The Board of Directors is the highest decision-making body of the organisation which is charged with the following key tasks:
- Overall policy direction of the organisation
- Supervision of quality
- Supervision of finances
- Appointment of Committees and their members
The Board consists of a minimum of 7 individuals appointed in a manner that safeguards impartiality and enables the participation of all parties significantly concerned in the development and principles regarding the content and functioning of the work undertaken.
The Board appoints an Executive Committee of a President, Treasurer and Secretary to provide closer supervision and support to the senior management.
Current Board Members
Boudewijn van Elzakker, Netherlands
Bo works for Agro Eco – Louis Bolk Institute, an independent research-advisory-development organisation. He has 30 years’ experience in organic agriculture in all aspects: primary production, producer organisation, value chain development, conversion & business planning, marketing, organic integrity. He has assisted in the development of over 100 value chains in Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and since 1995 mainly Africa. He wrote the Organic Business Guide on developing sustainable value chains with smallholder farmers. His organisation also works with Rainforest Alliance/UTZ besides organic. Bo is involved in the accreditation of certifiers to the MSC, FSC, ASC and RSPO standards. He is a founder of the Anti-Fraud Initiative.
Diana Callear, South Africa
Diana is an agricultural economist who worked for several years for southern African governments on rural development, food policy, poverty, and drought issues. Then in 2000 she set up Afrisco Certified Organic as the only accredited indigenous South African organic certification body. Her commitment to organic agriculture comes from her belief that chemical agriculture is responsible for much of the devastation of Africa’s fragile soils, as well as promoting climate change. She is committed to a more sustainable agriculture.
Francis Blake, UK
Francis is currently
Chief Advisor to COSMOS. A published expert on organic farming and management, he has over 30 years experience in representing the organic agricultural movement in the UK and internationally through past appointments as IFOAM EU group President and Standards Director and policy advisor for the Soil Association, co-owner of Nine Springs Natural Health Centre and Chairman of Ecos Homes Ltd. His wide range of technical expertise covers all areas of organic production, processing, legislation and standards including aquaculture, forestry, cosmetics, textiles, ethical and fair trade; governance and CSR, sustainable building and development and complementary health. Francis joined the IOAS board in 2015.
Michael Sligh, USA
Michael Sligh, is Policy Director for Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA). He manages policy, research and education regarding agricultural best practices, agro-biodiversity, agro-biotechnology, organic, identity preserved and a range of food justice and other value-added food labeling and marketing issues. He has more than 30 years experience in agricultural practices and policy analysis, including both domestic and international work. He is a part-time family farmer and a trained anthropologist. He has helped found and run numerous agricultural organisations, including as the founding Chair of the USDA/National Organic Standards Board, founder of Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, founder of National Organic Coalition, founding partner of Agricultural Justice Project and a founding member of Domestic Fair Trade Association. He lives, farms and works from North Carolina.
Peggy Miars, USA
Peggy has over 20 years management experience helping to advance the organic agriculture movement in the United States, with involvement in marketing, communications , strategic planning and implementation to fiscal accountability. Currently CEO of Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) which provides expert, independent and transparent verification of input materials as well as education and technical assistance. Peggy’s breadth of understanding of the organic industry has evolved from her previous work with certifiers and retailers; Executive Director for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), Marketing Manager at Earthbound Farm and Marketing Director at Whole Foods Market. Appointed to the World Board of IFOAM – Organics International in 2014 to help grow the global organic market place, Peggy became IFOAM Organics International President in 2017. Peggy joined the IOAS board in 2015.
Rikke Lundsgaard, Denmark
Rikke is an agronomist by training with an MSc from the Royal Agricultural University in Copenhagen and has worked consistently in the field of organic agriculture since graduating. She worked first as an organic farm advisor between 1987 and 1995 and then became the manager of the First Organic World Exhibition in Copenhagen, 1995–1996. Since 1996 she works as the Chief Agricultural Policy Officer at the Danish Society for Nature Conservation. She served as a member of the IFOAM Standards Committee between 1990 and 1997 and was its chairperson for five of those years. She is currently a member of the Organic Food and Farming Council under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Agriculture.
Robert Duxbury, United Kingdom
Robert studied horticulture in the mid-’70s and took a position as assistant manager of a mushroom farm immediately after leaving college. In 1980 he began a 25 year career at Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest retailers, initially as a fresh produce technologist and finally becoming Technical Manager of Organic Foods. He was also a member of the board of the UK competent authority and involved in putting together the UK’s first Organic Action Plan. He started his own consultancy – True Food Values – and then moved to Bristol when he was appointed certification director at the Soil Association. He now devotes some of his time voluntarily to the International Organic Accreditation Service as its President and the remainder to sharing a love of singing and the enjoyment of being in Bristol with his partner, Maita.
Vitoon Panyakul, Thailand
Vitoon Panyakul has been working with the Thai organic movement since 1991. As an organic pioneer, he helped to establish several organisations active in organic agriculture promotion like the Green Net Cooperative (organic and fair trade distributor and exporter), the Earth Net Foundation (non-profit foundation working to support small-scale farmers for organic conversion in Asia region), the Organic Agriculture Certification Thailand (organic certification body active in southeast Asia region), and the Thai Organic Trader Association.