BELGIUM: Senior Program Manager – Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program

Working for IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative you get things done at scale. For the benefit of people, planet and profit. We help to accelerate and upscale sustainability within mainstream international and regional commodity markets and producer landscapes, aiming at no less than sustainable market transformation. For more information, visit our website:

To facilitate further growth of IDH we are looking for a:


 ‘Senior program manager with experience in agricultural value chains’

Job profile
IDH is looking for a Senior Program Manager who leads the implementation of the Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program. This program is based upon the ambitious Belgian ‘Beyond Chocolate’ partnership agreement, in which a total of 40 public and private organizations – together with the Belgian government – committed to ensure that 100% of the Belgian chocolate consumption is sustainably sourced by 2025 and is produced under living income conditions by 2030. IDH has been contracted by the Belgian government to ensure that the partnership agreement becomes a reality, convening stakeholders and ensure that the supply chain does make the required changes in the producing countries and that retailers and consumers value the sustainability proposition.

The Senior Program Manager will be in charge of the Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program. She/he will be part of IDH’s cocoa team and report to its cocoa program director. She/he will be able to draw upon the specific expertise of other IDH colleagues working on finance and credit, monitoring and learning, communication, etc. In addition, the program manager will liaise with IDH colleagues working in West Africa and other major cocoa production countries. She/he will be supported by support staff for operational matters. The senior program manager will furthermore act as the liaison for the other commodity programs of IDH in the Belgian context (e.g. textiles, palm, coffee), and will further the relationships with Belgian organisations and the EU in Brussels. 

The Senior Program Manager will work between Belgium, HQ in the Netherlands, and the countries of origin (mostly West-Africa). His/her main responsibilities will include:

  • Strategic guidance of the program, ensuring the targets of the ‘Beyond Chocolate’ Agreement are met;
  • Convene stakeholders, on demand side, supply chain and in producing countries, ensuring program alignment and sustained commitment and participation by the partners of the ‘Beyond chocolate’ program;
  • Ensure proper communication with and reporting to the Belgian government;
  • Liaise with the partners of the ‘Beyond chocolate’ program on all matters related to program implementation, progress and updates;
  • Prepare and guide calls for proposals to unlock investments and ensure new business models are developed by supply chain companies to attain living income at scale and cocoa traceability into the Belgian market;
  • Set-up and manage an efficient and effective monitoring and evaluation framework for the Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program and collect and compile data accordingly;
  • Develop and update the ‘Beyond chocolate’ communication strategy;
  • Work closely with Belgium NGO(s) on implementation of the communication strategy through meetings, round tables, website and social media;
  • Prepare an annual progress and impact report for all partners of the Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program;
  • Together with the IDH cocoa team and Belgian partners organize and implement the annual progress meeting(s) of the partnership;
  • Organize and participate as secretary to the program’s Steering Committee;
  • Mobilize additional support and partners for the Belgian Sustainable Chocolate Program;
  • Program development for new sectoral programs, partnership development with Belgian partners and strengthening the partnership with the EU.

Candidates will be selected on the basis of the following key criteria:

  • At least 8-10 years work experience in international agricultural value chains, preferably within the private sector;
  • Have a strong network amongst Belgian private and public stakeholders (retail, industry, government, civil society, academia);
  • Excellent senior convening, shaping, influencing and program management skills;
  • Have a good understanding of the wider international policy context;
  • Be able to advise companies, civil society organisations and Government on private sector development issues in general and sustainable cocoa development;
  • Experience with stakeholder management in an international environment;
  • Experience in project management & (financial) administration and project budgeting;
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills in Dutch/Flemish, English and French;

Next to these criteria, the following traits are expected of applicants:

  • Works to achieve agreed objectives and is accountable for meeting or exceeding them.
  • Plans and manages own time effectively.
  • Track record in process management and change management.
  • Working and thinking at Master degree level.
  • Experience in working with people from different cultural backgrounds.

IDH offers a challenging position within an enthusiastic and passionate team. As an IDH team member you can contribute to positive global change. The position is for 32-40 hours a week and initially for a period of 1 year, with the possibility of extension. We offer a competitive salary and solid fringe benefits, including a good pension scheme.

For questions about this position, please contact Mark de Waard:

How to apply
Interested candidates are invited to apply (motivation letter and 2-page resume in English) by using the following hyperlink:

We encourage applicants to respond as soon as possible, latest by 22 April 2019.

Is this not your dream job? Sharing this vacancy with your network is highly appreciated.

IDH is committed to a diverse workforce that is representative, at all our job levels.



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