International Consultancy for Component 1 Promoting bio-businesses in the Amazon

Job title: International Consultancy for Component 1 Promoting bio-businesses in the Amazon

Company: Rainforest Alliance Consultants & Internships

Job description: Terms of Reference

International Consultancy for Component 1

Promoting bio-businesses in the Amazon

The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities. To achieve our mission, we partner with diverse allies around the world to drive positive change across global supply chains and in many of our most critically important natural landscapes.

Our alliance spans 70 countries and includes farmers and forest communities, companies, governments, civil society, and millions of individuals. Together we work to protect forests and biodiversity, act on climate, and promote the rights and improve the livelihoods of rural people.

As an international nonprofit organization with 35 years of experience in sustainability transformation, we understand that the social and economic well-being of rural communities is tightly connected to ecosystem health. This knowledge has shaped our rigorous programs to advance sustainable land-use and commodity production.

Our four main areas of work are all interconnected and have been designed to drive sustainability in the sectors and landscapes where we believe we can make the biggest difference for people and nature:

1. Certification program: an evolved certification program based on the principles of shared responsibility and that sustainability is a journey of continuous, data-informed improvement.

2. Landscape management: long-term conservation and community development programs in prioritized tropical landscapes where commodity production threatens ecosystem health and the well-being of rural communities.

3. Supply chain services: customized support to help companies define and achieve their sustainability commitments within certification and beyond.

4. Advocacy: advancing far-reaching policies that support rural producers who make significant investments of time, resources, and labor in sustainability transformation.

Project background and justification

Rural producer communities in the Amazon experience high rates of deforestation and resulting loss of natural capital, coupled with limited opportunities for sustainable development of their bio-businesses and access to markets, which keeps them disempowered and in conditions of poverty. Additional challenges Amazon bio-businesses face include:

o Unsustainable production of key commodities such as coffee, cocoa, and tropical fruits lead to low productivity and reduced natural capital overall.

o Low business management competencies and low level of maturity of Amazonian bio-businesses.

o Lack of access to credit and financial investments in the development of bio-businesses.

o Limited access to market opportunities for sustainable products.

o Limited leadership of women and youth in business model execution and market development.

The vastness of natural resources available in the region, however, represents and enormous potential for sustainable production, land use, and bio-business development, to incentivize Amazon communities to conserve biodiversity and protect their natural capital over the long term. In fact, a crucial strategy to achieving international climate, biodiversity, and social development goals—particularly in regions such as the Amazon— is to propel natural resource-based economies in which communities, governments, and companies who source from these regions are leading innovative market-driven solutions to restore and regenerate tropical forestland while internalizing the value of nature and people into key market dynamics.

The activities of this project will generate the conditions for more and better connections between sustainable Amazon bio-businesses and national and international markets. This will be accomplished through an integral program with a vision for a net-positive future that gets bio-businesses on the pathway toward more sustainable and profitable production systems. Activities are focused on stakeholder engagement, capacity building, improving productivity and biodiversity outcomes linked with social and environmental standards, and boosting access to markets, finance, and investment.

Component 1: Market Analysis.

Applying its vast market expertise and tapping into extensive networks of producers and local organizations in the region, the Rainforest Alliance will carry out a comprehensive market analysis, facilitating donor and project partners’ understanding of the business environment, supply and demand, existing stakeholders and initiatives, resources and capacities in the region, Amazon products information, potential buyers, and the business development and training needs of bio-businesses. The market analysis will serve to create an initial database of strategic information, contributing to the design of the ABM and to the program’s preparatory, training, and market development activities.

Component 2: Identification, Verification or Certification.

Support bio-businesses to strengthen their production systems, in preparation for increased access to differentiated markets and finance opportunities. In line with recognized environmental and social sustainability standards and norms, bio-businesses will be provided with technical assistance to assess their productive and business operations and determine investments needed to improve sustainable production and productivity, land management practices, transformation and waste management processes, access inputs, among other areas. With support from the Rainforest Alliance, bio-businesses will develop an actionable plan outlining their sustainability goals and will receive training to improve their business acumen and begin to connect with new and diverse market actors. Non-certified bio-businesses will have an opportunity to undertake certification or verification if desired and will receive preparatory support and training to do so. Though only a subset of bio-businesses may choose to advance toward certification, all will have improved understanding of the benefits of certification or verification and will have enhanced their organizational, business, and productive capacities to implement more sustainable practices.

Component 3: Access to Finance.

Since Amazon bio-businesses will require additional and specialized support to access financing that meets their productive and business needs, the focus of activities under Component 3 should be two-fold: (1) continue to develop bio-businesses so that they become bankable or finance ready, by identifying areas of administrative, financial, and business improvement and providing technical support in accordance with individual business improvement plans, designed and monitored by the bio-businesses themselves; and (2) partner with local and/or international financial institutions to develop specialized sustainable finance products that are both accessible and attractive to Amazon bio-businesses.

Consultancy General Objective

Conduct a comprehensive international market analysis identifying actors, opportunities and enabling conditions for Amazon bio-businesses from Ecuador and Colombia

Specific objectives

Identify potential buyers within the US, Canada, EU, and other international markets for non-timber forest products, fruit, and other Amazonian agricultural products.

Analyze the requirements of the industry, distributors, and retail in terms of quality, volume, and frequency.

Analyze the main entry barriers, regulations, and customs requirements at the port of entry to the potential markets of Amazonian products.

Key activities

Component 1

Collect primary and secondary information regarding market size, segments, main players in the industry, distributors, and retail in the US, Canada, EU, as well as other potential markets.

Create a database of potential buyers with contact information.

Identify market segments with greater potential and opportunities for products from the Ecuadorian and Colombian Amazon.

Conduct surveys and interviews with representatives of prioritized market segments, to identify the needs.

Prepare a document with recommendations for exporting products from the Ecuadorian and Colombian Amazon to the prioritized markets.

Analyze regulations, tariffs, entry barriers, free trade agreements, phytosanitary measures, and other relevant requirements at the port of entry to the US, Canada, and EU.

Prepare and submit all documents, reports and deliverables to Rainforest Alliance and the donor in a timely manner.

Coordinate actions with the Project Manager and the RA staff to ensure alignment with the project´s theory of change, strategies, and priorities.

Expected deliverables, deadlines, and payments.

Selection Criteria

Organization or individual consultant with proven professional experience of at least 5-7 years in business development, market studies, strategic and business planning for the US, Canada, and the EU.

Considerable and proven experience in business development for agricultural and forest sectors, with excellent relations with representatives of the industry, distributors, and retail

Proven experience and knowledge of environmental issues, conservation of biodiversity as well as implementation and strengthening of bio businesses.

Extensive experience working with indigenous peoples and in the implementation of initiatives that build on their knowledge, culture, and wisdom.

Highly developed communication skills, including the preparation of high-quality reports and the delivery of presentations.

Consultants are required to meet tight deadlines without compromising the quality of deliverables.

Consultants are required Ability to maintain confidentiality and use discretion when dealing with sensitive information.

Proposal Process

The deadline for submission of proposals is October 6, 2023.

Proposals must be submitted through this platform in one PDF document and must include:

Cover letter detailing list of previous engagements that address the skills and competencies desired.

Updated CV

Technical and economic proposal (including all taxes and costs)


Expected salary:

Location: USA

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