Head of Solidaridad Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Unit

Context of the PES unit

Solidaridad is working with over 1 million smallholder farmers in over 40 countries across several agricultural commodities. Solidaridad is supporting these farmers in building their climate resilience and decarbonize agricultural supply chains. Since 2020, Solidaridad is supporting smallholder farmers’ access to carbon markets and other ecosystem services though nature based solutions. Today more than 15,000 farmers have been connected to carbon markets and more than 50,000 tCO2 were sold on behalf of farmers through Rabobank’s ACORN, a platform bringing Carbon Removal Units of smallholder farmers to the market. Solidaridad together with partners is in a unique position to address the key current market challenges – delivering high quality carbon credit supply to the different payment for ecosystem markets and agricultural value chains decarbonization impact. In order to accelerate smallholder farmers’ access to payments for ecosystem services Solidaridad decided to found a independent not-for-profit Payment For Ecosystem Service Unit (PES Unit). 

  • This entity builds a Network business case on PES-related credits, starting with carbon. The entity supplies the aggregated Carbon Removal Units generated by Solidaridad farmers to the market;
  • This entity provides services to the Solidaridad Network to ensure we can deliver high quality carbon supply and scale the proposition globally.


The PES Unit is yet to be established and will prepare and position the Solidaridad Network to play a key role in smallholder farmer carbon markets and wider payment for ecosystem markets.

The Head of the PES Unit will report to the Managing Director of Solidaridad Europe. 

In this position you will have strategic and operational responsibilities:

Strategic responsibilities:

  • Develop the strategy and refine the business plan of the PES Unit; 
  • Identify and develop new business opportunities for the unit including, but not limited, to payment for ecosystem models (water, biodiversity, etc);
  • Responsible to establish and build the PES Unit, from a start-up to a successful scale-up, and set up the unit’s governance structure and ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements;
  • Develop and implement, policies and procedures related to the unit’s operations, including HR, finance, and accounting (building on Solidaridad’s existing structures);
  • Lead the development and implementation of the PES Unit into the structures of the Solidaridad Network;
  • Align with Solidaridads’ carbon farming programmes to develop and maintain a proposition that works for both; 
  • Build and maintain relationships with the market for the PES-credits (first only Acorn, later other buyers as well).

Operational responsibilities

  • Plan, monitor and evaluate the activities of the PES Unit;
  • Be responsible for budgeting and sound financial management;
  • Build and manage a team of professionals to support the unit’s operations, including recruiting and training staff;
  • Work closely together with Solidaridad colleagues who are actively involved in the implementation of nature based solutions across 40 countries;
  • Build an infrastructure to deliver services to the Solidaridad Network to ensure high quality carbon supply (based on existing infrastructure); 
  • Represent the organization to external stakeholders;
  • Remain abreast of Solidaridad network and carbon market developments.


This is a unique position; responsibility and accountability for a global concept, building a business unit which doesn’t exist yet. Providing pivotal services to make sure smallholder farmers will be benefiting from global carbon markets and payments for ecosystem services. We are looking for a hands-on, entrepreneurial, mission driven pioneer that also brings vision and strategic skills to stay abreast in this highly dynamic field. You have excellent intercultural skills and your commercial view is well developed. 

The successful candidate has:

  • Start-up mentality: ability to think creatively and outside of the box, and to take calculated risks in order to drive growth and success in a new venture;
  • Strong leadership skills: Experience and proven track record in building a businesses from scratch;
  • Academic work and thinking level;
  • In-depth understanding of, and an network in carbon markets and trade and solid overview of the evolving payment for ecosystem services markets;
  • English fluency, strong verbal and written communication skills; Spanish is an asset;
  • Advanced skills in building and maintaining (external) relations at various levels;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities and understanding for cultural diversities;
  • A strong commitment to and interest in Solidaridad’s mission and work;
  • Is willing to travel frequently (approximately 25% of work time);
  • Is allowed to work in Europe.


  • A unique and rewarding job within an inspiring and international setting, starting 1st of July 2023 or as soon as possible after that date;
  • A one-year contract with the possibility of extension, 32-36 hours/week; 
  • Gross salary between EUR 4214,85 and EUR 6227,02 based on 36 hours/week (salary scale 12); 
  • An additional holiday allowance (standard in the Netherlands) will be paid to the employee in May of every calendar year. The holiday allowance is 8% of the gross salary earned in the period from 1 June up to and including 31 May, prior to the date of the payment;
  • In addition, Solidaridad pays an end-of-year allowance equivalent to 8.3% of the gross annual salary earned;
  • Solidaridad offers a non-contributory pension plan;
  • Contribution to moving expenses; 
  • Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands, with national and international travel required.  


Do you recognize yourself in this candidate profile? Then please submit your one-page motivation letter and two-page resume in English to hr-europe@solidaridadnetwork.org, and state “Application: Head of PES Unit” in the subject header. The closing date for this vacancy is 7th of May.

Questions can be addressed to hr-europe@solidaridadnetwork.org or by phone to Karen Werkman, HR.

The selection process will involve two rounds of interviews, the first-round interviews will take place online. We seek to ensure second-round interviews take place in person.  

A reference check and assessment may be part of the selection procedure. Work permit restrictions may apply. 

No agencies please.

Any personal data submitted in an application is treated confidentially and processed for the sole purpose of filling a vacancy, and compliant to the GDPR directive. After the selection process has been completed (upon date of filled vacancy), all personal data of applicants who have not been selected will be destroyed immediately, unless we have your explicit approval to store your personal data for a period of maximum a year.   


Solidaridad envisions a world in which all we produce and all we consume can sustain us, while respecting the planet, each other and the next generations. We bring together supply chain actors and engage them in innovative solutions to improve production, ensuring the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy that maximizes the benefit for all. 

Solidaridad is an international network organization consisting of seven regional expertise centres located around the world (Asia, LatAm, Southern Africa, East and Central Africa, West Africa, North America and Europe), each with their own specific expertise and focus. Globally, Solidaridad works across 13 commodities.

Solidaridad Europe focuses on market development, policy influencing, communications and donor relations. We seek to inspire the private sector, governments, civil society organizations and consumers in Europe to contribute to sustainable economic development.

In Solidaridad, diversity, equity and inclusion are key to our collective mission, vision and values; We enable farmers and workers to earn a living income, shape their own future, and produce in balance with nature by working throughout the whole supply chain to make sustainability the norm.

We aim for Solidaridad Europe to be an inclusive place where all people feel heard, seen, and valued for their diverse identities, experiences, perspectives and skills.

We are therefore committed to ensuring a safe and healthy working environment by treating everyone with dignity and respect, enabling and empowering us to be ourselves and achieve our full potential as individuals and our collective mission as an organization. 

For more information please refer to our website: http://www.solidaridadnetwork.org.