Officer, Standards & Assurance Africa
At the Rainforest Alliance, we are building an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal. To advance our mission, we focus on amplifying our impact on the ground through systemic transformation: change across the entire supply chain, change in the relationship between people and nature, and change within our own organization. We achieve this transformation by working in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders to create a stronger Alliance. Together, we amplify the voices of farmers and forest communities, improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and help people adapt to climate change in bold and effective ways. We embrace transparency because we believe that the best way to build trust across our alliance is through openness about our tactics, our impact, and partners on the ground. Together, we can achieve our vision of a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.
The Officer, Standards & Assurance is the first point of contact for both UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Certification Bodies (CBs) in the countries for which he/she is responsible. This contact can include support for either of the certification programs in terms of interpretation of the control points, but also for assistance in using the various traceability platforms. The Officer works in a multi-cultural team and contributes to the strategic vision of Standards & Assurance by implementing effective approaches to ensure that the certification program is well audited by CBs and to protect the reputation of the Rainforest Alliance in all cases.
This opening is within the West and Central Africa sub-team of the Standards and Assurance department, focusing on the quality of implementation of the cocoa certification standards. Attention to details, interest in defining, implementing and increasing efficiency of processes, and a knack for data analysis are key. The person in this position will also have the opportunity to contribute to specific topics relevant to the West Africa context.
- Gives support to CBs by answering emails, taking calls or holding face to face meetings on the implementation of the standard and certification protocols for both the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance standards
- Provides feedback to LT, DHs, other colleagues on the status of the certification programs in the countries for which he/she is responsible
- Perform ongoing analysis of the activities in country, including audits, non-conformities from audits, quality of audit reports and licenses to evaluate the interpretations for the Standard and Certification Rules, and makes recommendations if necessary.
- Drafts, updates and distributes relevant tools, materials and protocols relevant to the standard per region, target group and/or product.
- Provides input for the development, implementation and execution of Rainforest Alliance certification procedures and processes.
- Supports the work of the CB Monitoring team when organizing shadow/parallel audits of Rainforest Alliance certification bodies, producer organizations and supply chain actors. Identifies the need for conducting investigation audits where the reputation of Rainforest Alliance is at risk
- Develops and conducts CBs workshops, trainings and/or webinars to align the interpretation of the Standard for CBs or assurance procedures and how to comply;
- Systematically reports issues, risks and possible solutions to country and S&A managers
- Provides inputs and suggestions to adapt Rainforest Alliance standards, policies and processes to local context to improve implementation and impact;
- Co-develop solutions to support CBs and auditors to improve their performance with relevant country, regional and global teams.
- Develops a yearly country plan with the regional teams and other relevant Rainforest Alliance staff and implements these actions therein after approval.
- Bachelor Degree in agronomy, social studies, sustainability or other related field
- Minimum of 2 years work experience in agriculture, international development and/or sustainability
- Minimum 1 year work experience with the cocoa sector. Knowledge of and experience in cocoa sector in West Africa is a plus.
- Both written and verbal fluency in French and English
- Auditing qualifications and/or work experience and knowledge is a plus
- Knowledge of Certification Programmes (UTZ/RA/Fairtrade/etc.)
- Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships of trust and confidence with stakeholders
- Ability to work independently, under pressure and stay focused.
- Ability to work in a cross-functional team
- Ability to understand and analyse data in various formats, aggregate information and report on trends and findings
- Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook; familiar with the use of IT technologies and/or various farm management applications.
- Ability to travel and conduct field work in the local context
- Strong personal ethics and integrity and commitment to uphold the rules and values of the Rainforest Alliance
Commensurate with experience.
Only candidates authorized to work in the Netherlands will be considered.
The Rainforest Alliance encourages diversity and inclusion across the global organization. With this commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ages, disability and any other protected group.