Recognized Fair Trade Ambassadors

We recently launched the Fair Trade Ambassadors and we’re happy to introduce to you the first ever cohort of Ambassadors! Don’t delay, join the next cohort!



Joy Akaa, Calgary

Joy is a supply chain professional with a legal background. She understands the gap analysis between the supply networks of farmers in developing economies and competitive international markets as well as the linkages needed to bridge the gap necessary to create a mutually beneficial relationship for both groups. She feels privileged to be a 2017 Fair Trade Ambassador as it will create avenues to spread the gospel about fair trade in Canada.


Erin Bird, Calgary

Erin Bird is a Senior Planning Engineer by day at The City of Calgary Water Resources.  Her second "job" right now is to lead the campaign for Calgary to become a Fair Trade Town.  Fair Trade Calgary sits within Engineers Without Borders Calgary Professional Chapter, and the group has been working hard over the last couple of years to achieve the Fair Trade Town designation.  Erin's other hobbies are cooking with Fairtrade ingredients, dancing in Fairtrade banana costumes, and she also enjoys reading while drinking Fairtrade tea and relaxing with family and friends.


Madison Cote, Calgary

A graduate of Carleton University in Political Science, Madison is a marketing and communications professional that has spent time in experiential marketing and higher education. She also graduated from MacEwan University with a diploma in Asia Pacific Management in June of 2017, after completing a six week practicum in Shanghai, China. Madison began working closely with the Office of Sustainability and Food Services at MacEwan University in June of 2016 in her role with Campus Services and transitioned to the University of Calgary in November of 2017 with Aramark. During 2017, she has familiarized herself with the fair trade movement while MacEwan University worked to receive its designation which was successfully awarded on April 19th, 2017. Now at the University of Calgary, Alberta’s first Fair Trade designated campus, she hopes to bring more awareness to the variety and options available on campus as well as introducing new and exciting options. Madison also sits on the University of Calgary’s steering committee. Being a part of the Fair Trade Ambassadors is a great opportunity for Madison to learn even more about fair trade, and will allow her to support others who need information or are working towards a fair trade designation.


Farzad Olya, Calgary

Farzad Olya is a Business Development Manager with engineering background, who provides smart, safe and sustainable solutions to industry clients. He has over 17 years of progressive experience in Oil & Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas, power generation and renewable energy industries. 

Farzad is a believer in community engagement, with a passion for sustainable development, social innovation and entrepreneurship. In his role as Vice President - Impact for Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in Calgary, he inspired and coordinated teams of volunteer professionals to work on various impact areas, including localizing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Having hands-on experience in both emerging markets and developed economies, he is an advocate for integrating SDGs into sustainability reporting by businesses, NGOs, and government entities. 

Farzad is a member of the core strategy team of Fair Trade Calgary, which leads the Fair Trade Town campaign. The group has been working together for several years with the objective of raising awareness on responsible consumption and ethical purchasing, and making Calgary Canada's next Fair Trade Town. As a recognized public speaker and presenter, Farzad has contributed to several public events, conferences and community engagement sessions as well as advocacy sessions with City Councillors, MLAs and business executives.

British Columbia

Noelle Chan, Burnaby

Noelle’s interest in the environment has led her to do various volunteering work with promoting zero waste initiatives and sustainability at Simon Fraser University. She was initially introduced to fair trade after learning about the unethical practices of the fast fashion industry. This led her to become interested in the fair trade practices on campus at SFU which also furthered her knowledge on the topic. As a student pursuing her undergrad in business, she is also very interested in animal rights, more specifically; the ethical and environmental impacts of the animal agriculture industry and lives a plant based lifestyle. She hopes to help spread the fair trade message to students at SFU and create a lasting impact in the community.


Sarah Jo, Burnaby

Sarah Jo is a third year student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in business and pursuing to concentrate in Accounting and Operations Management. Outside of school, Sarah can be found devoting her hours towards her community, working at her local pool as a lifeguard, or taking advantage of Vancouver’s selection of foodie destinations. Even though this is Sarah’s first year as a Fair Trade Ambassador, she is confident that she, along with the rest of the team, will be able to provide all students an opportunity to gain insight about fair trade. If you ever see Sarah around, don’t be afraid to spark a conversation!


Megan McMahon, Burnaby

Megan is reaching her final stages in her degree at Simon Fraser University, studying Business and Communications. She loves being creative with graphic design and is passionate about exploring, photography, and architecture all around the world. As a Fair Trade Ambassador, Megan is excited to share stories of farmers and workers from around the world with students at SFU, alongside learning more herself about the growing, life changing operations of fair trade.


Nikki Mertens, Burnaby

Nikki is in her fourth year of studies at Simon Fraser University, pursuing a joint major in business and environment. Since 2014, SFU has been recognized as a Fair Trade Campus through the hard work of passionate individuals. After learning about the fair trade movement, Nikki is working towards bringing more awareness about fair trade on campus and in the community. She has a strong desire to find new ways to make changes to the environment and to our society and started eating a plant-based diet as a major first step. During her free time, you can find Nikki trying out new vegetarian recipes, doing some exercise, or studying Spanish.


Landon Reeves, Burnaby

Landon is from a small city in interior BC and is doing his degree in engineering physics at Simon Fraser University, as well as a certificate in sustainable community development. Landon is the president and co-founder of the current SFU chapter of Engineers Without Borders. His involvement has led him to seek more knowledge around fair trade issues. He is deeply passionate about social and environmental causes. Through his work in residence as a community advisor, and a member of the eco committee, he shares his passion for learning and commitment to action with his residents.

Nova Scotia

Vicki Matthews, Wolfville

Vicki is a Sales Professional and worker-owner at Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-operative - headquartered in Grand Pré at the gateway of Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley and Canada's first fair trade roaster. Vicki was driven to participate in the Fair Trade Ambassadors initiative because of her passion for social justice and eliminating barriers to trade and commerce which has been a constant throughout her life.

Further, Vicki believes it is an obligation of authentic fair trade companies to use their products and services to help achieve success for other businesses and groups. Vicki does this most frequently through her work with universities, faith groups, schools and the hospitality segment. When she isn’t running the roads visiting customers, Vicki enjoys playing duplicate bridge, reading and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

If you would like assistance with any of the Fair Trade Programs please contact:


Vanessa D’Antico

Vanessa D’Antico, Montreal

A graduate of McGill University in the field of Dietetics (Nutritional Science), Vanessa is a Registered Dietitian, and part of the OPDQ (Ordre professionel des diététistes du Québec). She has also received a university certification in nutrition in public health in 2016 from Université de Laval. Vanessa began working as the Health, Wellness & Sustainability Manager for Aramark, the food service provider at Concordia University in Montreal, QC, in September 2015. Ever since then, she has familiarized herself with the fair trade movement and the various products available that carry the Fairtrade certification. Concordia University became the 17th Fair Trade Campus in August of 2016 and from that time, has integrated a variety of additional fair trade products into its offerings. Vanessa has facilitated the entry of Fairtrade bananas into Concordia, which is the first campus in Canada to exclusively do so! Being a part of the first cohort of Fair Trade Ambassadors is a wonderful opportunity for Vanessa to learn even more about fair trade, and is a great platform that will allow her to support others who need information or are working towards one of the many fair trade designations. It would be her pleasure to assist you; don’t hesitate to reach out!


Mélissa Dubé, Gatineau/Ottawa 

Mélissa has graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Master’s degree in International Development and Globalization and completed research on the social experience of seasonal agricultural workers in Québec. She has spent time in Latin American countries collaborating with local organizations including fair trade artisans and eco-tourism. Having worked in the federal governmental advocacy world, she administered advocacy resources to engage international target groups. More recently, Mélissa led Fairtrade Canada’s outreach, B2C marketing and communications activities to deepen and increase engagement and understanding of fair trade. Currently RESULTS Canada's Public Engagement Organizer, Mélissa is leading national grassroots’ activities in order to engage with citizen advocates passionate about using their voice in the pursuit of a more just world. Mélissa has been actively involved in the fair trade movement since 2012 and is keen on the National Capital Region stepping it up and endorsing fair trade.


Opal Lancaster, Québec City

Formerly with Ten Thousand Villages, a nonprofit fair trade organization marketing handcrafted products, Opal has been practicing fair trade for several years. Intrigued by what makes us decide to buy fair trade, Opal is pursuing studies in consumer sciences at Laval University in Quebec City, where she is involved with ULaval Campus Equitable and Quebec City Equitable.

Opal has been volunteering on the Board of Directors of the Association québécoise du commerce équitable since June 2015.

Fun fact: She's bananas for fair trade bananas!

Mathieu Papillon-Darveau

Mathieu Papillon-Darveau, Quebec City

Mathieu has been involved in the fair trade movement since 2011. Because of his work with an international co-operation organisation, Mathieu has had the opportunity to work with a Cameroonian coop of small coffee producers working towards obtaining a fair trade certification. It was at that point that he became interested in the Quebec fair trade movement. Since 2012, Mathieu manages the Mois du commerce équitable de Québec and the project of Quebec city becoming a Fair Trade Town. He was also involved in the Association québécoise du commerce équitable for a few years.


Giada Simone, Montreal

Originally from Italy, Giada Simone came to Canada to pursue a Master's degree in International Business at Queen's University. After she graduated, her strong interest in arts brought her to Montreal, where she currently works as marketing coordinator in a food company. In her free time, she likes dancing, volunteering at cultural festivals, and writing poems. She easily gets inspired by nature and by the people she meets, everywhere she goes. She is extremely passionate about making a difference in her community through persistent efforts, regardless of how small, based on the absolute confidence in everyone's limitless potential.