ltd.

Gaz is also currently a Director for BioGro NZ Ltd, New Zealand’s leading organic certification company and Chair of the NZ Biological Producers and Consumers Society Incorporated. He is a long term resident of Hawkes Bay, originally growing up on a sheep and beef farm and now lives in Hastings, Hawkes Bay with wife Sarah and daughter Madison.

Gaz is a strong supporter of not only the organic industry in New Zealand but also those who are actively trying to reduce their agrichemical and fertiliser usage by adopting newer forms of inputs and practices and developing a better understanding of the chemistry options they choose to use in their operations.