About Us

The South African Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) is a non-profit organisation focused on uniting and growing the organic agriculture sector in South Africa.

We work to unite farmers, producers, retailers and consumers of organic products to collectively protect the future food freedom and natural ecology of South Africa, and we collaborate with organisations whose strategies are aligned.

Why SAOSO was Formed

In 2008, the NEDLAC Trade and Industries Chamber Fund for Research into Industrial Development Growth and Equity (FRIDGE) study was published.

This study developed a value chain strategy for sustainable development and the growth of organic agriculture, and included the establishment of a body to represent the organic sector in the country. Subsequently in 2009, SAOSO was founded.

Our Guiding Principles

A member of IFOAM Organics International, SAOSO is guided by the four principles of organic farming: health, fairness, ecology and care.

We recognise that food sovereignty begins with the right to seed, and respect for the soil and biodiversity.

We Are Guided By:

The right to life, respect, health free from contamination and genetic manipulation.

Prioritising justice, human dignity and the well-being of the indigenous communities.
Everyone is entitled to a healthy environment and it must be protected from harm.
A shared responsibility for well-being, creating a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society.

Our work is linked to the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals and the Seventh Generation Principle.

The Seventh Generation Principle is an Indigenous Knowledge concept that encourages us to think seven generations ahead – about 140 years into the future – and to decide whether our decisions today will benefit those children seven generations from now into our future.

Our Steering Committee

Alan Rosenberg

Alan Rosenberg

Alan Rosenberg has been working locally and internationally in the organic and agroecological sector for nearly 50 years.

Brett Sander

Brett Sander

Brett has over a decade of experience in organic farming and sustainable community development in the Western Cape.

Busisiwe Mgangxela

Busisiwe Mgangxela

Busi has been farming for over a decade using organic and agroecological methods with the aim of growing nutrient dense food that is sustainably produced. 

Matt Purkis

Matt Purkis

Matt has spent the past decade working in agro-ecology, natural architecture, green events, permaculture training, green business development and land design.

Raymond Auerbach

Raymond Auerbach

Raymond has been farming organically in KwaZulu-Natal for 40 years and has had an active background in soils, trees, farmer training and agricultural research techniques.

Colleen Anderson

Colleen Anderson

Colleen’s background within the NGO and academic sector has given her substantial experience with advocacy, project management, communications and fund raising.

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  • Alan Rosenberg has been working locally and internationally in the organic and agroecological sector for nearly 50 years. Alan was a signatory to the appeal which led the Department of Trade and Industry, NEDLAC and the IDC FRIDGE Study of 2008. This led to the formation of SAOSO and Alan has been involved with the organisation since its inception and is the current chairperson.

    Alan contributed for more than three decades to the Organic Production Standards for South Africa which, since 2018, are SAOSO’s Standard and are part of the IFOAM family of standards. Alan is also the current chairperson of the South African National Standard (SANS) 1369 organic agriculture production and processing working committee. He has trained, taught and lectured on sustainable forms of agriculture, and has written and published six books on the subject and refers to the approach to the work he does as having a 7th Generation Principle.

  • Brett has over a decade of experience in organic farming and sustainable community development in the Western Cape. A strategic planner, he focuses on value chains, market access, SMME’s and co-operative enterprise development within the green economy.

    He has created innovative CSR business models for the development of sustainable business within the various sectors.

  • Busi has been farming for over a decade using organic and agroecological methods with the aim of growing nutrient dense food that is sustainably produced. She is a seed guardian, advocate for GMO Free Zones in South Africa, and an activist for food sovereignty.

    Training emerging women and young farmers in the Eastern Cape in agroecological methods, she is currently the provincial chairperson of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development. She is also a PGS Pollinator and an IFOAMEcological Organic Agriculture Leader, driving sustainability and conservation.

    Busi loves walking barefoot in her permaculture garden, nurturing her plants, connecting with nature, cherishing birdsongs and the smells of herbs and edible flowers. Caring for plants, the environment and mother Earth are her passion.

  • Matt is an environmental activist and entrepreneur in the green sector. He has spent the past decade working in agro-ecology, natural architecture, green events, permaculture training, green business development and land design.

    He is an independent contractor for the University of Johannesburg, an IFOAM Academy graduate and is currently pursuing his MBA in sustainable food supply chains.

    Passionate about youth development in agro-ecology and developing practical solutions for sustainable human settlements, Matt is focused on creating pioneering, innovative solutions towards a sovereign, ethical and fair food system.

  • Raymond has been farming organically in KwaZulu-Natal for 40 years and has had an active background in soils, trees, farmer training and agricultural research techniques. Post-1994, he worked with government on strategies for transformation and land policies, while finishing his MSc on sustainable farming systems. His doctorate focused on integrated catchment management.

    For the past decade, he has been teaching soil science and plant production at Nelson Mandela University where he has started a long-term research trial comparing organic and conventional farming systems. He works with students across Africa and collaborates globally with researchers.

  • Colleen’s background within the NGO and academic sector has given her substantial experience with advocacy, project management, communications and fund raising with large Southern African projects focused on food sovereignty and security. More info?

    She believes that ‘food is thy medicine’, is a passionate advocate for clean, nutritious food and opposes our current agro-industrial food system based on mono-cropping, chemical inputs and xx.