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How sustainable/local/healthy is that job?

Each posting on FoodWork relates to one or more of these themes:

  • healthy, local food production, urban agriculture, family farms
  • organic/sustainable/ecological/biodiverse food production
  • food security: secure, affordable, accessible, nutritious food for all
  • fresh, whole, natural, unprocessed foods
  • vegetarian, vegan or low-meat diets
  • fair trade

Each posting is related either in terms of the job itself, the employer, or both. Many positions are with clearly progressive organizations, while some are with more "mainstream" employers, in roles that genuinely help them improve their practices. We believe that all these jobs are important and meaningful in their own way.

Although FoodWork does take care to ensure that overtly inappropriate jobs are not posted, ultimately it's up to you to decide whether a particular job satisfies your own ethics, standards and criteria.

Food Career Research

Food career paths can be confusing. Will that degree in agriculture help you find healthy, sustainable work, or just a job wit a food corp, propping up unhealthy, monopolistic systems? The answers aren't always simple, but good career research and planning can help you avoid dead ends.

Before going to an interview or accepting a job offer, it's important to do your own research about the job, employer and industry. This will help you make a decision that's right for you. It will also help you write a better cover letter, and perform better at the interview. Here's where to start:

Researching Employers' Social and Ethical Practices

If possible, do your research *before* the interview. If you have any show-stopping questions or concerns, bring them up with the employer during the interview. Try putting your concerns as questions not condemnation, e.g. "What is your policy on...?", "Is it true that...?", "What steps is your organization taking to ...?" Be aware that asking probing questions could lose you the job (for better or worse). Or, by demonstrating your initiative, it might just land you the job.

Where to research companies' reputations:

• Visit the employer's site and read their "About" or "Company" sections
• Learn to recognize greenwash, spin, propaganda and corruption. See: | | | |
• Search pollution/pollutant information for that company or community: or
• Google: search for the company name plus words such as "environmental", "greenwash", "unethical", "scandal", "criticism", "watch", "scam", "reputation", etc.
• Google: search for the topic or industry (e.g. "mining") plus relevant keywords (e.g. mining watch, mining watchdog, mining environmental, mining ethics, mining sustainability, etc.)
• Wikipedia: search for the company name then look for a section titled "criticism", "controversies" or "environmental impact", or click the "discussion" or "view history" tabs to learn more. Also search for the topic or industry (e.g. "petroleum") and look at the bottom of the page for related "categories".
• Call environmental groups/organizations (ENGOs) in the province that work on the issue at hand (e.g. energy, mining, forests, etc.) A phone call might be more effective than e-mail. Find groups in all provinces here:
• Check corporate watchdog organizations, lists of "allegedly unethical firms", etc.: |
• Try whistleblower sites or organizations such as ; more at
• Seek out green business organizations, publications and social networks in your area, such as,,, BALLE (,,, etc. (more at )
• To be fair, not everything you read on the web is balanced or accurate. Try to get both sides of the story and do further research if necessary. Concepts like ecological footprint, "cradle-to-grave", or lifecycle analysis could be applied. Also, companies sometimes reform, so allegations could be out of date.

Do enough research so you're satisfied that you won't be stuck in a job where you can't make a real difference, where the management or owners have little or no genuine concern for the environment, or where you just don't fit in.

Related Resources

• Preparing for an Interview"preparing+for+an+interview"
• Job Search Tips & Resources

• What is a "green job"?
• Finding Meaningful Work

• Wanted: Positive Person
• "Us versus them" mentality
• Black and white thinking

• How to be an Organizer, Campaigner, Activist

It's a good sign that there is debate over what exactly is a "green" job. For the sake of our planet, it's an important debate to have. We welcome your thoughts on this important topic.

Best wishes in your search for healthy, ethical, meaningful work!

- The FoodWork Team

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Note: The above 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: Jan 1 2019    ID: 26517