The role will serve as a trusted advisor to clients, and the lead liaison between clients on-the-ground and the PFS volunteer pool to deliver high quality food manufacturing expertise. The RPM 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 Cote d’ Ivoire, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Zambia. The candidate will be required to work with the team and Regional Director for East Africa to support clients in the horticulture ecosystem on a program which PFS has partnered with CEHA, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other actors in the space.
- Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
- Experience Level: Senior level
- Experience Length: 5 years
Location: Nairobi with travel across the COMESA Region
Nature of position: Full-time Term 1-year renewable for the life of the grant and satisfactory performance
Brief on Client
Our client Partners in Food Solutions connects the expertise of volunteers from its corporate partners (General Mills, Cargill, DSM-Firmenich Buhler, Hershey’s, Ardent Mills, and the J.M. Smucker Company) with small and growing food processing companies in Africa. Their goal is to increase the capacity of the African food-processing sector to produce high-quality, nutritious, safe, and affordable food for local populations, while at the same time increasing and sustaining demand for crops grown by smallholder farmers. They are pioneering a remote knowledge-transfer model through their custom, cloud-based platform so that volunteers can share their expertise from their home offices — or anywhere in the world.
Client and Project Development
- Along with the PFS Headquarter Team, the Regional Program Manager will help identify and source potential Clients.
- Conduct initial meetings with previously identified local food processors to assess the potential for high-quality and high-impact projects.
- 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.
- Once the clients are found to be fit for the HPC criteria, conduct a thorough business assessment to identify priority needs and potential opportunities for client engagement.
- With client and PFS input, draft a project scope document that articulates the expertise required, target timelines, etc.
- Facilitate alignment on project scope document and obtain sign-off from management and clients prior to commencement of projects. Obtain signoffs for closure of projects. o Identify and cultivate a local ecosystem of strategic partners to expand our impact and resources.
- Responsible for sourcing and coaching apprentices (recent graduates that PFS attaches to food companies for a period of 12 months under our apprenticeship program).
- Set up communication to deliver technical and business advice on food manufacturing equipment, materials, and processes between PFS volunteers and the client
- 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.
- Participate in calls with management and volunteer teams, ensuring effective communication and understanding of each other’s expectations.
- Provide on-the-ground support for the implementation of technical advice.
- 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.
- Provide support to the client in coordinating the business component of the program with the technical aspects
- Track and report on project progress and highlight any issues that require support from management teams.
- Manage data reporting processes
- Drive data collection from the M&E framework
- Develop well-written, cohesive reports that meet the informational needs of donors and investors.
- Stakeholder management will be a key component of the work given the partners involved to Upload data and project documentation onto the technology platform.
Technical Assessment and Knowledge Transfer
- Identify and complete a technical assessment of ingredients, packaging materials, manufacturing processes, and safety and quality management practices relevant to developing project scope. o Identify and complete business assessment of marketing, sales, finance, and overall management practices as appropriate.
- Accurately translate technical and business requirements communicated by clients to volunteers.
- Work with PFS volunteers to ensure that technical expertise on equipment, materials, and processes as well as overall business management needs are communicated to clients without diluting the essence of recommendations.
- 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, candidate must be comfortable working in more rural settings outside of Nairobi.
- B.Sc. in Food Science, Food Technology, Agricultural Economics, Post Harvest Technology, or related courses. Master’s degree preferred.
- Between 5 to 10 years of working experience in food processing with some being in the horticulture sector preferably with at least 2 in manufacturing/plant.
- Must be both a Thinker and a Doer – the role will require being both a strategic thinker and performing many big and small tasks.
- Business acumen demonstrating a clear understanding of the business environment in the horticulture sector in the project region as well as globally
- Knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) as well as worker safety, and social and environmental sustainability.
- Knowledge of Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards and requirements for horticultural crops
- A good understanding of Non-tariff Barriers to trade in the region
- Highly developed interpersonal and relationship-building skills
- Strong stakeholder management skills
- Reporting competence
- Understanding of Monitoring Evaluation and Learning practices
- Cross-cultural agility
- Experience working in multiple countries or familiarity with the region
- 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.
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