Policy and Law Expert - Sustainable Agri-food Systems


Policy and Law Expert - Sustainable Agri-food Systems


Brussels, Belgium

COLEACP is a network of companies, professional organisations and experts committed to inclusive and sustainable agriculture. We work through technical cooperation to support sustainable and inclusive development of the private sector (SMEs) and the enabling environment (including competent authorities) in 50 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Since its creation, COLEACP has been managing development projects in the ACP agricultural and food sector, financed by international donors (mainly the European Union and the Organisation of ACP States). The overall objective of the current programmes (such as Fit For Market, Fit For Market SPS, NExT Kenya, etc.) is to reduce poverty, improve food & nutrition security and food safety, and ensure sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the ACP agri-food sector. The specific objective is to enable smallholders, farmer groups and organisations, and MSMEs to access domestic, regional and international markets by complying with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues and market requirements, within a sustainable framework.

From an operational standpoint, ongoing activities managed by COLEACP intersect thus with several international policy frameworks. Their overall goal is contributing to poverty eradication and sustainable development, in accordance with the Busan High Level Forum on aid effectiveness and with the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which recognise the importance of agriculture and set emphasis on the central role of the private sector as a key development partner in low and middle income countries. More specifically, COLEACP activities are contributing to the following SDGs; (1) No poverty, (2) Zero hunger, (4) Quality education, (5) Gender equality, (8) Decent work and economic growth, (9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure, (10) Reduced inequalities, (12) Responsible consumption and production, (13) Climate action, (15) Life on land, (17) Partnerships for the goals.

In the context of important ongoing and anticipated regulatory changes at EU level for agricultural products, notably (but not exclusively) in the areas of food safety, plant and animal health (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) and overall sustainability (related to the recently published EU Farm to Fork Strategy), COLEACP is looking for an EU Policy and Law expert in the field of sustainable agri-food systems to join its “Advocacy” team. S/he will focus on potential impacts of policy and regulatory changes as they affect sustainable production and export in low and middle-income countries in order to maintain and if possible increase access to the EU, regional and national markets for products of plant and animal origin, fresh and processed. There will be an emphasis on the “Farm-to-Fork”, “Deforestation”, “Biodiversity” and “Supply Chain Due Diligence” strategies in the context of the European Green Deal, to ensure safe and sustainable food systems. S/he will strengthen the association’s activities in terms of:

  • Identifying and monitoring anticipated EU policymaking and law-making in the field of sustainable agri-food systems (including but not limited to food safety, organic production, environment, biodiversity, climate, supply chain due diligence) of relevance to the agricultural sector in low and middle income countries;
  • In a “Policy Coherence for Development” perspective, assess the potential positive and negative impacts of upcoming regulations on low and middle income countries focusing in particular on the economy, food & nutrition security, and the socio-economic circumstances of smallholders and vulnerable communities;
  • Communicating to key stakeholders and decision-makers, information on the strategic and practical implications of EU regulatory changes in low and middle income countries from an economic, social and environmental perspective;
  • Contributing to the development and delivery of solutions (e.g. information, technical assistance, training tools and activities) to help stakeholders leverage the positive impacts and mitigate the negative impacts of EU regulatory changes, and use them as an opportunity to strengthen resilience, fairness, competitiveness and overall sustainability of agricultural value chains in low and middle income countries.

The position will be based in Brussels, in COLEACP’s Central Programme Management Unit.

1. Description of the position and main responsibilities

COLEACP is looking for an expert in European policy and law in the field of sustainable argi-food systems who will contribute to the development of COLEACP, in line with the vision, mission and core values of the organisation. More specifically and operationally, his/her duties and responsibilities will be to:

  • Identify and map legislative and policy initiatives from the EU Commission and related agencies that could have an impact on market access for agricultural products from low and middle-income countries; monitor their progress through the EU policy and regulatory processes;
  • Understand and identify risks and opportunities associated with evolving EU policies and regulations, and evaluate their potential impact on key stakeholders in low and middle income countries (from an economic, social and environmental perspective);
  • Establish an internal notice and information system to report the progress of critical legislative changes;
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders and maintain regular contact with EU civil servants, non-departmental public bodies, regulators, and political advisers to keep them informed about COLEACP’s activities and policy/regulatory concerns;
  • Prepare summaries, monitor legislative initiatives, and analyse relevant position papers and drafts;
  • Participate directly and indirectly in EU regulatory consultations by writing, consolidating and/or editing submissions;
  • Orchestrate roundtables with public and private sector representatives to strengthen their voice and participation in EU consultative processes, keep them informed about regulatory changes, and exchange ideas and best practice;
  • Provide advice to the COLEACP Team and key partners on the need to align technical assistance and capacity building activities with evolving policies and regulations, as needed;
  • Contribute to the overall planning and implementation of advocacy, lobbying, awareness raising and communication campaigns, as required, in full synergy with the team;
  • Represent COLEACP towards institutional partners, private sector bodies and any third-party organisation implementing similar activities;
  • Report to the team to give regular updates on the development, implementation and monitoring of activities.

This list of activities is not exhaustive. It may be adapted according to COLEACP's overall programme implementation strategy in advocacy related areas, the workload of team members, and annual programming.

The Policy and Law Expert will work under the direct supervision of the Head of Science and Policy. He/She will collaborate with the “Advocacy” team and other members of the COLEACP team. Externally, the Policy and Law Expert will be in regular contact with technical and financial partners, and partner-beneficiaries of the COLEACP network.

2. Requirements

Required qualifications

  • An academic Masters’ degree in law, European politics, international relations;
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in agricultural and environmental policy and legislation in the European context, working in industry, consultancy or relevant EU institutions;
  • In-depth knowledge and/experience of EU institutions (incl. Directorates-General such as INTPA, SANTE, AGRICULTURE, TRADE, JUSTICE and CONSUMERS, and ENVIRONMENT), how they work and the EU regulatory processes;
  • Knowledge and/or experience of the agricultural sector is essential, and specific experience involving low and middle income countries is required;
  • A sound understanding of EU policy and regulations in the field of agriculture and the environment is essential;
  • Experience in regulatory/policy dialogue, “client” management, and possessing the skills needed to foster dialogue with regulatory agencies, industry organizations and civil society on current and emerging trends;
  • Previous professional experience in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals would be an advantage;
  • Excellent communication skills with people at all levels; high standard of written and oral communication; excellent presentation skills. Strong influencing and negotiation skills;
  • Proven competence and experience in managing sensitive cross - “corporate” networks;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Fluent in English and at least one other EU language (French, German, Spanish, Italian (verbal & written);
  • High learning ability, eagerness to grow, long term vision and strategic thinking. Hands-on with conceptual skills;
  • Comfortable working independently, and able to develop and maintain relationships with team members while working remotely;
  • Ability to thrive in an environment with constantly changing needs, complexity, uncertainty and variability in terms of activities and topics;
  • Share COLEACP core values: performance, continuous improvement, commitment, difference and humanity;
  • Commitment to COLEACP’s vision: Growing People.

3. Benefits

COLEACP offers competitive contractual conditions, in line with market practices. The position to be filled is ideally a full-time position, starting as soon as practicable.

Based in Brussels (Belgium), you will nevertheless be available for short-term assignments, outside and within the European Union.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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