Vacancy: Sales and Marketing consultant

Vacancy: Sales and Marketing consultant

Suriname - 17 February, 2021

Job title: Sales and Marketing consultant / Start date: 15 March 2021 / Open to/Eligibility criteria: All candidates meeting the required qualifications / Duration: 12 months, with possibility of extension / Duty station: Paramaribo, with frequent travel to the Upper Suriname River Area

General description

Tropenbos Suriname (TBS) is a Surinamese knowledge based and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), established in 2005. Our mission is to improve the sustainable use of tropical forests and trees for the benefit of healthy ecosystems, and the well-being of people.

We respond to the need for knowledge, capacity enhancement, and organizational reinforcement. As a knowledge broker, we conduct research-based activities, promoting exchange of scientific and traditional knowledge to inform evidence-based dialogue and transformation into user-oriented tools.  We are a member of the Tropenbos International (TBI) Network, represented in three continents in the tropics and coordinated by the TBI office in the Netherlands.

Website

https://www.tropenbos.sr/

Background

The Working Landscapes Programme (WLP) is funded by DGIS – the Netherlands and conducted in seven member countries of the TBI Network.  The program focusses on the role and contribution of forests and trees in climate change mitigation and adaptation. WLP works towards generating knowledge, building capacities, and facilitating informed dialogue, leading to impacts on inclusive landscape governance, sustainable land use practices, and responsible business and finance, with an emphasis on local foresters and farmers, indigenous and tribal people, and forest and farm producers’ organizations.  Gender and youth is a cross-cutting theme.
Our working area is the Upper Suriname River Area (USRA), a highly forested landscape with limited (but increasing) commercial activity, predominantly inhabited by the Saamaka Maroon population. TBS has been working in the area since 2014 on issues ranging from participatory land use planning, to governance and climate adaptation, and has established good contacts and working relations with the local people and the traditional authorities.

One of the aims within the WLP is to improve agricultural and forestry practices in collaboration with communities in light of climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods. The Saamaka population strongly relies on rain-fed subsistence agriculture, and is considered highly vulnerable to climate change. In recent years, TBS has worked and continues to work on improving agriculture through agroforestry techniques. In the village of Pikin Slee, an agroforestry demonstration field has been set up and an agro-cooperative, Hatti Wai U.A., has been formally established to support sustainable income generation.

Goals

There are two areas of work which we focus on in light of sustainable agricultural practices. First, enhancing agroforestry techniques for subsistence and commercialization, and, secondly, establishing sustainable product value chains.

The goal is to build on the experience with the agroforestry demonstration field and the cooperative in Pikin Slee to create a model example for other communities in the river basin and to scale up, by expanding to two other villages, namely Gran Tatai and Nieuw Aurora.

Objective

The objective of this consultancy is to provide intensive guidance and support to community cooperatives and individuals and facilitate a network of stakeholders in order to improve local product value chains from agriculture and non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

Scope of work

The focus is on climate smart productive activities. Agriculture producer groups and cooperatives in the area need more structure and enhanced skill sets to work on business administration, commercialization, and marketing of agricultural and forest products. The consultant is expected to:

  • guide and empower existing or newly set-up cooperatives in Gran Tatai and Nieuw Aurora through culturally appropriate training courses, network building, and facilitation of community exchanges,
  • contribute to improved income from crop or NTFP sales by establishing and/or improving product value chains and facilitating marketing of agricultural or NTFP products,
  • support successful cooperatives and individual farmers to write and implement business plans or grant proposals for follow-up activities.

The consultant will work closely with appointed staff at TBS and with program partners, for example, those working on improvement of agroforestry techniques and on business and finance. Furthermore, it is expected that the consultant will work closely with local community members and cooperatives in the USRA.
 

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Support TBS during the inception meetings in Gran Tatai and Nieuw Aurora to explain the project, discuss and exchange thoughts on how to work towards sustainable income from agriculture and NTFPs;
  • Elaborate a detailed work plan for successful implementation and completion of the assignment, including the strategic work approach, a training program with objectives, the step-by-step facilitation of product development, sales and marketing and, where necessary, an indication of required support from TBS staff and partners;
  • Identify existing agricultural cooperatives or producer groups and community members with interest in commercialization of agricultural products and assess the production process, capacity and needs;
  • Conduct a market study for 1-2 products in close collaboration with community members, identifying barriers and bottlenecks for marketing of local products and potential traders and buyers;
  •  Facilitate the formal establishment of new agricultural cooperatives, taking into consideration a fair gender balance;
  • Develop and implement a training program on sale and marketing of agricultural products to strengthen the capacity of the agricultural cooperatives and interested individuals, including elements on organization, administration, business development, marketing, fair benefit sharing, cost price calculation, product development, and other relevant topics;
  • In each of the three villages, pilot the development of a product value chain of 1-2 products in collaboration with the cooperatives, by guiding product development and marketing and facilitating sales agreements with buyers;
  • Facilitate social learning among cooperatives and producer groups to evaluate and further improve the product value chain;
  •  Identify potential cases for (micro-)grant applications and develop a sustainable financing strategy to support the continuity of the cooperatives and productive activities; and
  •  Write analytical progress reports with recommendations for the project management.

Deliverables                                               

The consultant will provide the following deliverables: 

Deliverable

 Timeline after commencementPayment after approval
1. Submission of a Detailed work plan1 month 10%
 2. Report on market study, including potential products for further development and barriers and bottlenecks for marketing of local products2 months 5%
 3. Detailed training program, including target groups (cooperatives and producer groups), needs and elements for capacity strengthening and product development3 months 5%
 4. Formalized statutes of a new cooperative in Gran Tatai and Nieuw Aurora, respectively4 months 15%
 5. 1st evaluation and progress report on capacity strengthening and product value chain development5 months 10%
 6. 2nd evaluation and progress report on capacity strengthening and product value chain development7 months 10%
 7. Sales agreements between cooperatives and buyers9 months 20%
 8. 3rd evaluation and progress report on capacity strengthening and product value chain development9 months 10%
 9. Sustainable financing strategy for cooperatives and productive activities 10 months 5%
 10. Final report with recommendations 12 months 10%

 Reporting and payment

All reports and deliverables are to be submitted to the Director of TBS for approval. The reports should be submitted in English in Microsoft Word in the following format: all text should be Normal-style, Times New Roman 12. All references should be included in footnotes, also the names and contact information of the persons consulted. Paymen are made upon approval of each deliverable. The assignment is part of a TBI Network initiative and the consultant may be required to provide updates on the status of the assignment at any time during the contract period.  This includes participation in online meetings with the TBI Network.

Requirements

  • MSc in Marketing or a related field;
  • 3 - 5 years of work experience in marketing in rural villages;
  •  Work experience in agribusiness and rural entrepreneurship is a plus;
  • Experience in marketing of agricultural products is a plus;
  • Good interpersonal communication skills;
  •  Strong presentation, analytical and negotiation skills;
  • Flexible thinker with strong time management skills;
  • Required language proficiency in Sranantongo, Dutch, and English. Proficiency in the Saamaka language is a plus;
  • Understanding of the Saamaka culture or previous experience of close collaboration with hinterland communities is a plus;
  •  Proficient in use of MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint and IT communication tools such as Zoom and Skype; and
  • Must be able to stay in the hinterland for a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 2 weeks per visit.

 For information about our program: visit www.tropenbos.sr or call 532001.