Land O'Lakes Venture37
Land O’Lakes Venture37 is preparing for an anticipated USAID Notice of Funding Opportunity “FORK” with a potential procurement release in early 2024. The purpose of the Global FORK bid is to transform local food processing to sustainably and equitably increase access to and affordability of safe, nutritious foods for women and children. Its objectives include: strengthening business and technical practices of food processors; strengthening linkages between food processors and the broader business ecosystem for nutritious foods, including smallholder producers and domestic and regional markets; and increasing the sharing and uptake of knowledge, learning, and tools to support local food processors of safe, nutritious foods.
FORK will be a global program overseeing connected projects in multiple countries of varying size, scope and complexity. At times, the program in total may vary in size from $30 million to $80 million.
The Food Processing Enterprise Advisor will provide day-to-day leadership for this program component and mentor country-based staff to support local micro-, small- and medium-size enterprise (MSME) food processors to increase food processing competitiveness and facilitate sustainable growth activities.
This role will aim to increase and enhance linkages between buyers and suppliers, and across value chain players, adapt to market demands, build resilient supply chains, and improve marketing strategies through specialized business services.
The position will be based in one of our project locations in Southern or Eastern Africa (ESA).
The position will report to the ESA-based Technical Director.
The position is subject to the availability of funds and approval by USAID.
- Oversee and -collaborate with staff to design and implement activities and strategies that increase MSME capabilities in areas like marketing, diversification, financial efficiency, and value addition across multiple countries.
- Partner with country-level staff and project partners to drive private sector engagement, public-private dialogues and evidence-based advocacy between sector associations, government bodies, and MSME support institutions to address production, manufacturing, safety, quality, and regulatory bottlenecks.
- Together with country-level staff and partners, conduct sector-specific research, such as End Market Analysis, and cost-benchmarking to pinpoint constraints that limit market competitiveness for MSMEs. Facilitate robust connections between MSMEs, their supply chains, and customers via exhibitions, business roundtables, buyer visits, and other avenues.
- Coordinate with Program Director and Knowledge Management Lead to effectively collect, analyze and distribute learning from both global, regional and country activities and partnerships.
- Ensure gender equality and socially inclusive approaches are integrated into programming and effectively implemented; regularly identify learnings, refining the design as needed to improve social inclusion across project activities with special emphasis on women- and youth-led MSMEs.
- Facilitate connections between MSMEs and capital providers, facilitating investments to enhance practices and penetrate new customers and markets.
- Mentor staff to effectively collaborate with local standards certifiers to assist MSMEs in meeting or obtaining vital certifications required of domestic retailors and markets.
- Assist the Program Director, Technical Director and Country Managers in developing and executing project workplans. Lead and oversee project activities within this component. Assist with in monitoring, evaluation, and reporting.
- Coordinate with the project’s other component leaders to ensure streamlined and coordinated delivery of activities.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- An undergraduate degree (e.g. BA/BS) in business administration, international trade and development, economics, supply chain management, food science or other relevant field.
- A minimum of five (5) years of experience increasing the competitiveness of agricultural MSMEs, facilitating their growth and ability to adapt to changing consumer demands. Proven experience working with development projects and familiarity with the agri-food business environment in multiple countries.
- Proven knowledge of the agri-food processing sector and market dynamics. Understanding of supply chain management, value chain analysis, and market linkages.
- Proven leadership skills building and managing staff, and facilitating cooperative, high-level relationships and motivating diverse teams.
- Proven capacity to collaborate across projects, be flexible, and creative and successfully lead an intercultural team in development and post-conflict contexts.
- Ability to communicate effectively, instilling trust and confidence.
- English fluency, written and spoken.
- Excellent interpersonal and written and oral presentation skills.
Preferred Skills and Experience:
- An advanced degree (e.g. Master’s) in agribusiness, business management, international development, economics, or other relevant field.
- Seven (7) years of demonstrated senior management experience and/or technical knowledge in designing and managing international development projects and activities in a related field.
- A strong network and experience liaising with government agencies, private sector organizations, and international donors. Ability to build and maintain relationships with MSMEs, buyers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
The position described above is contingent upon activity award.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. No phone calls will be accepted.
Land O’Lakes never requests money or payment from candidates for any position type. Please report any such requests to Land O’Lakes.
Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an equal opportunity employer and an organization striving to help global communities thrive through agriculture. We consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status, among other factors. Our culture values a diversity of voices. So bring us your unique experiences, your workstyle, and your dreams — they’ll only make us stronger.