Will you join us? Can you volunteer your time to help change the food system, and support community-based traders who sell locally-grown, planet-friendly produce? We want to hear from you!
Better Food Traders exists to support small and medium-sized enterprises who are aligned with our mission – to create a visible, thriving food retail system that supports the environment, farming communities, local economies and local people.
Together, Better Food Traders and its members are working to build a sustainable, viable alternative model for the supply and sale of food across the UK, which recognises the social, economic and environmental benefits of a decentralised way of producing and selling food.
We are a UK-wide network of more than 150 members, consisting of a wide range of charities, social enterprises and independent businesses, who all place people and planet at the heart of their business models. We have been around since 2020, growing from a cohort of veg box schemes incubated by the social enterprise Growing Communities, to become the UK’s national network of ethical food traders.
Our members include shops, online sellers, veg box schemes, market stalls, food hubs and wholesalers. All members commit to selling UK-grown, organic/agroecological produce; to supporting small and medium scale UK organic farmers by paying fair prices; to avoiding air-freighted goods; and to working in and for their local community. We provide ongoing support for these enterprises in the form of specialist training, business advice, online resources, peer-support groups, network-building and in-person events.
Better Food Traders works to influence and shape three important and interrelated parts of the system: the traders who make up our membership, the public who purchase goods, and the policy landscape in which our members have to work. We can’t change one without the other, and together they create a virtuous circle of change.
Why we need you
Better Food Traders is transitioning to become an independent organisation, a CIC, and we are recruiting a number of Non-Executive Directors including a Treasurer and a Chair. We’re looking for people whose life experiences and/or skills provide the expertise to support our network of local, planet-friendly and ethical food traders.
The Board will play a vital role in ensuring our organisation has solid plans and executes them successfully to achieve our aims. We are keen to welcome people who may not have been Non-Executive Directors before, and will offer additional support to get you up to speed with the responsibilities of a board member.
Board positions are open to anyone aged 18 and over, of any background. We recognise that diversity of voices in positions of responsibility adds to an organisation’s potential, helps to generate a greater variety of ideas, and enables new and different approaches. We realise that there is a lack of diversity within the sustainable food sector, and we want to try to address that in our Board to make sure that Better Food Traders can best serve all communities. Whatever your lived experiences, your application is welcome – everyone’s voice is important.
Can you support our mission?
We are particularly looking for people with skills and experience in any of the following:
- Policy and advocacy
What we’re looking for
- A commitment to the activities of the Better Food Traders network.
- Independent judgement and strategic vision.
- Good communication skills.
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team that makes collective decisions.
- Willingness to engage in regular Board meetings and potentially occasional public events organised by or for the CIC.
We are looking for candidates whose values align with ours. We recognise that not everyone will have had access to the same opportunities, and we are committed to acknowledging this in our recruitment processes. We will be assessing applicants based on lived experience as well as work history and education. If you’ve never been a Non-Executive Director before, we would like to support you – for example with mentoring from another experienced Trustee on the board.
The role itself is unpaid, but reasonable expenses are paid. The annual commitment is 4 x 2.5-hour Board meetings plus quarterly sub-committee meetings on Finance, HR/Operations or Membership Standards, to which Non-Executive Directors are invited based on their interest and expertise. Meetings will usually be in the evenings, over video conferencing. In addition, the board will be invited to meet once a year face-to-face at our Annual Gathering.
Term of appointment
The term of appointment is three years. Non-Executive Directors may then be reappointed for a second term of three years. You can resign at any time if you can no longer make the necessary time commitment.
- Attend Board meetings to review the CIC’s work so that we stay on track with our mission and finances.
- Make sure that our strategies are relevant, achievable and being actioned.
- Support our Director and small staff team to deliver the organisational strategy through constructive feedback and creative input.
- Support our Director to ensure Better Food Traders remains a learning organisation, where staff and freelancers can review their performance and receive feedback.
- Ensure our Director’s responsibilities are clearly expressed and understood, and that directions given to them come from the Board collectively.
- Review and agree policies.
- Be aware of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities that are relevant to the Better Food Traders network, and make sure the organisation is complying with these requirements.
To apply for the position
Please send your CV and a brief expression of interest (no longer than 500 words), setting out why you want to be a Non-Executive Director and how you meet the knowledge and experience we’re looking for. Along with a copy of your CV, we will ask you to complete an online diversity monitoring form, which will be held confidentially from your application.
Apply by emailing Julia Kirby-Smith, Project Leader/Director of the Better Food Trader network at email@example.com. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Mon 9th October with interviews on Weds 11th and Tuesday 12th October.
For initial enquiries or informal discussion about this role, please call Julia on 07870 207798 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest in our work and we look forward to hearing from you!