Organic Farmer New Chair of Soil & Health
11 August 2017 - A fourth-generation farmer has been selected as the new chair of the Soil & Health Association, following its AGM. Until 2014 Graham Clarke was a sheep and beef farmer for over 30 years in South
Otago at Marama Farm, which was certified organic by BioGro for close to 10 years.
“I’m passionate about sustainable food production and see organic food as being essential to getting better quality
nutrition to New Zealanders,” says Graham Clarke.
Mr Clarke, who was first elected onto the National Council of Soil & Health in July 2016, brings experience and enthusiasm for organics to the council table. He has had governance
experience with Federated Farmers, the Beef Council and the Animal Health Board.
“I have now chosen to serve Soil & Health in the hope that this can mean more farmers can be supported to grow great nutrition for New Zealanders, and
more people can achieve good health through their food. Organics needs to go mainstream,” said Mr Clarke.
Having experienced huge health improvements himself through eating well, Mr Clarke is now a certified Integrative
Nutrition health coach and helps people improve their health and their lives through what they eat and other lifestyle
choices. In his spare time, he leads a team of caregivers who look after a young man with disabilities caused by a car
accident, with nutrition one of the key planks in his greatly improved health.
Graham Clarke paid tribute to outgoing chair Marion Thomson: “Marion has dedicated a huge amount of energy to Soil & Health for many years, particularly championing the rights of communities to control or ban GE in their areas, via
several court cases. The Association is lucky to have her stay on as a member of the National Council and continue our
important work,” said Mr Clarke.
“Times are changing locally and globally and the weight of evidence concerning the challenges of many of the current
farming methods and the consequences of some of them continues to grow. This is both a health and environmental concern.
Soil & Health is aiming for a fully organic New Zealand to address these concerns.”