Nature of position: Contractor
Term of position: 1 year, renewal subject to performance
Position Location: Kenya
Partners in Food Solutions connects the expertise of volunteers from its Corporate partners (General Mills, Cargill, Royal DSM, Buhler, Hershey's, Ardent Mills and Smucker’s) with small and growing food processing companies in Africa. Our goal is to increase the capacity of the African food-processing sector to produce high-quality, nutritious, safe, affordable food for local populations, while at the same time increasing and sustaining demand for crops grown by smallholder farmers. We are pioneering a remote knowledge-transfer model through our custom, cloud-based platform so that volunteers can share their expertise from their home offices — or anywhere in the world.
To date, 1400 PFS subject matter experts have volunteered more than 100,000 hours and have worked with over 1600 small and growing businesses) with a combined outreach of 1.3 million smallholder farmers. With the continued support of its corporate partners, PFS is looking to broaden impact and outreach exponentially in the coming years.
About the Role:
The Program Manager contractor will serve as lead liaison between clients on-the-ground and the PFS volunteer pool to deliver high quality food manufacturing expertise. The Program Manager will act as a representative of PFS to ensure that the work is tightly aligned and connected to PFS in representing its Corporate Partners. PFS currently has a presence in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Cote d’ Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. The candidate will be required to work closely with the PFS team in Kenya simultaneously covering to implement the growth strategy in the country.
Apart from managing the flow of requirements and expertise between PFS and clients, the Program Manager will be responsible for managing the pipeline of prospective projects and scoping them based on meetings with owners/managers. Through it all, he/she will “establish, develop and maintain ongoing relationship of trust and support with identified clients. Enthusiastically represent PFS and its Corporate Partners’ offerings to all potential and current clients.” Therefore, a successful candidate will possess both technical expertise and management acumen.
• Client and Project Development
o Along with the PFS Headquarter Team, and the East Africa Region Director, will help identify and source potential Clients.
o Conduct initial meetings with previously identified local food processors to assess the potential for high quality and high impact projects.
o Conduct site visits to collect the necessary technical information (e.g., regarding ingredients, suppliers, packers, and processes) to make an informed decision about proceeding with communications.
o In the case of high-potential clients, conduct a thorough business assessment to identify priority needs and potential opportunities for client engagement.
o With client and PFS input, draft a project scope document which articulates the expertise required, target timelines, etc.
o Facilitate alignment on project scope document and obtain sign-off from management and clients prior to commencement of projects. Obtain sign-offs for closure of projects.
• Project Management
o Set up communication to deliver technical and business advice on food manufacturing equipment, materials, and processes between PFS volunteers and the client
o Provide ongoing support of the remote knowledge transfer model and act as the bridge between PFS expert volunteers and the processors in the life of the specific projects.
o Participate in calls with management and volunteer teams, ensuring effective communication and understanding of each other’s expectations.
o Provide on-the-ground support for implementation of technical advice.
o Support, organize and conduct training workshops for clients, as needed, on technical issues ranging from quality control, production process, operations, supply chain, safety and hygiene, working conditions (i.e., wages, safety), and proper environmental management.
o Provide support to client in coordinating the business component of the program with the technical aspects
o Track and report on project progress and highlight any issues that require support from management teams.
o Manage data reporting processes
o Drive data collection from the M&E framework
o Develop well written, cohesive reports that meet the informational needs of donors and investors.
o Upload data and project documentation onto the technology platform.
• Technical Assessment and Knowledge Transfer
o Identify and complete technical study of ingredients, suppliers, packers and processes relevant to developing project scope.
o Accurately translate technical requirements communicated by clients to volunteers.
o Work with PFS volunteers to ensure that technical expertise on equipment, materials and processes are communicated to clients without diluting the essence of recommendations.
o Provide direct support and guidance as appropriate to clients necessary to produce products to maximize capacity and optimize product quality and differentiation.
Required Skills & Experience:
Candidates applying should possess the following requirements:
• Must have proper authorizations to work in Kenya
• B.Sc. in Food Science, Food Technology or related courses. Master’s degree preferred.
• Between 5 to 10 years working experience in food processing, preferably with at least 2 in manufacturing / plant.
• Must be both a Thinker and a Doer – role will require being both a strategic thinker and actually performing many big and small tasks.
• Knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) as well as worker safety, social and environmental sustainability.
• High degree of comfort in working in unstructured environments
• Proven track record in providing technical solutions to food processors.
• Excellent problem solving and analytical skills.
• Strong project management skills.
• Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English required.
• Good computer skills in business software (Excel, MS Project and PowerPoint).
Interested candidates should send their applications including; application letter and CV via "Apply Now Button". Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.