Board Committees and Working Groups

Committee Names



Executive Committee This group is tasked with the overall maintenance and health of the organization including upkeep of important records, oversight of financial transactions, staff and office management, member relations, board recruitment, and orientation. Tom Manley
Policy and Government Relations The policy and government relations committee works to establish OCO’s position on various government policies and develop policy proposals for issues such as an Ontario organic regulation. This committee also reviews requests for endorsements from partners. Bill Redelmeier
Regulatory Affairs and Organic Standards This committee liaises with the Organic Federation of Canada, the Canada Food Inspection Agency, and certifying bodies that enforce the Canadian Organic Standard. It ensures that Organic Council members are knowledgeable of changes to the standards and that their interests and input are incorporated into regulations and standards that affect and protect organic. Simon Jacques
Communications and Website This group is in charge of reviewing, improving and managing the upkeep of the website, E-News and social media of OCO. This committee identifies missing information, design needs and costs for a new and/or upgraded website and directory. With the Events and Marketing committee, this committee also reviews and improve the OCO brand and messaging. Mary Wales
Research and Data This group supports the gathering and analysis of data important to the activities of OCO and the organic sector as a whole in the province in order to provide statistical resources to the organization and its members. This group liaises with COTA, COG, government, certifying bodies, and research institutions to ensure numbers of certified businesses and sector statistics are up to date. It also identifies important sector research needs and methods for obtaining information. Joel Aitken
Fundraising and Finance This group reviews applications for funding, requests for letters of support, the expenses of the organization, and the management of fundraising activities. With the treasurer, the committee reviews budget and cash flow statements and makes decisions related to expenses. John Devlin
Marketing and Events This group is tasked with the management of events organized by OCO and all events where OCO has an official attendance in the form of a booth or activities/ talks hosted by OCO. In addition, this committee works with the website and communications committee on review and maintenance of OCO’s branding and messaging and generally promoting the Ontario organic brand. Lauren Stallard
Membership and Governance This group is tasked with the upkeep of membership records, membership recruitment, and the maintenance of the OCO bylaws. It reviews and ensures that the bylaws are clear, fit all legal requirements, and fit with the current demographics of the OCO membership. Sarah Bakker


Other Working Groups

Check-Off Working Group This working group is tasked with developing and managing the Production Contribution Program (voluntary check-off) and overseeing OCO’s work  towards establishing a mandatory organic check-off within the province. Tom Manley
Small Farm Certification Working Group A sub-group of the policy and regulation committee that works on how a regulation could be introduced in Ontario that could be beneficial and fair to small farms while maintaining the rigor and accountability required for large multinational corporate certification. Sarah Bakker