The advisory council supports the Board of Directors, Executive Director and working team with strategic guidance and the fostering of key relationships and partnerships. These individuals are not voting members of the board, but rather help support and advise the organization where possible. They therefore have no terms of reference, nor expected length of service.

Bev Toews (Fair Trade Olds)


Bev Toews is an Educational Assistant at Olds High School in Olds Alberta. She is currently the chairperson of the Fair Trade Olds committee and has been involved in the fair trade movement for about 30 years. She started her journey after reading about producers and their products in a Ten Thousand Villages cookbook she received as a wedding gift. Since then she has been actively involved in sourcing and purchasing fair trade and other ethically sourced products for her and her family, and sharing her knowledge with the many people she comes in contact with. During a recent trip to Mexico with her husband, Bev visited a Fairtrade coffee bodega in Chiapas, Mexico.

Darryl Reed (UBCO)

darrylDarryl Reed is Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, after having taught at York University for many years. His research interests include development, cooperatives studies, fair trade, and business ethics. He currently serves as the President of the Green Campus Co-operative, a fair trade garment company.


Donna Dagg (Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries)


Donna has a master of science degree and over 20 years of professional experience in the environmental field. As the Sustainable Development Practitioner at Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL), Donna assists with advancing the corporation’s environmental goals, which include minimizing waste, conserving water, reducing carbon emissions, and advancing responsible procurement. In 2006, MBLL received an award for excellence in government finance for integrating sustainable development into business decisions from the Government Finance Officers Association. In 2007, MBLL was recognized as a Summit Award finalist for leadership in green procurement. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries continues to incorporate responsible procurement processes when acquiring goods and services, and assesses and monitors the performance of vendors for adherence to specifications that support social procurement.

Gavin Fridell (Saint Mary’s University)

GavinGavin Fridell is a Canada Research Chair in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University and a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada. He has authored numerous books and articles on fair trade, free trade, and global commodities, including Coffee (Polity Press, 2014), Alternative Trade (Fernwood Publishing, 2013), and Fair Trade Coffee (University of Toronto Press, 2007).

Jennifer Williams (Firefly Insights)


Jennifer is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about the intersection of social purpose and business. Jennifer has a degree in anthropology and political science and has lived and worked in Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, and Ghana. Until 2013, Jennifer was active in the growth of La Siembra Co-operative, a fair trade worker-owned company, and she currently owns a local and organic food business in Ottawa with her partner. In addition Jennifer consults with ESOP Builders on the design and implementation of Employee Share Ownership Plans for Canadian companies. Jennifer is the mother of four beautiful and energetic children. She loves dancing, experiencing different cultures, and spending time in nature.

Krista Pineau (Ecocert)


Since an energetic and powerful introduction to Engineers without Borders (EWB) in 2011, Krista has taken a profound interest in the fair trade community. Her involvement in fair trade with EWB evolved from working in youth engagement when she co-organized a youth conference based on Fairtrade products and trade in 2012. This led her to working with the staff and students at Simon Fraser University on the school’s Fair Trade Campus designation, and she has now brought this passion and experience to Laval University to build momentum to the same designation. Krista is bilingual and completed her bachelor’s degree in economics and politics in French in Quebec City. She has created many contacts in different Quebec fair trade organizations.

Monika Firl (Cooperative Coffees)


Monika Firl has worked out of the CoopCoffees Montreal office since 2002, as Green Buyer, Producer Relations Manager and now as Special Projects and Outreach Manager, with a particular focus on the impact of climate change on small-scale farmers. She also currently sits on the Sustainability Council for the Specialty Coffee Council of America. Prior to coffee, Monika worked with a variety of locally based development projects while living in Central America and Mexico from 1991 to 2000. Her experiences include founding and directing a centre in San Salvador for the exchange of information on appropriate technologies; coordinating a regional, Campesino-a-Campesino, horizontal learning program around sustainable production practices and market alternatives with farmer groups in Central America; and participating in technical training and market development with coffee producer co-ops in Chiapas, Mexico. She holds a master’s degree in journalism as well as a bachelor’s degree in international relations and German.

Robert McKinnon (Pure Art)

RobertRobert, Co-Founded  Pure Art Inc. and the Pure Art Foundation with his wife Brigitte and together they have dedicated their time over the past 5 years to help create and maintain sustainable programs with marginalized artisans, and their communities through local support of their own community here at home. Living just west of Montreal with their five sons, Robert and Brigitte run their Pure Art fair trade boutique as both an educational centre and meeting point for citizens interested in ethically sourced global hand-crafted products. Robert’s experience in owning a 25 year business in the field of health care education has provided a unique platform to build on his keen interest in ethical exchange and creating initiatives that help address social inequities around the world. Profits from hand-made creations purchased through the store in Hudson Quebec, directly support their humanitarian programs in the Foundation, cultivating a firm respect of cultural identity while building capacity. Robert is currently active in campaigning for Hudson to be a Fair Trade town and is also a proud board member of the North American Fair Trade Federation (FTF).

Zack Gross (Formerly Manitoba Council for International Co-operation)

Zack GrossZack Gross recently retired as Coordinator of Fair Trade Manitoba, based at the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation in Winnipeg. He continues in fair trade as a member of the CFTN’s Advisory Council, as a Board Member at Fairtrade Canada and the Chair of the board of the Marquis Project in Brandon. He also sits on the board of his local food bank in Gimli, MB. Zack is also a former President of the CFTN Board and a recipient of Fairtrade Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Zack facilitates on-line courses in the International Development Studies Diploma program at UBC and writes a regular “Small World” Op. E. column in the Brandon Sun.