Circular Food System Consultant

Healthy, inclusive and circular food systems in developing countries: From concept to implementation readiness.

Background

In Solidaridad's Multi-Annual Strategic Plan 2021-2025 the key global interlinked challenges and our own insights from the past provide the strategic direction to Solidaridad to focus on healthy and circular food system transformation. As the current food production system is not rewarding for farmers, the young generation is abandoning farming and migrating to the cities, while young farmers are more needed than ever as key players in the new healthy and circular food system and economy. 

Our current challenge: Most strategies in this pathway are multi-stakeholder strategies. This includes new groups that we have not worked with so much in the past, like city governments, planning institutes, local retailers, waste management companies and governmental entities. New food system transformation initiatives have evolved. However, we lack a good overview and understanding of the key actors, donors and opinion leaders and approaches in this space. In order to move from conceptual design to programmatic implementation readiness, Solidaridad commissions this study. 

Specific objectives

The assignment aims to provide an analytical basis on healthy and circular food system transformation to the Solidaridad innovation team that informs the development of a food systems transformation innovation product portfolio. Specifically the study aims to

  • provide insights into the global/regional landscape of food system initiatives and potential partnership basis that can be supporting in fulfilling Solidaridad’s strategic goals

  • identify the global and regional donors landscape for healthy, diverse and circular food systems that may fund Solidaridad’s food system transformation interventions and programs

  • provide the analytical basis for the development of a Solidaridad healthy, inclusive and circular food systems methodological implementation framework that informs the planning and structuring large scale food system transformation programs

  • Identify and systematize regenerative agriculture and circularity business cases in selected agricultural commodities

Tasks

  1. Map and systematize food system transformation public and private initiatives (indicative 8 days)

In order to inform Solidaridad on promising food systems partnerships to realized Solidaridad 2021-2025 strategy on healthy and circular food system transformation the consultant is expected to

  • Assess, map and systemize the key global and regional initiatives on food system transformation, circularity in food systems (visual and an infographic is expected). Identify their core objectives, key interventions, key public, private and science partners involved, core funders of the initiative, delivered/documented impact, regional focus. The consultant is expected to consider initiatives such as the  Global Alliance for the Future of Food, UN Food Systems Summit, UNEP food system initiative, Netherlands Food Partnership, Food Action alliance, Food System Dialogue, C40 Cities, Food systems Network, Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP), Milan Food Systems Pact, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Global Alliance for Nutrition and Health, among others. It is expected that each initiative is summarized in a short and concise format provided as an annex in the main report). 

  • On a national/sub-national level, specific attention shall be paid to the East African region (incl. Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania) and an assessment of healthy, inclusive and circular food system initiatives shall be assessed and mapped out. This shall include the scope of the initiatives, key stakeholders involved and key interventions undertaken

  • Map out and identify the key intellectual opinion leaders in the field of healthy, inclusive and circular food systems in the science field and in the donor landscape. 

  • Interviews with at least 5 key initiatives are expected

  • Provide recommendations on the initiatives Solidariad should consider to partner and engage with to unfold its maximum impact and deliver on the strategic goals.

  1. Map and systematize the key public and philanthropic donors for healthy and circular food systems (indicative 5 days)

In order to inform Solidaridad on potential donors for its food system transformation interventions the consultant is expected t

  • Linked to Task 1, assess, map and systemize the key public and philanthropic donor landscape for healthy, inclusive and circular food systems incl. EU donor agencies, WB, foundations and other donors relevant to a CSO) and their specific focus areas, current thematic and initiatives funding streams. (It is expected that each key donor is summarized in a short and concise 1 page format provided as an annex in the main report).
  • The focus of the review should be on donor landscape that targets developing and emerging countries in which Solidaridad implement program (Africa, Latin America, Asia)
  • Specific focus shall be paid to the East African donor landscape
  • Classify the donor landscape into large scale program approaches vs. innovation funding considering regional focus and thematic focus
  1. Identify the key methodological approaches and food system transformation frameworks for healthy and circular food systems (indicative 12 days)

In order to prepare Solidaridad for the implementation of its strategic directions, a conceptual food system implementation and proposition framework will be developed. In order to inform the design of such a framework, the consultant is expected to: 

  • Assess, map and systemize the key methodological food system transformation frameworks taking into account health, social inclusion and circularity, planetary boundaries, covering farm based, value chain, finance, policy and market interventions (e.g food system approach by v Berkum, 2018, TEEB - Agri-Food framework, etc). Link to Task 1 and assess which food system initiatives promoting/use which frameworks. Specific attention should be paid to the connectivity of the rural-urban landscape context and dimension of food systems and the identification of the key drivers for change that can transform the food system.   
  • Identify key tools (e.g. true cost accounting etc) and innovations (e.g. blockchain based systems and products and services etc.) in this field that can serve as accelerators for food system transformation.  

  • Conduct interviews with at least 5 key experts/institutions and assess effectiveness and usefulness, challenges and opportunities in using the food system frameworks

  • Recommend to Solidaridad a methodological food system implementation framework to inform the structuring healthy, inclusive and circular food system programs  

  • Linked to the recommendation, identify the key needed skills sets to implement the approach. The Solidaridad team will use this for an internal capacity assessment exercise and execute a gap analysis.

  1. Assessment of business cases for regenerative agriculture and healthy and circular food system (indicative 15 days)

In order to inform Solidaridad on the potential transformative business cases/investments opportunities in the food system value chains and to inspire Solidaridad’s regions in its entrepreneurship development programs the consultant is expected to: 

  • Assess, systematize and develop a typology of regenerative agriculture and circularity business cases in the food system that could be piloted across the Solidaridad commodity program portfolio (including commodities such as fruit and vegetables, aquaculture, livestock and dairy, tea, cocoa, coffee). At least 10 business models are expected. 
  • Specific attention shall be paid to on-farm regenerative agriculture business cases, circular off-farm value chain investment (regenerative farming practices, biomass/residue optimization techniques such as biochar, water and waste efficiency, nutrient loops optimizations, food and waste loss reduction). 
  • Assess and identify key success factors, key challenges for regenerative and circular business models and trade-offs.  
  • Specific attention shall be paid on how regenerative agriculture could be adopted by the smallholder farmers, including the cost of transition and potential risks of smallholder exclusion from farming. 
  1. Prepare a high level analytical report summarizing Task 1-4 (indicative 10 days)

  • Prepare a short and concise high quality report including at least the following content:
    • Executive Summary (max. 4 pages)

    • Core summary report (max. 30 pages)

    • Specific section on East Africa (max. 5 pages)

    • Annex (incl. list of literature consulted and key references and key interviews conducted, key donors and key initiatives)

  • Develop a slide deck and execute an online webinar to Solidaridad strategic staff (Managing/Regional Directors, or assigned staff) on the key results of the study and integrate their feedback into the report

An expert team of Solidaridad will be closely involved in the assignment and it is expected that a close communication and coordination will be maintained throughout the assignment. 

Deliverables

  1. Draft assessment report on healthy and circular food systems including the following content (max 30 pages + Annex) (with feedback from strategic management integrated)

    • Executive Summary (max. 4 pages)

    • Core summary report (max. 30 pages)

    • Specific section on East Africa (max. 5 pages)

    • Annex (incl. list of literature consulted and key references and key interviews conducted, key donors and key initiatives)

  2. Slide deck and an online webinar with the strategic management staff of Solidaridad

  3. Final assessment report integrating feedback from Solidaridad strategic management staff

Budget 

The maximum budget for this assignment is 40,000 Euro.

The assignment requires significant background research that can be partly executed by junior expert staff, thus a smart combination of junior and senior expert staff by the consultant team reflected in the budget will be appreciated. 

The consultant is expected to include the daily rates and the input per expert per task in the financial proposal. 

Timeline

The assignment is expected to start from the 25th of July 2020 and expected to be completed by 30th October 2020.

Logistics

Travel is not expected and the assignment is expected to be carried out home-based. Key informants in the Solidaridad Network will be available online.

In close coordination with the consultant, Solidaridad will be responsible for setting up coordination calls and ensure smooth communication and coordination internally. 

Submission deadline

The deadline for submitting a technical and financial proposal is 07.07.2020, 12 am CET. You can submit your proposal by e-mail to:

eduard.merger@solidaridadnetwork.org 

Subject: Healthy, inclusive and circular food system proposal _NAME OF CONSULTANT

Technical and financial proposal structure request

The consultant is expected to prepare a technical and financial proposal with the following content. Overall the proposal shall not be longer than 12 pages, including the following structure:

  • Background of the consultant and related expertise (max. 3 pages)

  • Technical approach responding to the TORs (max. 6 pages)

    • Comments on the TORs

    • Methodology of the assignment

    • Workplan incl. Deliverables and timeline

  • Proposed team (max. 3 pages)

  • Budget incl. information on day rates and expected input days per expert  (max. 1 page)

  • CVs as Annex (max 2 pages per CV)

  • Contact Information

    Eduard Merger

    Global Climate & Landscapes Manager