Sarah Compson, Marco Schlüter and Paul Holmbeck candidates for IFOAM World Board election
On 13-14 September, IFOAM – Organics International’s General Assembly will take place, during which it will choose a new World Board. IFOAM Organics Europe has been an active member of the Nomination Committee of IFOAM Organics International and helped to find candidates for the World Board election in 2020, as stated in “Making IFOAM EU Fit for the Future” (links to our member extranet), the report on organizational development 2018/2020 presented by the board at IFOAM Organics Europe’s 2020 General Assembly .
In this context, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Board identified and supported two candidates with excellent knowledge of the European organic sector and expertise valuable for the World Board: Sarah Compson and Marco Schlüter. Due to postponing IFOAM – Organics International’s General Assembly from 2020 to 2021, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Board had the possibility to examine the candidature of Paul Holmbeck and decided to support it too. Although there are several good candidates from or living in European countries, the EU Board recommends voting for Sarah Compson, Marco Schlüter and Paul Holmbeck as World Board members during the next IFOAM Organics International General Assembly.
Chairing of IFOAM Organics Europe’s Interest Group of Organic Processors and Traders, Sarah is currently the International Development Manager at Soil Association (UK), as well as a member of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) standards committee and the Organic Cotton Ambassador at Textile Exchange.
Sarah is a passionate advocate for organic, with a strong track record of convening and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders across the globe to support and develop the organic movement. Her experience helped her gain philosophical and technical knowledge of matters affecting the organic sector, covering a wide range of organic topics both in relation to principle and practice, including GM, social justice and regulation.
“I believe that the organic movement can play a critical role in informing and improving the environmental and social impacts of agriculture worldwide. I would relish the opportunity to represent the movement and would bring my energy, enthusiasm, passion and commitment to advocate for the solutions that organic can deliver”, says Sarah.
A trained biodynamic farmer, Marco Schlüter is a strong advocate for organic food and farming. Following a master’s in agriculture science, he became assistant to a Green member of the Bundestag before being appointed as IFOAM Organics Europe’s Director in 2003. In his time as Director, Marco helped build the advocacy organisation and give a voice to the organic movement in the EU. After 13 years, he stepped down and took on new challenges as Head of the Organic Fruit Advisory Service. He is now Head of Strategy & International Affairs and a Member of the Management Board at Naturland.
Marco Schlüter believes that “in times of fundamental global crisis, the world depends urgently on an effective and good governed organic movement where the regional and global level go together hand in hand.”
Paul Holmbeck is an emblematic figure of the European food and farming movement, who spent more than 20 years as Director of Organic Denmark. As such, he contributed to forge strong organic policies and broad political and civil society alliances in favour or organic, thus building one of the world’s leading NGO in the organic food sector. In 2020, he launched Holmbeck EcoConsult to focus on advising leaders in government, business and NGOs on the global challenges we face (climate, biodiversity, hunger, social justice).
If elected to the World Board, Paul will be dedicated to strengthening IFOAM Organics International’s members capacity to drive change through organic policy, market development and work with organic farmers and allies. He also believes in the need to position organic farming and food in the sustainability agenda and will have a specific focus on organizational development and fundraising activities.
As IFOAM Organics Europe, we are convinced by all three candidates’ skills and experience and fully supports them for IFOAM Organics International’s World Board election. We are sure they will help develop IFOAM Organics International and its Regional Bodies.