As an un-incorporated organization, that lives within the Ontario Natural Food Coop, the LOFC is governed by a volunteer steering committee. This committee consists of representatives from member cooperatives or co-operative sector allies. Consisting of 7 to ten members, this team shapes the direction of the LOFC activities on behalf of the membership.



Local Organic Food Co-ops Network Committee

July 2017



  1. To represent the membership of the LOFC Network
  2. To support the LOFC Executive Director
  3. To advise ONFC senior management and board with regard to LOFC Network


COMPOSITION & TERM:                 

(a)   Number of members: 7-11

(b)  In order to be inclusive of marginalized voices, the Committee will strive for a diverse composition of members representing a variety of attributes, such as region, skills, age, organizational maturity, sector, gender, etc.  These attributes will be recorded in a matrix to be revised as required.

(c)   Length of term: one or two year terms, to be determined (March - February, or the interval between Assemblies)

(e) Outgoing committee members are responsible for the recruitment and training of new committee members to replace them.

(f)   Minimum number of committee members: 5, with 1 ONFC liaison (staff member)

(g) The LOFC Executive Director cannot be a voting member of the Committee but is expected to attend all meetings.  The Executive Director will be responsible for administrative work of the Committee.




(a)   The Committee will make recommendations to the General Manager and the General Manager has the authority to make all final decisions as long as the LOFC Network should be housed within ONFC.

(b)   The Committee will work within an approved budget and will be accountable to the General Manager.

(c)    There is a recognized dynamic tension in the decision-making process of the LOFC Network Committee, which will be worked through on a case by case scenario.              



With the understanding that the LOFC Network is an emerging and an unincorporated body, understood to be temporary and in transition, the Committee will:

  1. Act in an advisory capacity, drawing from governance models used by co-op boards of directors
  2. Make recommendations on matters brought before it to the General Manager
  3. Report to the General Manager on any actions taken by the Committee on ONFC’s behalf.

(a)  Manage the goals/projects for and develops an active project list

(b)   Review and create budgets prior to final budget plan approval

(c)  Promote committee growth, development and involvement.

(d)  Participate in the projects that will guide the affairs of the Ontario Natural Food Co-op, as it pertains to the LOFC Network.

(g)   Ensure that plans and policies are properly implemented.

(h)   The committee will keep minutes of its meetings and submit those minutes to the General Manager for review.

(i)    All committees must take minutes or report to the General Manager on a planned cycle.

(j)    The committee will report all proposed meetings and time requirements of committee members to the LOFC membership during the annual Assembly.

(k) Each Committee member is responsible for conducting themselves at meetings and wherever they represent the LOFC Network in the spirit of the co-operative principles and values.


The Committee will revise its Terms of Reference as new information and needs arise.





(a)   The Committee will meet a minimum 6 times a year.

(b)    These meetings will take place through a series of teleconferences and  in person meetings, where possible in conjunction with relevant professional food and/or co-op-related events.  This will be done to help save travel costs and encourage greater participation and presence at such events.

(c)  Committee members are required to be able to accommodate teleconferences and video conferences.

(d)   Members  who are unable to attend at least 60% of the meetings and without appropriate response times to emails and phone calls will be asked to reconsider commitment to the Committee.

(e) The LOFC Network Committee is empowered to create subcommittees and working groups composed of its Committee members to support its proper functioning.  These committees and working groups must operate within the spirit of these terms of reference.

(f) The committee will strive for a free flow of ideas in its meetings, with formal meeting protocol restricted to areas in which it is required ie. resolutions, voting, etc.



Roles and Responsibilities of the Steering Committee


Responsibilities of Steering Committee Members:

  • To attend meetings regularly, and to participate in the discussions and decision-making of the LOFC.
  • To check for emails related to LOFC in a timely manner...
  • To participate in the planning of projects and programs for the LOFC, and to represent the organization with respect to those programs and projects, or to appoint representatives to do so.


  • Contributing to and enhancing the activities of a just, agro-ecological, place based cooperative food system

Rights of Steering Committee Members:

  • To have ready access to all LOFC information, minutes of decision-making meetings, organizational records, and policy manuals.
  • To receive fair and reasonable notice of all meetings and to have equal opportunity to participate in such meetings
  • To participate in the hiring, firing and evaluation of the Executive Director, and to direct their activities while in the employ of LOFC as pertaining to LOFC.