Commercial Director

Fairtrade Africa Nairobi, Kenya

About the Fairtrade Africa

Established in 2005, Fairtrade Africa (FTA), a membership based organisation, is the independent non-profit umbrella organisation representing all Fairtrade certified producers in Africa. Fairtrade Africa members produce traditional export commodities such as coffee, cocoa, tea, cotton, bananas, mango and non-traditional commodities including shea butter and rooibos tea. Currently, the organisation represents over one million farmers and workers across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

FTA works through primary structures such as product, country and regional networks which enable members to have a strong voice in the governance and management of the organisation. FTA operates four regional networks: Eastern and Central Africa Network (FTA-ECAN) based in Nairobi, Kenya; West Africa Network (FTA-WAN) based in Accra, Ghana and Southern Africa Network (FTA-SAN) based in Cape Town, South Africa. The Fairtrade Africa secretariat is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. It is about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their future and protecting the environment in which they live and work.

The Fairtrade Africa (FTA) purpose is to improve the socio-economic conditions of African Fairtrade producers through increased access to better trading conditions.

You can find further details on their website https://www.fairtradeafrica.net/.

Commercial Director Role Profile

The Commercial Director reports to the Executive Director. He/She is responsible for all commercial facing activities for FTA’s service offerings to Fairtrade producers across Africa and the Middle East, ensuring that all related functions are aligned to meet FTA’s strategic objectives. The goal is to promote and expand FTA members’ commercial activity that will help generate revenues and lead to sustainable growth and improved livelihoods in Africa.

Working as part of the Leadership Team, the Commercial Director will lead FTA’s functional efforts to optimize sales for our members under Fairtrade terms and to assist them in capturing additional value from the respective supply chains.

Responsible for drafting, implementing and evaluating cross-functional strategies that will enable FTA members’ commercial efforts on the ground and work as one with other parts of the Fairtrade International system to optimize the value captured for our farmers and workers. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Commercial Director will have the following key responsibilities:
Strategy and Implementation
  • Develop and implement commercial strategies that will enable FTA members increase the sales in current markets and penetrate new local and regional markets within Africa, Middle East, Asia and UAE.
  • Conduct market research and analysis to create detailed business plans on commercial opportunities (business development, product innovation, expansion etc.).
  • Act to acquire new customers and manage client relationships (new and existing).
  • Define and execute marketing and communication plans that will help drive awareness and sales of FTA products from Africa and the Middle East.
  • Build and maintain profitable partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Develop and implement integrated marketing, communication, media and engagement plans to help drive producer products.
  • Collaborate with and coordinate work across regions, categories and producer networks in Latin America and Asia to ensure alignments and progress against FTA goals.
  • Ensure the delivery of high-quality product plans and materials to meet a range of commercial and consumer audience needs by working collaboratively with regional programmes teams and leading cross organisational working groups.
  • Business planning: Determine business cases for action and define the right roadmap of initiatives based on value delivered and cost
  • Be a strong advocate of Africa and the Middle East Producer commercial needs and represent FTA at internal and external as well as regional and global events as approved by the Executive Director.
  • Monitor and analyse the performance of commercial activities using key metrics
  • Provide leadership and guidance to direct team members
  • Budget management
  • Identify funding opportunities for the department

Qualifications and Experience

Professional Experience

The ideal candidate will have worked in a commercial senior role at a well-known organisation and with a proven success track record, with:
1. At least seven years of senior-level commercial management experience with a reputable organization.
2. Has strong business and commercial strategy background that will be suitable for the Africa region, specifically African market.
3. Proven and demonstrable experience in sales and/or marketing and managing relationships with key stakeholders, networks, partners, producers and clients.
Proven relevant commercial and value chain experience working in both developed and developing markets across multiple countries and cultures.
5. In-depth understanding of market research methods and analysis.
6. An extensive network of relevant commercial contacts across different African, Middle East and Asian countries.
Experience in the delivery of strong marketing campaigns with measurable results.
8. Experience in developing marketing plans, media and engagement strategies and measuring results.
9. Ability to build effective working relationships across functional areas will be essential together with solid experience of leading change management programmes.
10. The ability to influence and build consensus with member organizations and shape strategic and policy direction and decisions of Fairtrade.
11. Proven experience of budget management and operational planning.
12. Creative, innovative, proactive and good organisation skills
13. Experience in working from a clean slate and can set up systems and structures for the new directorate.
Personal characteristics
  • Open-minded and collaborative
  • Confident, competitive, enthusiastic and resilient
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to formulate concepts and strategies.
  • Decision strength and ability to initiate action
  • Exceptional relationship management and networking skills.
  • Exceptional influencing and negotiating skills.
  • Pragmatic and hands-on
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills – both verbal and in writing
  • Excellent leadership and management skills.
  • The ability to work independently in a high-pressured environment with conflicting demands.
University degree, combined with a specialization in commerce, marketing, sales

Fluency in English; Other international language such as French, German, Spanish is a plus

Terms of Appointment
This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on a three-year basis with the possibility of renewal based on funding and performance.

Please note: This job description is intended as a guide and should not be viewed as an inflexible specification as it may be varied from time to time in the light of strategic developments following discussion with the post holder. The post holder will be expected to work to agreed objectives, which should facilitate achievements of the key responsibilities in accordance with the Performance Review Process.

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

The successful candidate will be based in the FTA secretariat located in Kenya.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to [email protected]
 OR use the Application Form below on or before 21 August 2020. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by Fairtrade Africa to undertake this assignment.

Application form