Organic head appointed to ACCC

Australian Organic has announced CEO Niki Ford has been appointed to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Agriculture Consultative Committee (AgCC) and will also join the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program 2020.

As part of the 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 representative for Australian Organic, 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 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.”

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.

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.”