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Organic Business Leadership Course

In 2023, a renewed program of the Organic Business Leadership Academy (OBLA) will be offered. Besides facilitating Basic and Advanced Leadership Courses, the OBLA offers a knowledge platform and a network environment for everyone with passion for and an interest in the organic movement, organic businesses, cooperation, as well as sustainability.


The OBLA is organized by international trainers, organic experts and guest lecturers from the organic sector. Since 2019, Starfish Organic and Timeli facilitated different organic business leadership courses for people and businesses that work in the organic (international) market and want to enrich their knowledge about organic

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Why do we offer this course?

The organic sector faces a challenging time:

Promising market growth for the future, but also price volatility due to challenging geopolitical developments in the present. Tightening regulation and control combined with growing interests of multinationals and corporations. But also, plans in the EU to substantially increase organic agricultural lands by 2030, but uncertainty about short-term growth of organic market profits. And finally, the ongoing effects of the climate crisis creates challenges but also opportunities for the organic sector. In dealing with these questions and dilemmas, we believe that the organic sector should take a stronger leading role..

This course is designed for those who have the ambition to play a leadership role in the organic movement, or for those who are already active in organic business and desire to expand their knowledge, expertise, and network. 

What do we aim to achieve?

The aim of the course is to reflect on and develop leadership in the organic movement. The organic sector needs people who can represent and promote the organic values and principles, challenge the persistent myths being spread about organic and do so with leadership and authority.


What will you learn?

Over 5 afternoons, the OBLA guides attendees through the history of organic agriculture to its future. Every course offers 50% knowledge transfer and 50% interactive group work in smaller groups.

Study materials and certificate

For some sessions, attendees will be expected to prepare short assignments. A selection of additional literature that is used in the different sessions, like in-depth readings, position papers, scientific articles, and reports are distributed after each meeting via WeTransfer. Attendees receive an official Certificate at the end of this course, signed by the trainers of the Organic Business Leadership Academy.


After this leadership course you will be able to:

  • Represent and promote the organic movement;

  • Be an organic leadership expert within your own organization, educating and inspiring your colleagues;

  • Challenge the most common and persistent myths about organic;

  • Critically reflect on the organic movement, the business environment and marketplace;

  • Participate and support the further development of leadership of and within the organic movement.

Where and when?

Where & when

The autumn course is held at Kraaybeekerhof in Driebergen

The program for the (re)new(ed) OBLA 2023 is as follows:

Note: Every day, up to and including 30 November, we have walk-in at 11:30, starting our work at 12:00 and ending at 17:00.

On 14 December we will have an early start with walk-in at 10:00.

1.      26 October - Introducing the why, how, and what of organic:

  • We review our history, our inspiring pioneers, the principles and practices of organic agriculture.

  • We introduce the framework for the coming weeks: organic agriculture in the context of true sustainability in food and agriculture systems.

2.     2 November - Organic and the economic dimension:

  • We review the organic market, recent trends in European and global organic markets.

  • We consider the full diversity of organic agriculture systems in the context of global trade, equivalence, and market consolidation.

  • We discuss fairness in the economic system and reflect on how organic can lead the way in globally fair-trading relationships.

3.     16 November - Organic and the social dimension:

  • We discuss the two organic principles of fairness and care.

  • We reflect on social diversity and power relationships in the Dutch as well as the global organic sector.

  • We analyze the impact of social sustainability in value chains and organic policy.


4.     30 November - Organic and the ecological dimension:

  • We will learn about organic and the climate crisis: where does the organic sector stand?

  • We will build on forging alliances and (re)building an Organic movement.

  • We will reflect on true threefold sustainability: Planet, People, Profit: checks and balances.


5.     14 December: Organic (and) leadership

Remember: We have an early start - 10:00 a.m. walk-in, work from 10:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. with a lunch break at 13:00.

  • Participants share their individual course assignments and leadership commitment.

  • OBLA alumni join our new leaders to discuss and reflect on organic leadership.

  • Final reflections and closing ceremony.

What are the costs?


The costs for the total of the 5 afternoons are € 1.250,- per person.

This includes the 5 days of lectures, all presentations in PDF, articles and study material prior to the course, in-depth articles and papers after every course, and an official certificate of achievement after a successful completion of the course and course work. During the five sessions, drinks and light snacks are included as well but a full lunch won’t be provided – so don’t forget to arrange that yourself before or during the breaks. During the last session, as it is a longer program, a lunch will be offered to all participants of the OBLA.

For companies the above price is excluding 21% VAT. For private persons that cannot refund the VAT the above price is including VAT.


Note to students: In every course, we offer scholarships to 4 students to attend the course at no cost.


Questions? Email us at  

How do you apply?


Interested to join? You can directly apply here.

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Group 2022

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