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Commercial Director at Fairtrade Africa

Fairtrade International is an internationally recognized, non-profit organization that works to secure fairer trade terms so that farmers and workers in developing countries can invest in a better future for themselves and their communities. Our global team works to directly connect producers and consumers and promote fairer trading conditions and sustainability. We are responsible for the strategic direction of the Fairtrade system, the Fairtrade Standards and support to Fairtrade farmers and workers worldwide.

The Commercial Director reports to the Executive Director. He/She is responsible for all commercial facing activities for FTA’s service offerings to Fairtrade producers across Africa and the Middle East, ensuring that all related functions are aligned to meet FTA’s strategic objectives. The goal is to promote and expand FTA members’ commercial activity that will help generate revenues and lead to sustainable growth and improved livelihoods in Africa.

Working as part of the Leadership Team, the Commercial Director will lead FTA’s functional efforts to optimize sales for our members under Fairtrade terms and to assist them in capturing additional value from the respective supply chains.

Responsible for drafting, implementing, and evaluating cross-functional strategies that will enable FTA members’ commercial efforts on the ground and work as one with other parts of the Fairtrade International system to optimize the value captured for our farmers and workers.

Qualifications and Experience

Professional Experience

The ideal candidate will have worked in a commercial senior role at a well-known organisation and with a proven success track record, with:

  • At least seven years of senior-level commercial management experience with a reputable organization.
  • Has strong business and commercial strategy background that will be suitable for the Africa region, specifically African market.
  • Proven and demonstrable experience in sales and/or marketing and managing relationships with key stakeholders, networks, partners, producers and clients.
  • Proven relevant commercial and value chain experience working in both developed and developing markets across multiple countries and cultures.
  • In-depth understanding of market research methods and analysis.
  • An extensive network of relevant commercial contacts across different African, Middle East and Asian countries.
  • Experience in the delivery of strong marketing campaigns with measurable results.
  • Experience in developing marketing plans, media and engagement strategies and measuring results.
  • Ability to build effective working relationships across functional areas will be essential together with solid experience of leading change management programmes.
  • The ability to influence and build consensus with member organizations and shape strategic and policy direction and decisions of Fairtrade.
  • Proven experience of budget management and operational planning.
  • Creative, innovative, proactive and good organisation skills
  • Experience in working from a clean slate and can set up systems and structures for the new directorate.

Personal characteristics

  • Open-minded and collaborative
  • Confident, competitive, enthusiastic and resilient
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to formulate concepts and strategies.
  • Decision strength and ability to initiate action
  • Exceptional relationship management and networking skills.
  • Exceptional influencing and negotiating skills.
  • Pragmatic and hands-on
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills – both verbal and in writing
  • Excellent leadership and management skills.
  • The ability to work independently in a high-pressured environment with conflicting demands.


University degree, combined with a specialization in commerce, marketing, sales


Fluency in English; Other international language such as French, German, Spanish is a plus

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on a three-year basis with the possibility of renewal based on funding and performance.

Please note: This job description is intended as a guide and should not be viewed as an inflexible specification as it may be varied from time to time in the light of strategic developments following discussion with the post holder. The post holder will be expected to work to agreed objectives, which should facilitate achievements of the key responsibilities in accordance with the Performance Review Process.

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