Technical Services Lead - Partners in Food Solutions



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The Technical Services Lead provides general support for new and existing services that address African food companies’ technical needs and is a key thought contributor to how existing services can be optimized.

The Technical Services Lead helps administer a small portfolio of end-to-end international food safety certification services that can potentially qualify to receive loans from PFS partners that support project implementation. The Technical Services Lead will initiate certification education with PFS clients, educate them on the requirements of obtaining certifications, and consult on which certifications, if any, are most suitable for a client.

From there, this individual will work with certification-seeking clients to complete a GAP audit with a local consultant and review the results with the client to understand their roadmap. They will go on to help keep the portfolio on track through regular collection and analysis of PFS data and participation in virtual meetings with stakeholders from our go-to lender, clients, and our staff across Africa.

The Technical Services Lead will also be responsible for utilizing the PFS innovation model to foster ideas for new high-value services for African clients. This could involve exploring client needs, delivery models, and potential partners for business assessments and access to finance.

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All tasks and projects require the exercise of independent judgment, a keen sense of responsibility, strong communication skills, and commitment to the success of the organization in completing projects with a positive and cooperative attitude. Responsible for execution with the opportunity to grow.

The Technical Services Lead will be based in Africa, and ideally, in Accra, Ghana but will join the PFS field operations team, many of whom are based across Africa and at PFS headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

 

Core Competencies:

  • Keen sense of business strategy, understanding of business operations best practices
  • Understanding and informed point of view on the African business environment for agri-businesses
  • Ability to build trusting relationships in a versatile, flexible manner with a diverse set of stakeholders
  • Listens and incorporates new feedback, learnings, and data in a cycle of continuous improvement
  • Experience using design thinking to launch products or services for African consumers or businesses
  • A clear understanding of the requirements and business case for obtaining certifications most often requested by our high-potential clients:
  • HACCP
  • BRC
  • ISO 22000
  • In-country food safety standards

Role & Responsibilities:

  • Lead in the execution of our end-to-end international food safety certification service, serving in partnership with Program Managers as a trusted advisor on certification and technical-related matters.
  • Develop and maintain professional working relationships with PFS headquarters team, African field staff, corporate partner volunteers and clients interested in certification in order to gain critical input and collaboration around PFS technical service design and delivery
  • Serve as the operational point of contact and accountability with our partners across several African markets who we formally incorporate into our certification service offering
  • Coordinate information about existing and upcoming technical services, keeping key documentation up to date in PFS’ online systems, including, but not limited to:
  • Client financing details
  • Quarterly reports from clients
  • Impact metrics including fiscal year progress towards targets
  • Pipeline for upcoming service requests from clients
  • Leverage the PFS innovation model, data from PFS clients, and input from PFS staff and stakeholders to optimize the current client financing operations and contribute to design a cohort-level service offering for PFS high-potential clients
  • Serve as a thought leader on the technical needs of small and mid-sized African food companies, leveraging first-hand professional experience, up-to-date industry information, and a broad network
  • Report on spend on budget and forecasting
  • Regular travel in Africa, and potential for periodic travel to the US and Europe.
  • Perform other duties as assigned that further the operational or strategic value of PFS business services

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Required Skills & Experience:

Candidates applying should possess the following requirements:

  • Candidate must be an experienced food safety auditor and trainer (essential)
  • Must have experience with auditing and implementing local and international food safety certifications (HACCP, FSSC 22000, BRC, etc)
  • Between 5 to 10 years of working experience in food processing, preferably with at least 2 years in manufacturing plants with Quality Control experience.
  • B.Sc. in Food Science, Food Technology, or related courses. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) as well as worker safety, and social and environmental sustainability.
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to use Salesforce for project management.
  • Must have strengths in creativity and innovation – the ability to ideate around creative solutions to client technical needs
  • Must be both a Thinker and a Doer – the role will require being both a strategic thinker and performing many big and small tasks.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and relationship-building skills with strengths in cross-cultural communication and agility
  • The high degree of comfort in working in creative environments and working cross-functionally with other teams
  • Proven track record in providing technical solutions to food processors by utilizing excellent problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English. Proficiency in French is optional.
  • Good computer skills in business software (Google Drive, Gmail, Zoom, Salesforce, Excel, and PowerPoint).
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