Mekong Tea Project Officer

at Research and Technological Exchange Group
Published May 18, 2022
Location Meung District, Lao People's Democratic Republic
Category Management  
Job Type Full Time  

Description

 

Context

GRET is an international development NGO governed by French law. Since 1976 it has been working to provide sustainable, innovative responses to the challenges of poverty and inequalities.

 

It is also a professional and innovative NGO, in its vision of the development sector, in its approach involving populations in developing countries, whom it considers as stakeholders in development, and in its practices. To successfully implement its actions, GRET creates alliances and builds diverse long-term partnerships with stakeholders from associations and the economic, public and research sectors in France and in all its countries of operation.

 

For more than 40 years, GRET has been striving to contribute to the creation of a fairer and more sustainable world. Today it is a solid, international, decentralised, plural, influential organisation in which countries of operation and headquarters form a sustainable community of meaning, values and rules.

 

In 2021, its staff of 756 professionals implemented 224 projects, studies and expert consulting missions in 28 countries, mainly in Africa and South-East Asia.

 

GRET has been working for over 15 years to support the development of products of specific quality, as a means of strengthening the sectors of small producers in family farming. Our approach consists in adopting methods of sector development based on interprofessional cooperation and market-based development. Concerning GIs, GRET has been developing projects on these issues for more than 15 years. In particular, GRET implemented the AFD / PRCC project on the development of GIs in Cambodia, which led to the registration of 2 GIs: Kampot pepper and Kampong Speu sugar. The producer organizations and GI associations set up at that time are still operating today, proof of the quality of the work done at that time. More recently, GRET is implementing GI regional project (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar) and projects in Africa (Pampig) as well as the evaluation of AFD’s projects on GI.

 

GRET aims at supporting small producers in forming groups or cooperatives and improving the quality of their products. GRET uses the "guides to good practice" to support this approach. These guides are in line with the specifications developed under GIs.

 

GRET also establish, with cooperative producers, a PSG-type quality control system, which is a type of participatory certification that is useful for small producers seeking to sell their products on local markets.

 

In Laos, GRET has been implementing projects since 2004 in various sectors, essential services for water sanitation solid waste management, natural resources management, land governance, eco-tourism, rural development. 15 staff are currently working in the GRET Laos team, in the main office in Vientiane, and in branch offices in Luang Prabang and Houaphanh provinces. The Mekong Tea Project officer will join a dynamic team working in a spirit of exchange, sharing and support, committed to developing new projects for GRET in Laos.

 

Mekong Tea Project

Laos is part of the endemic tea zone. The production is mainly sold to China, where the main stakeholders have developed efficient sectors but which leave little added value to Lao stakeholders. The objective of the Mekong Tea project is to improve the incomes of smallholder tea farmers through better governance of the value chain and better access to the market through quality and certified products. Funded by AFD and implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DoA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, the project has two components, one at the national level for developing value chain, the other at the local level in support of two pilot projects. In partnership with AVSF and Lao Consulting Group, Gret is the leader of the consortium which provides Technical Assistance to the DoA for the implementation of the project.

 

Main Duties

Within the "Food and Rural Economy" department, under the responsibility of GRET's Representative in Laos and the Mekong Tea Project Manager, the project officer will :

 

Support to technical and commercial developments of Meung tea producers’ cooperative (MTPC) :

 

Support to the manager of the MTPC in the identification, definition of training needs, and the coordination of training for technicians and groups, by coordinating the support needed (training courses, national training, ...).

Support the quality, marketing, and export in setting the marketing strategy of the MTPC on the international and national markets.

Support the technical extensionist in charge of "organic" and "fair trade" certifications in the implementation of the ICS (Internal Control System) including (i) preparation/ updating periodically the ICS Manual, (ii) monitoring inspections and recommendations issued by the certifying bodies, (iii) training inspectors’ internal control (village-level groups) and (iv) the management and update of databases and the process of collecting necessary data.

Provide technical inputs (direct training of trainers, manuals, monitoring) in the frame of sustainable quality tea production and processing.

Support to the management of the cooperative:

 

Work in pair with the cooperative’s general manager and act as a coach when necessary (on the job training).

Develop or fine tune the cooperative’s organization and financial models, and the related procedures or regulation systems.

General support to the various managers of the MTPC: organization of the General Assembly, following-up of customer relationships, monitoring relations with donors, etc.) and monitoring the use of the grants (reporting, monitoring and evaluation).

Support MTPC in monitoring the accounting and financial structure, including the AFD grant.

Capacity strengthening for the cooperative to lead a transparent and efficient management of its resources and its ability to account for such management to members themselves and institutional business partners.

Profile

  • Degree (Master or Engineer) in agro-economy or rural economic, with a background on farmers’ organizations’ development.

 

  • At least 2 years’ experience in a similar development project in the field.

 

  • Strong organizational skills, leadership, and coordination.

 

  • Knowledge of basic accounting, management, marketing of agricultural products.

 

  • Experience in managing certification procedures (Organic, Fair Trade) is an asset.

 

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.

 

  • Ability to work in remote rural areas.

 

  • Strong interest to learn Lao language and local cultures.

 

  • Proficiency in English.

 

  • Editorial and computer skills are compulsory

 

Terms and conditions

Position based in Meung district, Bokéo Province, LAOS

 

Volunteer for International Solidarity (VSI) contract

 

Volunteer’s Indemnities will be in accordance with GRET's policy according to experience (from 1300€ + Travel + insurance).

 

How to apply

 

CV and cover letter to be sent via email, with the subject of the email “Mekong Tea Project officer”.

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