Call for Directors 2018

Organic Council of Ontario Call for Directors 2018

Position: Director, Organic Council of Ontario Board of Directors
Type: Volunteer
Start: April 2018
Term: 2 years, renewable
Commitment: 10-15 hours/month
Meetings: Once a month, weekday mornings (videoconference)
Location: Anywhere in Ontario

About OCO

The Organic Council of Ontario is the voice for organics in Ontario.  We are the only membership-based full value-chain organization created by and for the organic sector to advocate for its interests in Ontario.  We  communicate with government, the media, and various agri-food associations and commodity groups; collect sector-wide data; conduct market and policy research; and promote and protect the organic claim.  

About the Board

The Organic Council of Ontario is governed by an elected Board of Directors with alternating two-year terms.  The Directors are responsible for setting strategic targets and direction for the organization, general financial oversight, guidance on policy and regulatory initiatives, assisting with fundraising and engaging with the organic membership.  The Board also elects officers from among the Directors.  The President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary work with the Executive Director to represent the organization and provide leadership on the operations of the organization (e.g. oversee financial matters and corporate documents).  

Strategic Direction

Since 2015, the Organic Council of Ontario has shifted its mandate to focus more on matters that affect organic businesses.  This is reflected in OCO’s fundraising strategy, which has shifted in focus from consumer donations to industry funding.  

In 2017,

  • We partnered to introduce Bill 153, the Organic Products Act to regulate the word “organic” in Ontario;
  • We created an Ontario Organic Directory for all Ontario organic businesses;
  • We began consultations on a small-scale certification solution for Ontario farmers;
  • We changed our board structure to better reflect the sector’s demographics and created free basic membership for all certified organic producers and businesses;
  • We created a 5 Year Plan to Grow Ontario Organic.

In 2018, we plan to:

  • Continue to grow OCO’s capacity and operational funding;
  • Launch our Five Year Plan to grow Ontario organic supply;
  • Collect endorsements on the plan to create an Ontario organic levy;
  • Engage with government to ensure the protection and promotion of the Ontario organic claim;
  • Consult on and share recommendations for small-scale supports with government;
  • Grow our capacity to assist the sector with certification and transition challenges.

Board Openings

We have nine (9) positions open for election with five (5) members standing for re-election.  There are openings in five (5) at-large positions, two (2) certified organic producer representative, one (1) certified value chain representative, one (1) non-certified value chain representative, and one (1) supporter representative  

This year, the Board of Directors is looking for individuals with any of the following qualifications, expertise and experience:

Non-profit organizational development and fundraising

  • Operational policy development (HR etc.)
  • Legal or government relations expertise
  • Broad network of connections with organic consumers & producers
  • Big picture strategic thinking and experience with mergers/creating new organizations
  • Knowledge of organic transition and certification challenges
  • Previous board experience

To be eligible, an individual must:

  • Be or become a member of OCO in good standing,
  • Be nominated by another member,
  • Be at least 18 years of age, and
  • Not have bankruptcy that is undischarged.

Responsibilities of a Board member include:

  • Attend and participate in Board meetings regularly (currently monthly via daytime video conference)
  • Actively contribute to projects related to your area of expertise or committee
  • Attend two in-person strategy days annually
  • Stay informed about the organization and attend at least one program event per year

Board Committees Include:

  • Executive: Fundraising, Finance, HR and Operations
  • Policy and Regulatory Affairs: Input on government consultations, advocacy campaigns, and issues pertaining to certification and standards.
  • Outreach and Engagement: Membership, Communications, Events and Promotions

In 2017, OCO grew the organization’s finances by 60%.  We have a plan to build sustainable sector funding, an active and engaged membership and a clear set of priorities for the next five years.  We are looking for board members who are excited to be part of building this new phase with us and are not afraid to get their hands dirty.  We need your skills for Ontario organics to survive and thrive!

All nominees must complete this short on-line form by March 15th in order for their bios to be shared with members prior to our AGM, where directors are elected.  

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