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
Francis Blake, UK
Francis is currently semi-retired, but still involved in occasional consultancy work, with eg COSMOS, Tun (Iceland) and Standard Life Ethicals Funds Advisory Group. 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, Chair of COSMOS, and Standards Director and policy advisor for the Soil Association. He is also co-owner of Nine Springs Natural Health Centre and of Flaxdrayton Farm Workshops. 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, and the board of the new Alliance for Organic Integrity in 2019.
Kathryn has been working for the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand since 2008 and has a deep understanding of accreditation activities, with responsibility for ensuring that assessments are undertaken of over 130 CABs covering in excess of 140 schemes in the areas of management systems, inspection, product certification, personnel and GHG verification. This is on top of personally undertaking assessments of organisations providing organic certification, and prior experience as a certification body auditor for 14 years.
She is also a current member of APAC’s MRA Management Committee, Chair of the Technical Committee (TC2 – certification & verification/validation), newly appointed as a member of APACs Executive Committee and is a New Zealand member of ISO/CASCO Committee on conformity assessment, this results in strong background in Accreditation and Certification mixed with the ability to be creative and realistic without compromising the integrity of the system.
Michael Sligh, USA
Michael Sligh, is currently serving as board member to the newly formed Alliance for Organic Integrity, National Governing Council of the Organic Farmers Association in the USA and senior advisor to the National Organic Coalition.
He is a former Policy Director for Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA), where he managed policy, research and education regarding agricultural best practices for organic, agro-biodiversity, identity preserved and a range of food justice and other value-added food labelling, policy and marketing issues for 33 years. Prior to this served he two years in agricultural development work in the WIndward Islands.
Michael has more than 40 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, a founding member of Domestic Fair Trade Association and the Organic Farmers Associaiton. 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.
Sandeep Bhargava, India
Sandeep has experience of more than 2.5 decades spanning Educational institutes, farms, industry, auditing and certification and has served as a member and been proactively involved with regulatory committees pertaining to areas of inspection and certification nationally and internationally. Currently CEO of Onecert International with around 15 national and international accreditations in organic food, food safety, textile and sustainable agriculture he has experience of working in 20 countries over 4 continents.
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.