[Sust-mar] RFP: Organic Ambassador Training Program, ACORN, Atlantic Canada

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Sat Sep 5 11:52:09 EDT 2015

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Request for Proposal: Organic Ambassador Training Program http://GoodWork.ca/983613
Organization: ACORN
Location: Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador)

Project Overview

The Organic Ambassador Training Program is intended to provide hands-on communications training for those on the front lines of organic: farmers, consumers, retailers, and other supporters of organic agriculture. ACORN's Board of Directors believes that by training a group of Organic Ambassadors to represent organics in their communities through delivering clear and consistent messaging about organics, that it will foster organic education from the ground up, while equipping stakeholders with the tools to be able to address questions about the principles of organic, including being able to quickly answer questions, such as, “Do organic farmers use any pesticides?” or “What is a G-M-O?”.

Deliverables will include an interactive workshop that will challenge participants to bring out their best marketing and communications skills, and an "Ambassador toolkit" featuring a comprehensive organic FAQ reference guide, a ready-to-deliver "all about organic" presentation suitable for a general public audience, and other tools to support outreach on organics.

Organization's Background

The Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) is a registered not-for-profit cooperative. Started in 2000 by the region's organic farmers and processors, ACORN has effectively become the “Voice of Organics for Atlantic Canada,” serving as a network from seed to farmer to consumer.

ACORN is active in a wide range of technical, marketing and training initiatives to promote and further develop the local organic market and agricultural sector. Activities include organizing an annual organic conference and trade show, maintaining a public listing of all certified organic operations in the region, compiling statistics on organic production, facilitating mentorship, hosting regional workshops, and coordinating crop or market-specific farmer-to-farmer networks (e.g. CSA Network).


ACORN aims to enhance the viability and growth of the Atlantic Canadian organic agricultural community through a unified regional network.

Mission Statement

ACORN promotes organic agriculture by:
• Facilitating information exchange between and amongst organizations and individuals;
• Coordinating non-formal education for producers through to consumers;
• Networking with all interested parties both regionally and nationally.

For more information, please visit http://www.acornorganic.org.

Project Goals & Target Audience


Through this project, ACORN hopes to:
• Establish a training program that meets the needs of all target audiences
• Build a network of trained volunteers to represent ACORN and organics in their markets and communities
• Develop tools to support ACORN and trainees in delivering clear, consistent messaging on organics

Target Audiences

There are three target audiences:

1) Organic farmers who market their products directly to their customers, and thus receive lots of questions about organics. Of course, organic farmers know their products and practices best, but delivering information in the most clear and effective way with language accessible to all customers is a learned skill.

2) Organic consumers who are dedicated to supporting local organic farmers and ready to take on a role of promoting and communicating about organics in their community.

3) Organic retailers and other supporters – ACORN does have a customized organic training program for retailers, but it has not yet been able to reach retailers in all three provinces. Therefore, this service could benefit interested parties from the retail sector, in addition to representatives of like-minded food and farming businesses and organizations, who are looking to enhance their ability to communicate about organic products.

Scope of Work & Deliverables


This training program will be designed to be delivered in all three Maritime provinces, and to meet the training needs of all three target audiences.


The overall project deliverable is a training program that meets the identified project goals and includes the following specifics:
• An interactive workshop that challenges participants to bring out their best communication and marketing skills
• An Ambassador toolkit,* including:
• Organic FAQ reference guide
• Ready-to-deliver "All About Organic" presentation suitable for a general public audience
• Other tools to support Ambassadors in their outreach about organics (as possible)
• Delivery of a total of three workshops (Truro, Fredericton, Charlottetown)

Please note that workshops outside of Nova Scotia are dependent on additional funds being secured.

*ACORN has prepared a FAQ reference guide and presentation for retailers specifically, which can serve as a foundation for this toolkit development.


The selected candidate will work with ACORN from October 2015 to February 2016.

Project start date: October 5, 2015 
Workshops delivered: late January-February 2016 
Project completion: February 28, 2016

Budget & Payment Schedule

Budget shall not exceed $6,500 inclusive of contractor fees for training program development and workshop delivery, travel, materials costs, and HST. ACORN's mileage rate is $0.40/km.

Payment will be issued upon receipt of an invoice at the completion of the project.

Please note that workshops outside of Nova Scotia are dependent on additional funds being secured.

Principal Point of Contact

The project lead is ACORN's Outreach & Marketing Coordinator, Tegan Renner. She will work very closely with the selected candidate to support the development of the training program and make all decisions on the project, consulting with ACORN's Executive Director and a volunteer advisory group of organic farmers and consumers as necessary.

Tegan Renner has been working for ACORN since 2012. In her time with the organization, she has managed several projects focused on advancing organics in the region, and developed connections with and between producers, retailers, farmers' markets, and other agricultural organizations. Prior to her role with ACORN, she worked for Canadian Organic Growers (COG) in Ontario and led a number of farmer and consumer education and training projects. She remains connected to organic initiatives across the country as Vice-President of COG's Board of Directors.

Submission of Proposals

Full proposals should include:
• Curriculum vitae
• Three easily reachable references
• Cover letter addressing:
• Your experience with training program/workshop development, adult education and/or communications, or similar projects
• Your understanding of or experience in organics and agriculture
• Proposed project budget (including hourly rate)

To be considered, proposals must be received by the ACORN office by September 21, 2015 by 5:00pm Atlantic. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their proposal is received in its entirety by the specified date and time.

P.O. Box 6343
Sackville, NB E4L 1G6

Email (PDF format)
tegan at acornorganic.org

This project is made possible by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture & Fisheries.

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