Food Technician (In-Country Facilitator)


Location : Mbabane, ESWATINI, SWAZILAND
Application Deadline :30-Jun-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :4d 9h 50m
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
18-Jul-2022
Duration of Initial Contract :Six Weeks
Expected Duration of Assignment :Six Weeks


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

The UNDP Acc. Lab in Eswatini is supporting the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to fast-track progress towards meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development targets Goals (SDGs) through innovation and identification of under the radar solutions. As such, the AccLab is working on a Buy Eswatini campaign that attempts to identify barriers to trade that inhibit MSME’s from penetrating formal market channels. The AccLab has developed a concept that attempts to identify technical solutions to these market barriers. The Buy Eswatini campaign has a total of three components, with each component designed to identify the barriers alongside proposed solution.

The AccLab in collaboration with the home economics department of the Ministry Agriculture will experiment with a group of women who are currently producing cayenne sauce in the Shiselweni region. This group will be supported with technical expertise so that they produce their product at a standard commensurate with the requirements of formal market channels such as food retail outlets. The idea in this component is to learn about challenges that inhibit such producers from reaching formal markets. In this component, the AccLab will work closely with the Home Economics Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. The home economics department has already taught fundamentals of food production but were never quite able to support their groups to commercialize their products. One of the noted challenges has been the inability of such groups to establish their processing in designated processing facilities that meet certain health and safety standards. They tend to process their products in their home kitchens, a practice that is not encouraged when it comes to commercial food safety standards. Furthermore, these groups tend to lack the necessary equipment and technical expertise to produce products with a predictable food shelf life. This has been identified as a capacity gap area for the Home Economics group. 

As part of the experimentation with this group, the AccLab will provide technical expertise for such processes to not only capacitate the experiment group but also capacitate the home economic staff. The group will also be provided with a designated processing kitchen facility as well as necessary crockery and other amenities. This will allow the group to produce at standards commensurate with food safety and health requirement set by formal market linkages. The support system packaged for this group will present an opportunity for development agents such as the Home Economics department and SEDCO to better understand inhibiting market barriers for such groups who are well known in the country for producing some of the best products, yet these products are never found in mainstream market channels. A blueprint of support will be documented for purposes of replicating the success elements of this experiment while also influencing policy formulation at government level to ensure the empowerment of such groups.

To support this experiment, the Home Economics Department has requested technical assistance to support the group with setting up of a food processing plant. While the Home Economics department has already capacitated the women with a lot of food production skills, there are technical skills related to food production for commercial purpose that the department does not have, as such, request technical assistance to bridge that identified capacity gap. The AccLab, through this TOR aims to identify a short-term consultant/ food technologist that will support this group to set up a commercial processing site in line with minimum industry standards.

Scope of Work:

The role of the consultant will be to support the identified group with setting up of a processing plant and systems inline with the industrial production standards. The group has access to a processing facility that has been refurbished with the support of ESWADE.  The group has already been provided with necessary production equipment. The primary function of the consultant will be to help the group in setting up a processing line and further provide technical expertise in the utilisation of food preservative and stabilisers if necessary, so that the shelve life of the product is predictable. Furthermore, the consultant is expected support the group with record keeping of production processes so that regular audits can be undertaken. Given that the entire experiment is meant to learn and understand more about accessing of formal market channels and product certification, the consultant will also provide capacity support to the group with branding and packaging of their for competitiveness and attractiveness in the market. As part of the support to be provided by the consultant, it is expected that the group will be trained on basic food production etiquette in line with food safety and health.


Duties and Responsibilities

The food technologist is expected to provide support in the following areas:

  • Assist with the setting up of a processing line for the group, using commercial production standards that are commensurate with international standards.
  • Assists with establishing a production recording system that will allow for regular or perioding audits.
  • Provide capacity building and necessary training for the group and other stakeholders with the utilisation of food preservatives and stabilizers to ensure the predictability of the product shelve life. 
  • Produce a training manual that will remain with government to be used for other groups in other communities.
  • Assist with setting up a functional quality management system for the group and produce a quality management system manual for the group
  • Assist with branding, labelling and packaging of the product in line with the General Standard for Labelling and Packed Food of 2018, and produce a manual or SOPs for this
  • Capacitate the production group with general health and safety requirements commensurate with industrial production. This must be included in the manual.

Duration of Work

The assignment is for 6 weeks with possibility of extension based on availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

Duty Station

The consultant will be supporting a youth group based in the Shiselweni region at Hlathikhulu SEDCO Business centre. The consultant will have to travel to other areas as determined by the nature of the work.  The consultant is expected to adhere to all COVID 19 regulations set out by the Government while interacting with the group.

Qualifications of Successful Individual Consultant

The candidate should be highly motivated, enthusiastic, and capable of working independently. He/she should have a strong technical and policy background on the industrial food production practices, regulations on commercial food productions, and extensive knowledge in industrial production or commercial food processing. The individual consultant must demonstrate in-depth understanding and knowledge of challenges faced by food processors in the country. The consultant must demonstrate ability to work with a range of stakeholders, particularly women and youth group doing agro-processing, government counterparts and other stakeholders as identified by the project. A good understanding of the national institutional framework is highly desirable.

 


Competencies

Personal competencies

  • Negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Demonstrate good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and minimal supervision
  • Demonstrated ability to foster multi-stakeholder partnerships and foster cooperation between agencies, including Government, private sector, civil society, local authorities and development partners

Corporate and Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.
  • Communication – Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.
  • Planning & Organizing – Develops clear goals in line with agreed strategies, identifies priorities, foresees risks and makes allowances accordingly.
  • Organizational Awareness – Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.
  • Teamwork – Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Accountability – Takes ownership of all responsibilities and delivers outputs in accordance with agreed time, cost and quality standards.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

Degree in food science/food technology/home economics or related field or a degree in food science/food technology/home economics with at least 10 years practical experience.

Experience:

  • At least 7 years of relevant practical experience in food technology production in a commercial or industrial processing setting
  • Proven practical experience in working with community-based groups
  • Proven practical experience in working under strict adherence of foods health and safety standards
  • Experience in providing training and capacity building
  • Demonstrated successful leadership in the design and management of industrial food production lines.
  • Proven practical experience in utilisation of food stabilizers, labelling/branding, commercial packaging, setting-up and management of a production line.

Language Requirement:

  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English and Siswati.

How to Apply:

Interested and qualified candidates should submit;

  1. Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability using the template provided by UNDP;Letter of Confirmation of Interest template
  2. Personal CV or P11, (P11 form); indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

Please note you can upload only one document to this application (scan all documents in one single PDF file to attach).

Incomplete applications will be excluded from further consideration.

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

  • Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications and Experiences will be weighted a max. of 70%, and combined with the price offer which will be weighted a max of 30%

 



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