BEN COPEMAN (Chief Executive Officer, Australian Certified Organic Pty Ltd)

Raised on his family’s Collarenebri (NSW) property, ‘Mogil Mogil’ and later at ‘Abedoar’ at Mungindi, Ben Copeman has spent more than 30 years experiencing the extremes of rural life, breeding stud and commercial beef cattle, sheep, wool and growing cereal and forage crops across north western NSW and central and southern QLD.  During this time, Ben showed Poll Hereford cattle at many Northern shows and has competed at varying levels in show jumping and horse events.

Leaving the land in the mid-1990s, Ben pursued further education in order to transition into a life post ‘hands on’ farming.  This lead to a career in rural business consulting, followed by senior management positions in small scale investment banking, risk management, environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture.

His work with the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia saw Ben return to his sustainable agricultural roots. He joined NASAA in 2013 with the task of positioning the organisation as Australia’s and the Asia-Pacific’s pre-eminent organic certifier.   In August 2015, Ben was awarded the Australia China Business Council’s Industry Leader of the Year Award for creative, innovative and outstanding leadership in developing trade (in this case, of organic products) between Australia and China.

Ben accepted a 12 month contract as CEO of the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society with the objective of improving corporate governance and community appeal to make it a ‘must attend’ show for the Canberra community, competitors and exhibitors.

His vision for ACO is to leverage Australia’s reputation for high quality, green, clean and safe conventional produce to open export markets for even cleaner, even greener and safer certified organic produce.

Academically, Ben is an Integrated Management Systems Auditor; has a Graduate Certificate in Management; a Diploma of Animal Husbandry; a Certificate in Enterprise Development and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Sustainability.

To contact Ben, please email ceo@aco.net.au or phone (07) 3350 5706.