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Canada Organic Trade Associaton - Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations Manager

Ottawa, ON

On April 11, 2018

POSITION: Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager
LOCATION: Ottawa, Ontario
POSITION DETAILS: Full time, Permanent
REPORTS TO: Executive Director


The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based association for the organic sector in Canada: representing growers, processors, certifiers, provincial farmers' associations, importers, exporters, retailers and others throughout the organic value chain. COTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. COTA brings together the diversity of Canada’s organic sector: from farmer and processor to retail, including food products, fiber and textiles, personal bodycare, and emerging sectors such as organic aquaculture.

COTA is a member-service organization: providing information, data and strategic insights to its membership base, representing organic to the media and government, and leading consumer education and promotion campaigns to benefit organic. COTA is the co-founder of Organic Week and manages the national “Think Before You Eat” campaign. COTA protects organic by playing an active role in standard-setting and industry priority-setting, as well as influence on important regulatory issues. COTA also leads a series of export missions internationally: promoting Canadian organic products abroad, building market intelligence on key markets, and developing the market and regulatory conditions to benefit Canadian organic companies abroad. COTA has been a champion of organic equivalency arrangements to encourage trade and improve market access for Canadian operators.

COTA places a premium on its relationship with Canada’s government in Ottawa, and takes a leadership role on behalf of the organic sector to ensure our stakeholders and their needs are heard by policymakers.

Position Summary

We seek a talented and committed Government and Regulatory Affairs professional with a strong commitment to detail, excellent diplomacy skills, and with strong government relations and regulatory affairs experience to join our professional team.

 This position will manage all strategic government relations, organic and trade regulatory issues and execution, member engagement on these areas and strategic outreach work to ensure effectiveness within the broader organic community.   The Manager position will lead all Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs work, in conjunction with the Executive Director, including government engagement through a concrete framework (Organic Caucus and regular on-site meetings with Ministers and MPs), stakeholder communications, media relations, and employee engagement. This position will work closely with the Executive Director on messaging, engagement and all lobby efforts.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience.  This position is full-time and a robust benefits package will be offered to the successful candidate.


  • Develop and coordinate Government Relations strategy on behalf of COTA
  • Develop and coordinate all Regulatory Affairs work of COTA, and on behalf of the organic sector.
  • Responsible for managing a budget and staff
  • Collaborating with all key organic organizations to identify the top strategic issues and initiatives impacting the sector in terms of threats and opportunities 
  • Defining areas of strategic action that are aligned with government priorities to support business objectives 
  • Raising the profile of COTA within all levels of government to ensure a positive relationship, compelling them to seek our engagement and advice 
  • Developing a proactive engagement strategy and strategic dialogue to help mitigate potentially harmful policy or regulations with a long-term view 
  • Working as a Senior strategic liaison with industry associations, NGOs, institutional and community stakeholders as it concerns organic
  • Building and maintaining effective relationships with key contacts in the federal (Ottawa) government
  • Developing briefing and advocacy material to be used in meetings with stakeholders and government officials 
  • Identifying and providing early warning to emerging issues and strategic and tactical leadership in managing response 
  • Mobilize members for effective engagement of CFIA, AAFC, Health Canada and various levels of Government
  • Prospect outreach, especially as related to regulatory issues
  • Travel to meetings or events, as required; may involve extended travel; willingness to meet with members and prospective members as required
  • Developing and executing yearly public affairs plans 
  • Managing relationship with communications services (as necessary) 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director

Minimum Requirements


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field (Political Science, History, Law) 
  • Minimum 2-5 years’ work experience
  • International affairs, trade and industry (economic development) experience preferred 


  • Superb written/oral communications sklils; ability to produce written documents in a clear, concise, timely and accurate fashion
  • Ability to be hands-on as well as strategic
  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills 
  • Deep knowledge of federal and provincial government and political landscapes; comfortable engaging with senior political and bureaucratic officials 
  • Quick study in order to understand and address complex issues in multi-stakeholder environment 
  • Strong research, analytical and problem solving skills 
  • Demonstrated ability to employ innovative or out of the box thinking 
  • Organic experience considered an asset
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills 
  • English/French bilingual preferred


A detailed letter describing your government and regulatory affair credentials, interest in the position, salary expectations, and a current curriculum vitae should be sent to the attention of: Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director.

All applications must be received no later than midnight Sunday, May 27, 2018.

Canada Organic Trade Association subscribes to the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Every person has a right to equal treatment from COTA 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.

To apply for this position, click here.