Executive Director

Organizational Background

Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade fair for farmers and workers. The international Fairtrade system represents the world's largest and most recognized fair trade system.   Fairtrade Canada is an independent non-profit organization that licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in Canada in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade Standards. 

Established in 1997, Fairtrade Canada is the Canadian member of Fairtrade International, and contributes to the international Fairtrade certification system by:

  • Increasing the sales of Fairtrade certified products in Canada
  • Maximizing the benefits of Fairtrade to farmers and workers
  • Supporting the work of others to advance our vision 

Fairtrade Canada is looking for an experience leader with a successful track record leading multi-stakeholder organizations with a social focus. 

Position Responsibilities

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director has direct responsibility for the strategic leadership and day-to-day operations of Fairtrade Canada.  He / She is responsible for accomplishing the goals and objectives of the organization as outlined in Fairtrade Canada’s Strategic Plan and Vision and is a passionate spokesperson and leader who can make decisions, lead teams (employees and volunteers) and influence stakeholders to advance the mission of Fairtrade Canada.   The Executive Director will be responsible for strategic planning, budgeting, finance, marketing, human resources, stakeholder-relationship management, certification and business development through comprehensive work plans and projects to achieve goals on time and within budget.


  • Proven leadership ability and management track record with 10 or more years of relevant professional experience in a senior leadership / senior administrative / senior management role
  • Significant experience in successfully managing an organization with multiple stakeholders and professionals
  • Previous experience running a National organization and working with International partners would be considered an asset

Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to lead, promote and manage change in a collaborative work environment
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, including promoting the organization and its programs in the media and to the public
  • Ability to work effectively with a volunteer Board of Directors and staff to ensure the organization’s stated mission and vision are accomplished
  • Creative and innovative ability to envision strategic opportunities using strong business execution within a social enterprise; then to design and implement programs, policies, and new initiatives for the benefit of the organization and its members
  • Ability to think strategically and manage effectively with excellent analytical skills, good decision-making ability, exceptional team building and management skills – including, but not limited to the following:
    • Strategic Planning & Executive Services: Ability to develop and drive the business plan of Fairtrade Canada within the context of a national organization with international scope; and the strategic direction set by the Board and staff;
    • Talent Management: Ability to attract and retain a high-calibre staff who continually create value for the organization, contribute significantly to accomplish the organization’s mission, and are committed to working effectively toward continual improvement;
    • Finance and Operational Management: Ability to lead and manage the development of all financial and operational plans; oversee implementation of budgets, and monitor progress/changes related to budgets. Maintain and grow B2B revenues from a variety of sources including members, businesses and other organizations or institutions aligned with the Fairtrade movement;
    • Program Management: Ability to execute Fairtrade Canada programs in an effective, efficient and economically viable manner;
    • Partnership & Stakeholder Management: Ability to develop and maintain meaningful and effective relationships with associated organizations aligned to the international movement around Fairtrade, including, businesses, consumers, farmers, workers, agencies, media, service organizations and relevant international organizations to the benefit of Fairtrade Canada stakeholders. 


  • Knowledge of the social justice, international development, or other justice movements;
  • Knowledge of sound management theories, principles, practices, and techniques to establish plans, goals, and priorities for staff, volunteers and contractors; 
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and techniques of financial management including business management, cost/benefit analysis, risk management, forecasting, accounting, financial reporting, resource allocations and activity-based costing to manage and monitor program budgets, cost estimates, revenues, fees, cost-recovery plans, risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, contracts and memorandum of understanding;
  • Proficiency and knowledge of computer skills including Word, Excel, and web applications. 

Personal Qualities and Competencies

  • Skilled communicator and thinker who can build on existing strengths to pursue and develop new initiatives with a commitment to discipline, integrity, sound judgment, and resourcefulness;
  • Open-minded and accessible with a sense of energy and enthusiasm that motivates and empowers others;
  • Demonstrates imagination, vision, diplomacy and the ability to build consensus with all stakeholders and sectors in the Fairtrade environment, while also demonstrating an ability to make difficult decisions in a manner respectful of the organization;
  • Builds and nurtures positive working relationships with staff, public, businesses, consumers, farmers, workers and others in order to accomplish the mission and vision of Fairtrade Canada;
  • Organized. Sets priorities, develops work schedules, monitors progress towards goals, and tracks details, data, information and activities;
  • Demonstrates a willingness to be flexible, versatile and tolerant in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency;
  • Focuses on the needs of stakeholders of Fairtrade Canada at all times. Anticipates, understands, and responds to the needs of clients to meet or exceed expectations.

Language Requirement

  • English and French. Spanish is an asset.

Working Conditions

  • Willingness and availability to travel (estimated up to 4 times per year internationally and other periodic travel within Canada)
  • Willingness to work flexible hours to meet the needs of the organization
  • Need to meet productivity requirements and workload; frequent deadlines are punctuated by short time frames
  • Main Office: Central Ottawa


  • Attractive compensation package including a base salary (range: $100,000 - $120,000); comprehensive benefits.   

How to Apply

Deadline: Applications must be received no later than 5:00 pm (EST) March 24th, 2017

Fairtrade Canada subscribes to the Ontario Human Rights Code. Every person has a right to equal treatment from Fairtrade Canada with respect to employment without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.