About

We have walked the talk (see projects and initiatives page), we can help you do likewise. Email me. matt@nicheunity.com

Matt Mentz  Matthew Mentz: 2013. M.Phil (awarded with distinction) in Sustainable Development and Environmental Management.  South African Sustainability Institute, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Practicing Agroecology developer, coach, sailor. Dissertation: Unearthing the determinants required for off-grid subsistence.

  Sasha Mentz-Lagrange (sasha@nicheunity.com): Sasha is an independent researcher and consultant with over 12 years of experience in the field of sustainable development and climate change. She has a strong interest in building resilience to climate change, sustainable food systems, food sovereignty, agroecology and ecological building. Sasha is actively engaged in supporting the South African Organic Sector organization (SAOSO), notably through supporting the emergence and sound management of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) to ensure organic food production. Sasha holds a Master’s degree in Geopolitics and Political Science from the Sorbonne University in Paris, as well as an M.Phil in Sustainable Development Management from the Sustainability Institute (Stellenbosch University). She lives off-grid on a smallholding in the Garden Route with her family and farms dairy goats organically.

 Carla Jackson: started her career in 1997 working for Pharma Natura in order to learn about homeopathic remedies. From there went onto training to be a Waldorf class teacher where she developed her passion for bio-dynamic farming.As it was challenging at the time to find work in this field, decided to take a gap year and traveled with a friend to Nairobi on mountain bikes. On returning she studied graphic and web design and eventually specialised  in computer animation and special effects. Through a desire to be on a real film set, took a summer job as a landscaper for film, which led to her current careers as a greensperson for the last 20 years.  http://green-age.co.za Thriving on challenges, but most of all enjoying the ability to work with large teams, uplifting, empowering and developing skills. Her ultimate goal is to connect small scale farmers to the medical industry to grow high quality medicinal plants.

 Stefanie Swanepoel: is an experienced writer, researcher and lecturer with a focus on sustainable and regenerative systems. She has conducted work for private and public organisations, including the World Bank, United Kingdom Department for International Development, Oxfam Germany, GIZ South Africa, the Green Fund, United Nations Environment Programme, the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Facility and the International Finance Corporation. Local projects include drafting a sustainability report for the Shoprite Group, researching African food systems for the African Centre for Biodiversity, providing research and editing services to the Sustainability Institute, videography production for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s LandCare programme, and editing South Africa’s draft National Adaptation Strategy, as well as drafting the chapter on climate change communication, among others. She lectures on seed and food systems, activism and creative expression for social entrepreneurs at the Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch University. Stefanie is a director of African Earth Rights – a communications consultancy and a director of The Beach Co-op – an organisation focused on eliminating single-use plastics from the economy. She is the founder and one of the managers of Ecobrick Deep South in the peninsula. Stefanie holds an Mphil (with distinction) in sustainable development from the Sustainability Institute.

Credits: Website design: Hendrik Mentz | Photographs: Hendrik Mentz and Sasha Mentz. Web security, maintenance & support: Dustan Franks – WordPress Ninja | Product design (Niche Unity logo & product labels, Organic Suurbraak sign): Doret Ferreira – dottedlinedesign