Senior Technical Associate - North East India
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 Senior Technical Associate- Northeast India (STA) will be responsible for providing technical support to producers in the North-East region to enable them to comply with the practices of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard (July 2017) Standard and the Rainforest Alliance Policy for Certification in India (November 2019). The post holder will support their transition to the 2020 Rainforest Alliance standard. The STA will work with existing certificate holders that wish to retain their certification and potential members aspiring to work towards it. By building the capacity of the current and potential Rainforest Alliance certificate holders in the region in best economic, social and environmental practices, the Associate will pre-empt assurance and reputational risks for Rainforest Alliance in the region.
The postholder will identify and help initiate relations with governmental, industry and other stakeholders, particularly in Assam to generate support for the principles and practises of the Rainforest Alliance certification system, build their knowledge of Rainforest Alliance’s work and create the potential for future collaboration. The STA will support field level implementation of projects in northeast India. The position is part of the Rainforest Alliance team in India and positioned in a home office in Assam.
This position does not supervise any staff member.
- Engage existing certificate holders to understand their interest and needs in retaining their certification; agree with the activities to support their effort;
- Guide producers in the implementation of the Rainforest Alliance certification rules and standards, procedures and processes;
- Organize and conduct training on the 2020 RA sustainable agriculture and chain of custody standards and other related topics according to need and demand from the certified tea producers in Assam and new members in other states of Northeast India;
- Create awareness, inform and orient producers interested to become certified about the RA requirements, compliance to the RA 2020 standard programs through workshops, trainings and/or webinars;
- Collaborate with the Country Team, Standard and Assurance department, and any other relevant departments to analyze risks and priorities regarding tea production in North-eastern states and report issues regarding Rainforest Alliance certification;
Networking and Project Field Support
- Identify points of contact for building relations with industry stakeholders, including companies and industry associations, that are present in Assam, to increase acceptance of the principles and practices of the Rainforest Alliance Standard and Certification system;
- Identify points of contact for building relations with the relevant Departments and specialist governmental organizations in Assam to increase knowledge of Rainforest Alliance’s work and with a view to identifying opportunities for collaboration;
- Identify and provide support in networking with relevant civil society organizations dealing with issues pertinent to the key issues and risks identified by Rainforest Alliance in Assam;
- Provide support to Director, South Asia in scheduling meetings with all key stakeholders and any subsequent follow-ups required to continue strengthening the relationship of Rainforest Alliance
- Represent Rainforest Alliance at the local level as required at relevant meetings and events with members, labour unions and industry associations;
- Support the Program Manager, Training and Certification in the field implementation of projects addressing key issues in Assam.
- Develop strong and trusting relationships with certificate holders;
- Report regularly on stories (successes and achievements, challenges and actions taken);
- Support field level evaluations and impact assessment and other studies, as and when required.
- Minimum Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional qualification in a relevant field like agronomy, natural resources, forestry, rural development, sociology and/or economy or other related fields.
- Minimum 5 to 7 years of experience working with relevant stakeholders in the food/agricultural sector, including tea or a Master’s degree with 3 to 5 years of experience in the relevant field and experience of working with producer groups and/or community-based organizations.
- Understanding of/experience in sustainability, certification and responsible business required, knowledge of Rainforest Alliance system desirable.
- Experience working in Assam is essential and experience in Assam Tea sector desirable.
- Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships of trust and confidence with members and local stakeholders, including ability to adapt appropriately to different local cultures, and social contexts.
- Ability to work independently, under pressure and stay focused.
- Ability to write clear reports and prepare presentations.
- Proficient in Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point and Outlook; familiar with the use of IT technologies and/or various farm management applications, and ability to use GPS.
- Written and verbal fluency in English is needed and working knowledge of Hindi and Assamese preferred.
- Ability to spend significant time in rural areas and travel frequently to visit producers (a minimum of 70% field-based work per year).
- Strong personal ethics and integrity, and commitment to uphold the rules and values of the Rainforest Alliance is essential.
Commensurate with experience.
Deadline: March 31, 2021
Only candidates authorized to work in India 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.
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