Operations Manager (Cocoa, Coffee & Tea) – Utrecht, the Netherlands

Do you get energy from creating order in complex situations and working in diverse cultures and with people from around the world? Do you love developing processes and structures to enhance operational efficiency? Are you a person with experience of leading and managing operations in an international organisation? Are you a strategic and business-minded person with an understanding of agriculture and smallholder farmers and a head for numbers?

We are looking for a Senior Operations Manager to strengthen our Business Unit Agri Commodities (tea, coffee, cocoa, sector initiatives).

This is a senior position and is based at IDH HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The role

As Senior Operations Manager, you will support the Global Director in the operationalisation of the Agri-Commodities BU (tea, coffee, cocoa, sector initiatives). You are the spider in the web with an overview of all operational activities and responsibilities of the BU internally and externally. The Senior Operations Manager leads the smooth implementation of IDH processes and procedures in the BU, this includes taking part in the overall strategic discussions, and ensuring that our budgets, KPIs and strategy are aligned. This entails organizing operational support to the HQ and country offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America; donor accountability and grant compliance management in close collaboration with the BU finance team; leading the planning, monitoring and reporting cycles; operational support to fundraising, and ensuring the generation and analysis of management information such as quarterly reporting, budget analysis and KPIs reporting.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Development of strategic workplan and coordination of this process within the BU and its programs, ensuring a cohesive narrative and plan.
  • Work closely with the Financial Controllers on financial planning and monitoring of the BU and program finances and budget, ensuring fit for purpose budget aligned to strategic workplan, and corresponding spend.
  • Align with M&E team within BU and organisation to ensure program and BU KPIs accurately reflect strategic plan priorities and deliverables.
  • Supporting teams with program/project planning, M&E, reporting, and contract management.

Lead on embedding operational excellence of the Agri-Commodities BU, to ensure program leads have transparency on BU and program data, and joint ownership is created within the BU MT for the strategic plan, budget and KPIs.

  • Support the analysis and visualization of management information for the BU management.
  • Manage and lead on reporting to the IDH management and donors, against agreed plan, budget and KPIs.
  • Plan Human resource and coordinate to ensure BU resources are allocated according to BU and program strategic plans and priorities.
  • Function as the contact point for country teams on operational matters, liaising with different business support departments where needed (IT, M&E, Legal, Finance, Fundraising, HR).
  • Process management in coordination with other IDH BUs and support departments e.g. finance, legal, M&E, IT etc.
  • Monitor of IDH wide internal operational processes, and initiation, and execution of improvements activities within BU.
  • Identify needs / gaps in (internal) control processes.
  • Ensure all internal control processes and BU processes are properly executed by each program cluster (e.g., internal IT management systems such as ROSA-Salesforce).
  • Coordinate and advise on donor compliance, accountability, and deliverables.
  • Coordination of fundraising within the BU in collaboration with the IDH Fund-raising team.

People Manager responsibilities for an Operations Officer, an M&E Advisor, and a Communications Manager

Who you are

You are familiar with a considerable level of complexity in projects or programs and not deterred by ambiguity. You love to organize, structure and design processes with the aim of supporting teams to achieve the best possible results. You are digitally savvy, and you have experience in working in international teams with people with diverse cultural backgrounds. You are both strategic, analytical, and practical, able to work independently. You possess the ability to execute your tasks thoroughly, maintaining a good overview, can actively improve program management systems and quality of deliverables. You are a well-grounded and solution-driven professional, enthusiastic about your work and what IDH stands for. With your people management skills, you are approachable and easy to talk to. You have experience in organizing multi-stakeholder coalitions. You have ability to communicate written and verbally. You are honest, transparent and possess prominent level of integrity. All these combined with a good sense of humour and positivity.

What you bring

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially an incredibly working knowledge of Salesforce, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills in English.
  • Master’s Degree in economics, business administration, project management or similar.
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work experience in change management, project management, strategy, analysis, and business advisory services.
  • Prefer to have relevant private sector and government work experience and good understanding of the global agricultural business landscape particularly in Africa, Latin America, and Asia
  • Experience in project management & (financial) administration and project budgeting
  • Experience in managing and collaborating with international teams (remotely)
  • Extensive experience of convening, organization of complex teams and stakeholder management.
  • Effective communication skills, advisory and strong analytical skills.
  • Experience in M&E, writing donor reports, ability to drive and managing process.
  • Fluent in English written and verbally. Other relevant languages are a plus.

This position is based at our HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

We offer you

  • a gross salary range between EUR 4579 – 5723 monthly (based on a 40-hour work week), depending on your experience and competences.
  • a fulltime (40 hours) 1 year contract initially, with the intention to extend (as this is a permanent position).
  • an open environment where you can grow and develop yourself, including an individual development budget.
  • 8% holiday allowance, contribution to sports/health club subscription, pension scheme, flexible & hybrid working, health insurance contribution, 26 holidays, travel cost allowance, monthly lunch contribution, etc.
  • all the work supplies you need to excel in your role (e.g. laptop and mobile phone).
  • energy at our office, with our sustainable coffee, fresh ginger and mint tea and a selection of fresh fruit available.


Would you like to apply? Please follow this link and submit your application: https://idhtrade.inhroffice.com/en/job/274940/apply

We encourage applicants to respond before June 15, 2023.

For more questions about the role and organization, please contact Phat Nguyen at phatnguyen@idhtrade.org.

Please note that candidates should be EU nationals or have permission to work in the Netherlands. 

At IDH sustainable trade initiative, we’re committed to equal employment opportunity, and we prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, colour, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, or veteran status. We strive to be a more equal opportunity workplace every day.


Who we are

IDH aims to put people, planet, and progress at the heart of trade by leveraging the power of markets to create better jobs, better incomes, a better environment, and gender equality for all. To achieve this objective IDH brings together people within corporations, the global financial sector and governments that have the most influence over global value chains to co-create and co-invest.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, IDH has around 380 employees globally, operating in 20 landscapes and 12 commodities and sourcing regions with over 1000 public and private partners.

IDH’s work is made possible because of the funding and trust of a variety of public and private donors.

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