Consultancy opportunities with the Fairtrade Foundation.

Fund Manager to manage USD 2 million fund for the Livelihoods Ecosystem Advancement Programme (LEAP)

Expressions of Interest of max. 2 pages should be submitted by 12th January 2024, with proposals due on 19th January 2024.

The Fairtrade Foundation is seeking a Fund Manager to manage a USD 2 million finance facility to support access to finance for cocoa farmers in Cote D’Ivoire.

Fairtrade, ECOOKIM (a union of cocoa, coffee and cashew farmer groups across Côte d’Ivoire) and Mars Wrigley have co-created the LEAP programme, a five-year initiative launched in September 2022.

Our ambition is to support more than 70 percent of participating 5,200 farmers to achieve a living income by 2030. We intend to use findings of the programme to develop a blueprint for scaling innovations across the Mars supply chain and on to the wider cocoa sector.

Together, we are working across three priority areas:

  1. Strengthening co-operatives to be more efficient and strategic with their resources, and support their members with a with a range of tailored services to help them to grow more cocoa and earn higher incomes.
  2. Diversifying farmer incomes through piloting viable new products and services with farmers and co-operatives. This includes developing both cocoa-related projects and non cocoa-related projects, such as becoming an agricultural input provider, or moving up the value chain towards cocoa processing at the farmer level. These income-generation ideas include immediate opportunities and longer- term projects that mean both men and women can make money outside of cocoa farming.
  3. Expanding access to financial services such as loans and mobile banking so that farmers can invest in their farms and futures. This will involve exploring a variety of new partnership arrangements and access to finance. This includes three-part financing solutions and the development of this $2 million finance facility to help buy down the risk of investment for partners and demonstrate how formal financial institutions can invest in smallholder farmers.

The LEAP Finance Facility sits as a critical part of the programme in the third workstream. We welcome applicants who have a proven track record in managing a fund or challenge fund that prioritises ESG aspects, and experience managing credit in a rural agricultural setting.

The fund manager will be initially appointed for a period of two years, renewable upon performance and successful completion of the initial appointment.

A design and set-up phase of 2 months is encouraged, with first investments due to go out by May 2024, mindful of the cocoa season in October 2024.