Forward to a friend Tweet this Share this on Facebook Share:

Home | Job Postings


Position: Organic Policy and Research Assistant
Organization: Organic Council of Ontario 
Centre for Social Innovation, 720 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario (Possibility for some remote work with the right candidate)

Eligibility: ages 30 & under, see below

Start Date: December 2019
Hours: 30-40 hours per week (negotiable)

Salary: $36,000 - $42,000

This is a contract with a total of $18,000 in salary available (min. 4 month contract) Salary, hours and term of employment are negotiable pending experience.

This position is funded in part by the Youth Employment and Skills Program. To qualify, you must:

  • 30 years or younger when you started the internship
  • unemployed, student or underemployed
  • have not participated in any other Youth Employment and Skills Strategy program (that is, Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative and/or Career Focus Program)
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

About the Organic Council of Ontario:

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) is the voice for organics in Ontario. We represent Ontario’s organic sector value chains and our membership includes over 1100 producers, processors, retailers and consumers.

About the Job:

The Organic Council of Ontario is looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated and dynamic Organic Policy and Data Coordinator who is passionate about agriculture and the environment. OCO has a small staff team with a broad scope: we punch above our weight! Ideal candidates will be up for a diversity of tasks, able to balance competing priorities, and able to see a project through from concept to completion. We seek candidates with a balance of left and right brain thinking, with the ability to hold the big picture without losing sight of important details, and the problem solving chops to excel at new tasks. Ideal candidates have a curious mind and know how to ask the right questions to gain clarity or build consensus on tricky regulatory issues with diverse players. They will be able to grasp organic regulatory and standards issues quickly; contribute to our website, social media and database management; problem solve multi-stakeholder policy issues; plan member events; and have the capacity to parse complex issues into clear sentences. A successful candidate will be equally at ease chatting on the phone with farmers as they are analyzing sector-wide data.

This job is part policy researcher, part data analyst, part stakeholder management, part journalist, part event-planner, part information management specialist, and part facilitator.

The primary duties of the role fall into four main categories:

(1) General Communications (10%)

  1. Assist the Membership and Communications Manager with maintenance and upkeep of the Organic Council of Ontario’s main website, microsites, e-news and social media;

  2. Research, write and proofread informative blog posts that contribute to OCO's knowledge hub

(2) Special Research Projects (60%)

OCO is working on several policy and regulatory projects that include improving materials and/input review in Canada, reviewing regenerative organic incentive programs, reviewing organic business risk managmenet program and developing a proposal for low-risk certification in Ontario. The assistant will support OCO staff in these projects by conducting research, interviewing experts and planning focus groups.

  1. Assist with the development of surveys (through survey monkey), interview guidelines, and contact lists;
  2. Interview, record and summarize interview findings;
  3. Host video conference meetings and focus groups to identify potential problems and solutions;
  4. Assist with report and recommendations development;

(3) Data Management and Analysis (20%)

  1. Improve our Ontario Organic Directory and back-end database in Hubspot by improving reports, information management categories and filling in data gaps;
  2. Improve communications KPI tracking and use Google Analytics to inform communications strategy;
  3. Analyse survey data and findings;
  4. Analyse organic acreage, production, and pricing data;
  5. Assist with developing an Ontario organic data management system and site;
  6. Help research digital tools to improve our member services and website.

(4) Event Planning and Membership Outreach (10%)

OCO plans to host several organic farm and business tours throughout the summer as well as a large member event in September for Organic Week. The coordinator may be tasked with coordinating one or more of these events. They may:

  1. Recruit new members through organic and agri-food events;
  2. Assist with event management, promotion, registration and logistics;
  3. Coordinate print material production, mail-outs and phone campaigns to update membership details and recruit new supporting members;

General Project Management

As a small non-profit, OCO’s work is dynamic and project-based with the overarching goal of growing and supporting the Ontario organic sector. Our work may shift as we receive new grants for projects that fit with our overarching mandate and priorities to support the growth of the Ontario organic sector. We’re looking for a candidate who can demonstrate the necessary flexibility to adjust to such changes willingly and gracefully.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Highly motivated, can work independently and in a team;
  • Customer service oriented;
  • Knows how to juggle and prioritize multiple priorities;
  • Curious and engaged systems thinker;
  • Familiarity working with standards and/or the ability to interpret regulatory and policy language;
  • Experience creating and managing multi-stakeholder research and/or consulting projects under limited timelines;
  • Experience with non-academic report writing and/or journalism;
  • Experience managing information and/or data systems including data analysis;
  • Takes initiative to constantly improve their work and the work of the organization;
  • Is passionate and knowledgeable about organic agriculture;
  • Has experience using or is comfortable learning to use various online communications management tools (e.g. Survey Monkey, Wordpress, Statamic, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Canva, Google Suite)
  • Has experience with contact management and/or online information management tools;
  • Has strong research and writing skills;
  • Experience with graphic design an asset (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Canva etc.);
  • Has an understanding of the Ontario agri-food landscape;
  • Has some understanding of the Ontario political climate and public sector;
  • French language skills an asset.

To apply, send a CV and cover letter in one pdf document to by November 29th, 2019 at 5pm with Policy and Research Coordinator in the subject line. Please provide two samples of relevant work (e.g. report summary, communications piece).

Please indicate you saw this posting at

Share this on Facebook   Tweet This!  Email this to a friend   Share this on LinkedIn   Add this to Google Bookmarks   Print this page

Note: This posting is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "FoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Nov 6 2019    ID: 55128