Meet our team

Donald Nordeng, CEO

Donald Nordeng, CEO

Akiko Nicholls,  Technical and Accreditations Manager

Akiko Nicholls, Technical and Accreditations Manager

Lakshmi Budaraju,  Data Information Officer

Lakshmi Budaraju, Data Information Officer

Robyn Vickery, Marketing & Communications Manager

Robyn Vickery, Marketing & Communications Manager

Jenny Cairns, Management Accountant & Finance

Jenny Cairns, Management Accountant & Finance

Mick Riley, Certification Officer

Mick Riley, Certification Officer

Janelle Bennett, Certification Officer

Janelle Bennett, Certification Officer

Robert Murray, Certification Officer

Robert Murray, Certification Officer

Tamila Eswaramurthy, Certification Officer

Tamila Eswaramurthy, Certification Officer

Anna Wood, Quality Specialist

Anna Wood, Quality Specialist

Anne Maree Michael, Certification Officer

Anne Maree Michael, Certification Officer

Takako Bell, Certification Support

Takako Bell, Certification Support

Dirk Lewe, Certification Officer

Dirk Lewe, Certification Officer

Hajin Kim, Office Support

Hajin Kim, Office Support

Nicole Atkinson, Certification Officer

Nicole Atkinson, Certification Officer


Auditors

We have a team of organic auditors (accredited by MPI) dotted throughout New Zealand.

They are our very valuable ‘people on the ground’ – travelling around the country to visit our certified producers and verify their organic management plans, making sure that they are operating in the way they say they are. Each auditor is a specialist in one organic sector or another.

David Brown, Senior Auditor, Auckland

Jared White, Audit Manager; Senior Auditor, Nelson

Simon Baylis, Senior Auditor, Taranaki

Joy McLeod, Senior Auditor, Canterbury

Vivienne Cruikshank, Senior Auditor, Tauranga

Wendy Lee, Auditor, Wellington

Stephan Capillon, Auditor, Nelson

 


BioGro Board of Directors

Jon Merrick (Apata Group Ltd)

Jon has his feet firmly on the ground with an understanding that the answer always lies in the soil, whether you’re a plant, animal or company.With a background in all, raised on a dairy farm and then in to life as an organic Kiwifruit orchard manager and owning and running a successful corporate team building company. As the circle of life would have it he is  now back into kiwifruit as the organic category manager for Apata Limited pack house  which deals with over 1.2 million trays of certified organic kiwi fruit. Jon’s passion is cultivating and not of the green kind but creating an environment where seeds can grow and flourish and reach its/their full potential and yes the answer is in the soil. Jon is chair of FAB families achieving balance non-profit organisation working with families in need. Jon is also on the exec of COKA (Certified Organic Kiwifruit Association) and the chair of the BioGro Impartiality Committee.

Gaz Ingram (Farmlands Co-Operative Trading Society)

Gaz Ingram has been involved in organics all his life, from the early days working on organic pipfruit orchards, to becoming the Organic and Biological Manager at Farmlands Co-operative Trading Society. He joined the BioGro Council in July 2014, bringing with him a true understanding of the joys and also the challenges of organic certification in its different stages.

Joseph Stuart (Chair, Independent Director)

Joseph is a thinker, strategist and change maker with a comprehensive and varied background in economic development. Working across public, private and not for profit sectors, he has built a wealth of experience in almost all business environments over the last 17 years. From grassroots and start-up ventures to strategic planning and advisory for some of New Zealand’s most successful companies, Joseph’s approach is holistic. With a deep connection to the environment and strong belief in achieving a sustainable and ethical future, he is dedicated to applying his experience in business and innovation in a tactical way to strengthen organic integrity and certification in New Zealand.

Kathryn McCarrison (Independent Director)

Kathryn is an experienced executive with over 20 years of marketing, strategy, project management, leadership and business planning experience in a variety of sectors ( 15 years in telecommunications) working across a diverse range of roles including operations management, stakeholder management, marketing, brand, business and marketing strategy. Kathryn is results driven applying focus and energy to everything she does.

Marion Wood (Commonsense Organics)

Marion Wood is executive director of Commonsense Organics. She is chair of the Organic Retailers of New Zealand, a former deputy chair of the Sustainable Business Network and on the Board of Fair Trade Wellington. She is also a director of Common Property Ltd, an organic market garden in Te Horo, an hour’s drive north of Wellington. Her focus is on making organic food more accessible to people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and developing a successful ethical business paradigm based on organics, environmental sustainability and fair trade, as well as financial sustainability. Marion has a long involvement in the not-for-profit sector. She is a former national director of the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand, and worked as a founding consultant for the Waitangi Consultancy Group on Treaty of Waitangi issues.

Mike Ryan (Independent director)

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. Mike also sits on the National Council of the Soil & Health Association, with a vision to assist getting the Association to the next stage of professionalism and effectiveness in the global move to healthy, natural, and sustainable agriculture.