Recognized Fair Trade Ambassadors

We recently launched the Fair Trade Ambassadors and we’re happy to introduce to you the first ever cohort of Ambassadors! Don’t delay, join the next cohort!



Joy Akaa, Calgary

Joy is a supply chain professional with a legal background. She understands the gap analysis between the supply networks of farmers in developing economies and competitive international markets as well as the linkages needed to bridge the gap necessary to create a mutually beneficial relationship for both groups. She feels privileged to be a 2017 Fair Trade Ambassador as it will create avenues to spread the gospel about fair trade in Canada.


Erin Bird, Calgary

Erin Bird is a Senior Planning Engineer by day at The City of Calgary Water Resources.  Her second "job" right now is to lead the campaign for Calgary to become a Fair Trade Town.  Fair Trade Calgary sits within Engineers Without Borders Calgary Professional Chapter, and the group has been working hard over the last couple of years to achieve the Fair Trade Town designation.  Erin's other hobbies are cooking with Fairtrade ingredients, dancing in Fairtrade banana costumes, and she also enjoys reading while drinking Fairtrade tea and relaxing with family and friends.


Vanessa D’Antico

Vanessa D’Antico, Montreal

A graduate of McGill University in the field of Dietetics (Nutritional Science), Vanessa is a Registered Dietitian, and part of the OPDQ (Ordre professionel des diététistes du Québec). She has also received a university certification in nutrition in public health in 2016 from Université de Laval. Vanessa began working as the Health, Wellness & Sustainability Manager for Aramark, the food service provider at Concordia University in Montreal, QC, in September 2015. Ever since then, she has familiarized herself with the fair trade movement and the various products available that carry the Fairtrade certification. Concordia University became the 17th Fair Trade Campus in August of 2016 and from that time, has integrated a variety of additional fair trade products into its offerings. Vanessa has facilitated the entry of Fairtrade bananas into Concordia, which is the first campus in Canada to exclusively do so! Being a part of the first cohort of Fair Trade Ambassadors is a wonderful opportunity for Vanessa to learn even more about fair trade, and is a great platform that will allow her to support others who need information or are working towards one of the many fair trade designations. It would be her pleasure to assist you; don’t hesitate to reach out!


Opal Lancaster, Québec City

Formerly with Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit fair trade organization marketing handcrafted products, Opal has been practicing fair trade for several years. Intrigued by what makes us decide to buy fair trade, Opal is pursuing studies in consumer sciences at Laval University in Quebec City, where she is involved with ULaval Campus Equitable and Quebec City Equitable.

Opal has been volunteering on the Board of Directors of the Association québécoise du commerce équitable since June 2015.

Fun fact: She's bananas for fair trade bananas!

Mathieu Papillon-Darveau

Mathieu Papillon-Darveau, Quebec City

Mathieu has been involved in the fair trade movement since 2011. Because of his work with an international co-operation organisation, Mathieu has had the opportunity to work with a Cameroonian coop of small coffee producers working towards obtaining a fair trade certification. It was at that point that he became interested in the Quebec fair trade movement. Since 2012, Mathieu manages the Mois du commerce équitable de Québec and the project of Quebec city becoming a Fair Trade Town. He was also involved in the Association québécoise du commerce équitable for a few years.


Giada Simone, Montreal

Originally from Italy, Giada Simone came to Canada to pursue a Master's degree in International Business at Queen's University. After she graduated, her strong interest in arts brought her to Montreal, where she currently works as marketing coordinator in a food company. In her free time, she likes dancing, volunteering at cultural festivals, and writing poems. She easily gets inspired by nature and by the people she meets, everywhere she goes. She is extremely passionate about making a difference in her community through persistent efforts, regardless of how small, based on the absolute confidence in everyone's limitless potential.