About the members of the Australian Organic Industry Working Group

You can contact the AOIWG at enquiries@organicindustries.com.au

Australian Organic Industry Working Group

Greg McNamara (Chair)

Greg McNamaraGreg McNamara is chairman of Norco Co-operative Limited, where he has been a director for 20 years. Greg was asked by the AOIWG to be an independent Chair, as he is not associated with any existing organic industry organisation and does not operate an organic business.

In partnership with his wife Sue and son Todd, Greg runs a 300 head dairy herd at Goolmangar just outside Lismore. He has extensive experience across the agricultural sector, including dairy, beef, pigs, horticulture and animal genetics.

Greg is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a keenly sought after speaker for industry events and forums. During the 2015/16 year, Greg was a speaker at both the ABARES Outlook Conference and the PEI Agri Investor Forum and also attended the Australia and New Zealand Co-operative Leaders’ Forum.

Greg has recently accepted the role of Chairperson of the Industry Advisory Group (IAG) within the Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program (FCCPP). The FCCPP is an Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper initiative of the Commonwealth Government which encourages farmers to work together to improve farm gate returns by providing advice and resources to farmers and farmer groups looking to establish co-operatives and collaborative business models.

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Andrew Monk

Andrew MonkAndrew is chairman of Australian Organic, which owns and supports the nation’s largest organic certifying group Australian Certified Organic.

Andrew has owned and managed organic horticulture, food processing and waste management businesses, while over the past two decades has been involved in organic auditing and standards. He has professional training in environmental, food safety and organic auditing systems.

Andrew is Managing Director of Victorian environmental services company, Mulching Technologies Pty Ltd. He maintains organic certification of a small organic farm with Australian  Certified Organic and has previously served the Australian organic industry via  BFA Ltd as CEO, between 2000 and 2005, overseeing the creation of subsidiary Australian Certified Organic.

Andrew is passionate about delivering rigorous, professional and member-focused governance and management for Australian Organic and protecting the Bud logo for clients.

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Anni Brownjohn

Anni BrownjohnAnni Brownjohn founded Ozganics in Murwillumbah in 1999. After years of winning prizes for jams and sauces, she decided to let my entrepreneurial streak shine. Anni built the organic company from scratch. Her father, a retired engineer, helped her design some of the machinery and build the factory. At the same time, with a small team, she developed new products, sought out domestic and international markets and opened international offices.

In 2008, the Ozganics brand expanded to include a range of simple and delicious simmer sauces based on well loved recipes from Thailand, Morocco and India. Today Ozganics brand offers 26 products and exports to 20 countries.

Anni is proud that she can generate employment in a regional area and promote best practice organic systems for organic food manufacturing. She also feels very privileged to share with customers a message of health, wellness and certified organic food.

Anni and her team have won many awards over the years, including the Innovation Award at the 2013 National Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards. It reinforces that quality organic food manufacturing is being recognised and has a place in our economy and our market. With a growing awareness of health and what we put in our bodies, this industry is set to burgeon.

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Bernadette Favis

Bernadette FavisBernadette Favis, previously a corporate lawyer, is the founder of Cocolife based in Burleigh Heads. Cocolife sources directly from farmers and use only the best quality organic coconuts. The resulting pearly white oil is used in cooking and beauty products.

Bernadette was named the Australian Young Organic Leader 2016 by the Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence because of the range of exciting high quality organic coconut products that is available all over Australia that she created.At the same time she encourages her customers to lead healthy lives with recipes and tips, as well as contributing 1% of her sales to environmental initiatives and through speaking engagements promotes organics and organic lifestyles.

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Casie O'Brien

Casie O'Brien is organic program manager at Aus-Qual Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aus-Meat Limited, the Australian Meat Industry Standards and Quality System Management Company. Aus-Qual is a certification body, providing conformity assessment services for quality management and food safety management systems, as well as Product Certification Systems for the wider Australian and New Zealand agricultural, horticultural and secondary processing sectors.

Aus-Meat has been providing services to the Meat and Livestock industry since 1987 and since the early 1990's has adopted a business diversification and growth strategy that has included involvement with a range of programs in the agricultural, horticultural and food processing Industries. Aus-Qual's business activities in food production, process and industry training are a reflection of the Company's origins and its experience with quality management and certification programs.

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Chris McLoghlin

Chris McLoghlinChris McLoghlin is a director of the Organic Federation of Australia. He is also the founder and director of Earth and Sky Organics, an on-line fresh produce distribution business, as well as a supply chain consultant to other organic businesses and primary producers, and founder and co-owner of The Organic Mushroom Farm—it markets the Mycelia Organics brand, one of only two certified organic mushroom farms in Australia, comprising a team that includes over 100 years experience in mushroom production.

Chris is actively involved in development of supply chain and financing solutions for organic businesses and producers, recognising a need to modernise and improve some of these aspects in the industry that have limited the growth of the sector, despite a strong demand environment, and engaging key stakeholders within and outside of the organic sector to ensure required resources can be applied to facilitate the growth in production of organic goods demanded by consumers and our environment.

A love for good dirt inspired Chris' career in organics, observing that a limited window exists for humans to disrupt and re-organise our economic paradigm of extraction and destruction, to being one driven by custodial behaviors in symbiosis with the natural capital we depend on for survival—targeting mutually beneficial and profitable trade relationships.

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Dalene Wray

Dalene WrayDalene Wray is the General Manager of OBE Organic. She began working for OBE in 2004 when the fledgling company employed only two dedicated staff members. In the following years, she has performed practically every role, including a number of years overseeing production at the slaughter house. Dalene has unique knowledge of OBE’s business, from how the cattle are raised through to how chefs serve its steaks.

Dalene’s family is a major producer for OBE Organic and her father David Brook is the company’s chairman. She grew up on the family’s properties in the heart of the Channel Country and has an intimate knowledge of the land and people that make OBE Organic’s beef line a world-beater.

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Don Murray

Don MurrayDon Murray is the founder and General Manager of Nature’s Haven, producer of quality, great tasting, certified organic vegetables. He built up the business from scratch over the last 15 years to now be one of the largest organic producers in Australia. Don was also the 2015 Australian Organic Farmer of the Year!

Nature's Own operate from two locations: 4 farms in Coleambally NSW and 4 farms in Dimbulah, in Far North Queensland, which is where he and the Head Office is based.

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Gary Leeson

Gary LeesonGary Leeson is Managing Director of Organic Crop Protectants, a leading manufacturer and distributor of crop protection and nutritional products for growers who are focused on Integrated Pest & Disease Management and improving the health of their soils. OCP have been operating in Australia since 1991.

OCP continues to widen and improve its range through a focus on research and development. They rigorously test their products for consistency, safety and efficacy to maintain our reputation for quality products backed by a high level of technical support.

OCP is focused on food production that supports bio-diversity and builds the fertility and stability of our ancient and fragile soils. We believe agroecology and restorative agricultural practices are the cornerstone of the continuing prosperity of Australian agriculture and its image as a supplier of “Clean & Green” produce.

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Greg Paynter

Greg PaynterGreg Paynter is a director of the Organic Federation of Australia and works as a consultant in organic farming, specialising in transition to organic agriculture, organic certification, education and training, advice on organic farming systems in broad acre grain, herbs and livestock.

Greg's goal is to grow the organic industry sector into the mainstream based on 36 years experience in agriculture, farming (organic/conventional), researcher, project leader, organic project officer, agri-politics, Chair of OFA, organic consultancy/advisory services (domestic/overseas), organic certification 13 years (auditor and reviewer), Organic Standards Committees (AS6000), advocacy, overseas agricultural exchange program trainee, organic education committees and training programs (with QDPI, L&W Aust, SEQ CMA).

Greg has also travelled extensively investigating the organic industry sector worldwide.

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Jan Denham

Jan DenhamJan Denham has had a long involvement with NASAA, having served on the NASAA Board from 1995 to 2005, 3 years as Treasurer then 7 years as Chair. Jan returned to the NASAA Board in 2010 and has served as Chair since that time.

NASAA develops and maintains organic standards; assists operators in gaining organic certification; and develops the organic industry in Australia.

In her time with NASAA, Jan has instigated the change of NASAA, from state representation to a member organisation, to enable members to have direct input into the direction of NASAA.

Jan and her partner operate Karra Organic Farm which has been certified by NASAA/NCO for 26 years.

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Joe Siegel

Joe Siegal is Chair of Australian Certified Organic, the largest of Australia's organic certifiers. His career spans 30 years in meat processing and farming, and 10 years in organic wholesaling and marketing. Joe provides board advice and directorship on various boards focusing on creating value and improving governance.

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Kari Martin

Kari MartinKari Martin is General Manager of Organic Food Chain, a certifier for organic and bio-dynamic produce which operates globally. The OFC is committed to fast friendly service while upholding the National Organic Standard of Australia and other international organic certification standards.

OFC is proud of its strengths of service, honesty and integrity in the organic industry, in particular its customer support, a highly regarded logo in the organic industry, and a reliable source of organic certification information.

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Keith Morris

Keith MorrisKeith Morris is Managing Director of Organic Food Chain, a certifier for organic and bio-dynamic produce which operates globally. The OFC is committed to fast friendly service while upholding the National Organic Standard of Australia and other international organic certification standards.

OFC also take an interest in their clients’ needs in the essential areas of: sustainable cost effective production; demand/supply management; domestic and international marketing; and environmental management.

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Liz Clay

Liz ClayLiz Clay is an organic farmer in West Gippsland selling a range of fresh produce direct to the community via farmers markets and locally through farm gate sales. She co-established the Baw Baw Food Hub, a not-for-profit initiative which aims to provide local food to local people. Liz served on the World Board of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Chaired the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.

Her involvement in farming harks back to the days when she grew up on her family's market garden in the outskirts of Melbourne. These days she combines farming with local environment and food movement activism.

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Lorraine Gordon

Lorraine Gordon

Lorraine Gordon has 30 odd years’ extensive industry experience and qualifications in business, leadership and capacity building throughout Australia.

Lorraine is the Program Director for Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program, referred to as the Farming Together Program. She is also a Director of Moffat Falls Pty Ltd and Yaraandoo which operates a number of successful tourism, health and agricultural businesses in both the New England and North Coast Regions of NSW.

Previous positions have included CEO of Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast, Business Finance Manager and Regional Agribusiness Manager with Westpac Bank, Director of the Graduate Network of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and Executive Director of Economic Security for Women.

Lorraine has presided on the Small Business Review Panel of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Board of Studies at the University of New England, Charles Sturt University’s Consultative Committee and three Regional Tourism Boards (New England North West, South Coast, Mid North Coast).

Lorraine was awarded the 1994 NSW ABC Rural Woman of the Year for her contribution to Rural Australia.

She is also a Graduate of the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program and was an award winner in the 2002 Telstra Business Women’s Award.

She has qualifications in Leadership, Corporate Governance, Tourism and Agriculture, and an MBA from the University of New England majoring in Project Management.

Lorraine is a beef producer and trader from Ebor in the New England Tablelands and is currently completing her PhD in Ecological Economics (grazing systems in Northern NSW) through the University of New England.

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Mark Anderson

Mark AndersonMark Anderson is the CEO of the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia, which develops and maintains organic standards; assists operators in gaining organic certification; and develops the organic industry in Australia.

The scope of NASAA's Standard covers the organic supply chain – from input manufacturers to producers, processors to wholesale and retail operations - ensuring organic integrity 'from paddock to plate'.

NASAA Certified Organic (NCO) is a fully-owned subsidiary of NASAA and provides the certification services to operators within Australia, its Territories, and internationally.

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Marg Will

Marg WillMarg Will is CEO of Organic Systems & Solutions, which provides assistance for business involved in organics or considering "becoming"​ organic. OS&S is also the Project Manager for the MLA / AOM Project "Increase Organic Beef Production on Australian Farms". Marg also provides the secretariat for the Organic Industry Standards and Certification Council (OISCC), the body responsible for maintaining the Organic Standard in Australia.

Marg was previously General Manager at The Organic Food Chain Pty Ltd, an organic certifier, for 10 years.

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Martin Meek

Martin MeekMartin Meek has been a director of Australian Organic since 2013. He has over 20 years’ experience in almost every aspect of the organic food chain.

Martin began his working life as a high school teacher before establishing the Flannery franchise group of stores with Mal Flannery in 1994. Martin was the managing director and equal partner of the Flannery Group from 1994 until its sale in February 2008. Dealing with three years' worth of non-competes, he began importing organic dry goods and nut butter machines, and set up the online store, Daintree Organics.

In 2014, Martin bought a 50% stake in United Organics, a certified organic fresh produce wholesaler based in the Brisbane Markets. In this role, Martin has direct dealings with organic producers, growers and processors throughout the country. The farmers supplying his company are working hard to educate him in the basics of organic farming—just to round off his experiences.

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Narelle Chenery

Narelle CheneryNarelle Chenery is a director of the Organic & Natural Enterprises Group. Its Miessence brand is the world's first extensive range of internationally certified organic skin, hair, body, cosmetic, oral and nutritional products.

Miessence products—from ingredients sourced from Australia and overseas—are produced at the company's headquarters on the Gold Coast.The company's ground breaking efforts and success have created a grass roots education movement about organic, green and healthy alternatives.

Narelle's passionate search for truly natural products began after being disillusioned and angry at having been duped by the unethical marketing tactics for a new "natural" skin care range. She was captivated by the many wonderful offerings of Mother Nature, and grew more concerned about the poisonous ingredients that most cosmetics contained. She was inspired to tell others about her findings, and had articles published in several well-respected natural health magazines. The response was so positive that Narelle soon realised she was on to a winner, and this fuelled her passion even more! Miessence became the world’s first certified organic skin-care and cosmetic range.

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Peter Longhurst

Peter LonghurstPeter Longhurst founded the Primal Foods Group in 1999. His company provides access to global markets for locally grown ancient (also termed alternative) and organic grains. His company continues to develop its ability to deliver a broad competitive product range, high levels of service, in particular certified bulk grain supply, and a degree of flexibility and transparency that competitors find difficult to match.

Primal Foods currently has 337 growers, operating in every state of Australia except NT. We assist producers with all aspects of grain marketing including long term crop programs, agronomy, access to inputs, and logistics.

Peter wants to make organic wholefoods accessible to as many people as possible. The bigger the organic market, the more organic growers and suppliers that we have in Australia and the better the access to market—the closer we get to making organic grain a significant part of mass consumption in Australia.

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Phil Rougon

Phil Rougon is Managing Director of Eco-Farms Organic Produce. Established in 1986, Eco-Farms is Australia's leading supplier of certified organic & natural foods. The company has dedicated distribution networks across the eastern seaboard of Australia allowing them to streamline distribution nationally & internationally.

The Absolute Organic grocery range was launched in 2007 with a small range of organic chips. Since then the range has grown to include over 200 products. Products are sourced from processors throughout Australia & the world with a firm focus on quality & affordable organics. Absolute Organic products can be found in independent retailers, organic & health food retailers, major supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, hotels & distributors throughout Australia & Asia.

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Quentin Kennedy

Quentin KennedyQuentin Kennedy owns and manages Kialla Pure Foods, an organic cereal grain processing operation based on the Darling Downs, Queensland.

His business supplies product to retail, manufacturing and wholesaling operations throughout Australia, while exporting a  significant amount of product into Asia and New Zealand. The sister company to Kialla, Aus Organic Feeds, supplies certified stockfeed into both commercial and retail operations.

Quentin has served on the board of Australian Organic since 2005, where his focus has been to keep certification as simple as possible, maintain an equitable fee and promotional contribution structure, and ensure that promotional contributions are spent in an efficient and effective manner for members.

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Rachel Davis

Rachel DavisRachel Davis is Organic Account Manager at Eco-Farms Organic Produce, which provides certified organic fresh fruits and vegetables with an extensive range of grocery products nationally to, independent health food shops, small chain retailers, cafes and restaurants directly from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Eco-Farms operates three main departments: fresh wholesale fruit and vegetables; fresh pre-pack produce; and an extensive grocery range. They are unique in the organic industry with extensive experience in Organic Wholesale, Export & Distribution. They source products from a trusted network of growers and suppliers throughout Australia and from around the world.

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Sam Himstedt

Sam Himstedt is the Manager at Queen Fine Food, based in Brisbane. The Queen brand was inspired by Queen Victoria’s love for vanilla and today is synonymous with the very best vanilla in the world.

Continuing its commitment to sustainable Vanilla and supporting Vanilla growers, in 2010 Queen pioneered the production of certified organic Vanilla and integrated it into its flagship Red Label Vanilla Extract. In turn, customers have come to trust the Queen name for quality, purity, environmental responsibility and sustainability.

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Sam Statham

Sam StathamSam Statham is an organic farmer and wine maker, and has been an active member of the organic industry. He is currently chairman of the Cowra Region Vineyard Association. Sam has also worked as a farm auditor for an organic certifier.

The Statham family moved to Canowindra, in the NSW Central West, in 1996, and today they grow wine grapes (20ha), olives (10ha) and figs (1/2ha). The farm, “Rosnay”, is now part of a small group of organic growers called Rivers Road Organic Farms, under community title.

Rosnay was recognised as a pioneer in organic farming in 2012, when Sam was awarded the Inaugural NSW Organic Pioneers Award.

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Sam Vale

Sam ValeSam Vale is General Manager Operations for Direct Feeds Australia, a subsidiary of Australian Consolidated Milk. The company's processing asset at Shepparton in northern Victoria was accredited for organic milk processing. ACM produces fresh and UHT organic milk for both domestic and export markets. ACM is supporting farmers to make the change to organic production, helping them fund some of the costs to head down the organic path and access to an external consultant to create a one, three and five year plan for their move to organic production. ACM is working with Direct Feeds Australia to source grain and also farmers who are accredited organic grain suppliers.

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Simon Venning

Simon VenningSimon Venning and his wife Anna Maria Eoclidi own Pasta Emilia, an award winning pasta restaurant in Surry Hills and providore of organic fresh pasta and sauces since 2005. They use local, certified organic, biodynamic and sustainable ingredients supplied by farmers, herders, fishers, butchers & bakers. They celebrate traditional knowledge and artisanal techniques and work with respect for the environment preserving resources and culture for future generations to enjoy as we do now.

Pasta Emilia promote virtuously produced local foods, including those from the Slow Food Presidia, the Ark of Taste and the Terra Madre food communities, giving visibility and dignity to the producers and their work and recognizing their true value.

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Simone Tully

Simone TullySimone Tully is a director of the Organic federation of Australia and a founder of the organic beef industry in Australia. She has been pioneering the development of major market opportunities for organic beef, both domestically and worldwide, since the mid-1990’s.   

Simone is a farmer and joint Managing Director of Australian Organic Meats Group, an organic meat company that represents farmers in their quest to achieve fair market returns for their organic beef, lamb and pork products. She was a member previously of the Federal Government National Food Plan Advisory Group—in recognition of the growing importance of the organic food sector within our agriculture industries.   

In her spare time, Simone helps to run an 8,000 acre organic beef property with her husband and two teenage sons.

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Stewart Price

Stewart PriceStewart Price is CEO of Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia, an inter-generational co-operative that shares knowledge, maintains a sustainable farming system and creates value for its members. It is the largest cooperative of certified organic dairy farms and the biggest supplier of organic milk in Australia. Its farms are located in the three main dairy regions of Victoria.

Stewart is a highly accomplished, commercially focused, senior finance executive with more than 20 years of progressive experience in finance and operations management. He has worked across a variety of industries; professional services, hospitality, manufacturing, telecommunications, shipping, logistics, fresh produce and online retail.

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Susan Shelton

Susan SheltonSusan Shelton is the Organic Certification Facilitator at Bellamy's Organic, Australia’s most valuable organic food brand, specializing in certified organic formula and first foods for children. Susan has a background in soil science and spatial information that aligned with an introduction to the organic industry from a neighbouring cherry grower 10 year ago. This introduction led to technical, training, auditing, and consultancy roles within a large range of industries—rangeland, aquaculture, dairy, horticulture, viticulture, meat, cropping, international growers, wineries, bottlers, canning, grain processors, abattoirs, bakeries composters and importers.

Bellamy’s Organic is a listed Australian company founded by a Tasmanian Family in 2004 wanting to provide a convenient nutritious organic choice for their children. It’s organic food range is certified by NASAA and their product are made and packed in Australia, maintaining some of the highest food safety requirements within the world.

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Wayne Shields

Wayne ShieldsWayne Shields is a market gardener and operates Peninsula Fresh Organics with his wife. Wayne has been President of the Victorian Farmers Market Association (VFMA) for 3 years. The VFMA has 650 financial members and runs a market accreditation program to ensure best practice is achieved and maintained at Victoria's Farmers Markets. No reselling is allowed and, where possible, Victorian produce is used by the value adders who attend these markets.

Wayne is a fifth generation farmer and experienced problems with unexplained toxins in imported horticultural chemicals, which wiped out a complete crop and damaged others. His Mornington Peninsula farm became certified organic five years ago and he has seen the farm come back into balance with frogs, snakes and ducks returning to his property.

Wayne and his wife Tash are farming 30 acres of land and grow around 40 lines, including heirloom and heritage vegetables, contemporary hybrids and some vegetables which vanished off most supermarket shelves many years ago but which can be found in the Shield’s rustic farmgate shop. They also have 100 acres on the Murray River in Barham which they started farming in April 2013—this is to help supplement the Baxter farm with various lines of produce.

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