Senior Project Manager – Human Rights and Livelihoods


£36,000 - £45,000 pa depending on experience

Paid • Full Time • Permanent [email protected] +441865243439 Henning Thiel

Sectors: sustainability

Closing date: Sunday, 24th January 2021   6 days left

Senior Project Manager – Human Rights and Livelihoods (Responsible Sourcing focus)

Proforest is seeking a new team member to play a key role in our dynamic global team contributing to the delivery of positive change on the ground for workers, indigenous peoples’ and local communities. We do this via engagement with major international brands, retailers, agricultural commodity traders, growers and processing companies in the development and implementation of their responsible sourcing and production strategies.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone passionate and knowledgeable about human rights to make a difference to workers and local communities involved in agricultural commodity production, especially in the tropics. We are looking for someone with practical experience in the application of business’s responsibility to respect human rights (UNGPs) and/or practical experience addressing labour rights and/or local community rights in agricultural commodity production via supply chain mechanisms and broader engagement. This would suit someone who would be excited about working with our multi-national responsible sourcing and company collaboration teams and helping to lead innovation and support change at scale.

About Proforest

Proforest is a not-for-profit, mission-driven organisation that works with producers and other private sector partners, as well as governments, civil society organisations and NGOs, throughout agricultural and forest product supply chains. Proforest is now an established world leader in the development and implementation of sustainable production and responsible sourcing with a global presence. We have offices in the UK, Malaysia, Ghana, Colombia and Brazil. We work across agricultural and forest product supply chains, with particular focus on palm oil, soy, sugar cane, cattle and cocoa, helping companies, governments, non-governmental and civil society organisations to achieve sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.

Proforest provides practical advisory support to producers, processors and purchasers to help them work in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Our clients include Nestlé, Unilever, Wilmar, Cargill, PepsiCo, McDonalds, Bunge, AAK, and Mondelez. We also implement donor-funded programmes, which aim to create the enabling environment, and build the capacity required, to deliver agriculture and forest commodities sustainably at scale. We work at all levels throughout agricultural commodity supply chains – from international policy and legislation to practical operations on the ground – to support the implementation of responsible sourcing mechanisms and achieve positive sustainability impacts.

Position summary

As a senior project manager, you will be part of the Proforest EU team based in UK (Oxford) or The Netherlands (office opening summer 2021). You will be reporting to the Director for Social Responsibility and Human Rights and be part of a team which supports the organization to deliver on the positive outcomes of advancing respect for indigenous peoples’ and local communities rights, respect for workers’ rights, gender equality, and secure local livelihoods in the production and sourcing of agricultural commodities.

You will contribute to the delivery of projects that support some of the world’s largest buyers of agricultural commodities to implement the human rights aspects of their responsible sourcing commitments that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. This includes supporting the development and roll-out of guidance and tools with companies as well as internally with colleagues across the organization.

Approaches to which you will have the opportunity to contribute include:

  • Embedding Human Rights Due Diligence into responsible sourcing management systems (e.g. for palm oil, sugar, cocoa, rubber)
  • Risk-based approaches related to human rights for supply chains
  • Approaches for addressing systemic human rights related challenges in specific supply chains in different regional contexts
  • Tailored solutions for companies to engage with their supply chains on complex strategic and operational challenges to improve human rights performance.


  • Manage and deliver responsible production and sourcing projects, programmes, and partnerships. This includes proposal writing, budgeting, technical work (including fieldwork where relevant), research, managing client relationships and reporting;
  • Actively contribute to the development of Proforest’s approaches and tools, to knowledge management and internal communications tools on Proforest’s work related to addressing human rights and supporting decent livelihoods for smallholders.
  • Build and maintain relationships with relevant key actors working on human rights, smallholder livelihoods and foster collaboration via projects and programmes addressing these issues in agricultural production and supply chains.
  • Support and deliver training and capacity building (internal and external) on key topics and practices in human rights and livelihoods and their application to responsible production and sourcing.
  • Facilitation of collaborative processes e.g. multi-stakeholder fora, or private sector collaborative initiatives.
  • Represent Proforest in relevant international meetings and forums, ensuring close collaboration with Proforest colleagues to agree positions and share outcomes.
  • Contribute to the broader functioning of the Proforest team, including supporting other relevant projects and programmes, strategy and planning, mentoring and supporting junior staff, and using internal systems effectively and supporting further development.

Qualifications, Experience, Qualities

Essential Qualifications, Experience, Skills:

  • Tertiary level (masters or equivalent) qualification in a relevant discipline;
  • At least 7 years relevant applied work experience in one or more of the following:
  • Supporting upstream operations (plantations, farms, processors) to apply best practice in business and human rights (UNGPs), labour standards, respecting indigenous peoples and local community rights, FPIC, community engagement etc.
  • Applying ethical trade and/or labour and/or human rights standards as part of responsible sourcing
  • Initiatives and frameworks for the protection of human rights by businesses
  • Direct experience of supporting sustainability in the private sector (e.g. production, supply chains, consultancy) and/or engaging with the private sector on sustainability (e.g. in civil society organisations or government);
  • A strong, practical understanding of the main issues in relation to land rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, local community rights, workers’ rights, and gender equality in agricultural production (small and large scale) and/or global supply chains;
  • Experience of working with grievance mechanisms and/or the provision of remedy to rights holders negatively affected by activities in upstream supply chains (e.g. production sites, factories, farms);
  • An understanding and an interest in the drivers and root causes of poor labour and land rights practices in agricultural commodity production;
  • A good knowledge of the relevant international frameworks, conventions, and guidelines; and voluntary standards / certification schemes designed to address human rights relevant to agricultural community production;
  • Excellent project management skills (including excellent time-management, problem-solving and organisational abilities); ability to multi-task;
  • Highly developed interpersonal and team working skills, as well as proven ability to operate in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Ability and willingness to travel for training, field work, meetings;
  • Fluent written and spoken English; strong verbal & written communication skills.

Highly desirable:

  • Training and experience of gender equality mainstreaming, and/or building gender sensitivity into field work or programmes.
  • Experience of living and working in least one of the regions where Proforest has a strong presence (Latin America, West Africa and Southeast Asia)
  • Knowledge and/or experience of the production practices of at least one of the commodities Proforest works on (palm oil, cocoa, sugar, beef, soy, rubber).
  • Fluency in another relevant language: French, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malay, Spanish, Portuguese.
  • Experience of working within multi-stakeholder processes and/or facilitation of meetings and collaborative processes.

Salary and practical details

  • Range from £36,000 - 45,000 depending on experience
  • Full-time permanent position
  • Based in the UK (Oxford) or The Netherlands (office opening summer 2021) with the possibility to work remotely.

To apply

Please send your CV, and a cover letter explaining your suitability for the position and confirmation that you are eligible to work in the UK to [email protected]

Proforest is an equal opportunity employer. To help us address unconscious bias, kindly send us your CV and cover letter without the inclusion of your name, sex, age or photo. You should include your name in the email only.

Application Deadline: 24th January 2021

First round interviews are expected to take place remotely during the week commencing 8th February 2021.

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