Business and Management Specialist (Pineapples)

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FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Monday 14 Nov 2022 at 22:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Our goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. We believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger.

FAO’s Country Office for Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname (FAOTT/FAOSUR) and its Food Systems and Food Safety Division (ESF) at FAO HQ (Rome), under the Agri-food Systems Transformation Accelerator (ASTA) program co-led with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and funded by the UNSDG fund, is implementing a project for the sustainable development of the pineapple value chain (VC) in Suriname.

ESF supports a coordinated approach to the development of food systems, including inter alia, (i) the development of sustainable food value chains (SFVC) and sustainable investments across value chains (VC); (ii) the strengthening of food safety and quality at national, regional and international levels, (iii) the reductions in food loss and waste, (iv) the implementation of the urban food agenda and (v) the engagement in global level dialogues, platforms and initiatives

The ASTA project in Suriname aims to facilitate the country’s transformation from a marginal pineapple producer characterized by traditional growing practices, little value-addition and no exports, to an established producer and exporter of high quality organic fresh and processed pineapples. Applying an inclusive, sustainable VC approach, the programme will enable pineapple VC actors, notably indigenous producers, to increase their productivity, competitiveness, and access to markets.

To do so, three separate yet interconnected entities, will be introduced by the project: a Collateral Support Facility, a Pineapple Cooperative Development (PCD) company and a pineapple innovation Hub (the ‘Hub’), which will be set up as a one-stop-shop for all producer needs in terms of access to inputs, services, finance and technical assistance.

The purpose of this call is to provide FAOTT/FAOSUR and ESF with a list of qualified Business and Management Specialist (Pineapples) to support the Hub and PCD activities. Selected candidates could be contracted for short term technical assignments (2-6 weeks) of for longer contracts (up to 11-month with the possibility of extension). The Business and Management Specialist (Pineapples) will be part of the ASTA team, with support from a range of UN experts. Reporting Lines

The Business and Management Specialist will work under the overall supervision of the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme), Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname Country Office and the direct supervision of the ASTA project manager or ESF Economist Officers.

Technical Focus

The role of the Business and Management Specialist (Pineapples) will be directly linked to the Hub and PCD. She/he will lead/manage the implementation of activities to promote the sustainable development of the Surinamese pineapple value chain. Business and Management Specialist (Pineapples) will ensure that the Hub’s overall direction, vision, and culture are in line with the project expectations. He/she will help ensure that Hub’s revenue and sales growth targets are met, look for ways to grow the Hub and Company from both a marketing and sales perspective, build relationships and collaborations with other businesses and partners in order to boost income and growth possibilities and ensure successful project implementation.

Tasks and responsibilities

The successful candidate will support the above areas of work, and in particular will assist with one or more of the following tasks: Operationally and technically lead/manage the Pineapple Innovation Hub (the Hub), together with an international pineapple production expert and national counterparts, and from this position lead the management of the initial year(s) of the Pineapple Cooperative Development Company (the Company) in Suriname.


- Together with an international pineapple production expert and the core ASTA team, develop a workplan for the Hub, co-lead the Hub team, oversee and support the implementation of the workplan, and monitor and evaluate the progress made. The workplan will include the following activities: - Manage a digital database of farmers, their production, crop registration, registration of costs and revenues, loans through the Collateral Support Facility, etc. - Support initial field trials for selected Surinamese pineapple varieties, including organizing training for the selected farmers, capturing financial data to be fed into the digital platform, the purchase and timely supply of inputs to the trial farmers, and the organization of trainings for the other farmers (using the trials as demonstration plots) - Engage with farmers, introducing the upgraded business model, collecting data, discussing and learning about farmers´ challenges, concerns, needs and ideas - Carry out capacity building activities to strengthen farmers’ financial and business management skills and their understanding of the financial mechanisms and the upgraded business model - Support obtaining the organic certification - Support, where needed, work on intellectual property rights related to the pineapple varieties. - Support the Credit Committee in assessing farmer loan risks, and ensure that audited reports are made regularly available to the Hub’s board. - Identify and assist in hiring of national and international consultants and institutional partners to support the implementation of project activities. - Together with an international pineapple production expert and national counterparts, organize training in the upgraded business model to be delivered to the national Hub team. - Guide and supervise a national business coordinator, and build his/her capacity to manage the Hub's business and finance activities by (January 2025).


- Supervise out-grower production plans with farmers and monitoring plan implementation - Manage post-harvest handling and supporting packhouse operations - Establish linkages with buyers - Set up a network of input and services suppliers with associated arrangements to provide these to contract farmers, developing and implementing a plan to ensure the steady supply of quality planting material suitable for organic pineapple production, and assist farmers specializing in the production of such planting materials - Organize information event and share information leaflets with potential members of the Company. - Initiate the membership application process for the Company. - Facilitate the election of the Company’s board, and support the organization of regular board meetings.


- Participate in meetings, focus group discussions and workshops, including regular meetings with the core ASTA team, credit committee, the PCD board, official and indigenous authorities, and other relevant VC actors and stakeholders. - Prepare and revise, from a technical perspective, project progress reports and contribute to project communication and visibility activities, including providing content and pictures for the development of “stories from the field”. - Make presentations on the field experience to a variety of audiences (including potential buyers, donor partners, investors, ministries, farmer cooperatives, the PUNOs, and others). - Facilitate the design and operationalization of a conflict resolution mechanism for VC actors. - Maintain links with the Ministry of foreign affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV), the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation, and the Ministry of Regional Development. - Act as the main ASTA focal point for the Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS) and the Organization of Cooperating Indigenous Villages in Para and Wanica (OSIP) and work closely with indigenous communities to ensure proper and smooth implementation of project activities, with a special attention to gender and youth challenges - Perform other related duties, as required.


Minimum Requirements

• Bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, economics, development studies or other relevant disciplines. • At least 5 years of experience in private sector and SME development, ideally related to pineapple or tropical fruits • Working knowledge (level C) of English and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other FAO languages (Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic and Russian). For PSA, working knowledge of English is required.

FAO Core Competencies

• Results Focus • Teamwork • Communication • Building Effective Relationships • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

• Geographic relevance of experience (Suriname, Caribbean) • Commodity relevance of experience (pineapple, tropical fruits) • Extent and relevance of experience in participating in multidisciplinary teams for managing development project or project activities. • Extent and relevance of experience in capacity development in development projects • Demonstrated experience in working with value chain actors, support providers, government officials, and other country level stakeholders • Dutch language skills is considered as strong asset • Working knowledge of Sranan Tongo would be considered be a plus.

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