Request for Proposals

Consultant, tea shared responsibility pilot for Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance is seeking a consultant to submit proposals for acting as de-facto “project manager” for the tea shared responsibility pilot with our interested company partners


Summary Information

·      Department: Markets Transformation, certification led sectors

·      Location(s): East Africa Region

·      Commitment: 9 months

·      Desired start date: 1 February 2023

·      Under direction of: Tea Sector Lead and Country Director


Consultancy Summary

About the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. We are building an alliance to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis. We envision a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.


We work towards making responsible business the new normal through our certification program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and community work and advocacy.


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At the Rainforest Alliance, we are building an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal. To advance our mission, we focus on amplifying our impact on the ground through systemic transformation: change across the entire supply chain, change in the relationship between people and nature, and change within our own organization. We achieve this transformation by working in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders to create a stronger Alliance. Together, we amplify the voices of farmers and forest communities, improve livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and help people adapt to climate change in bold and effective ways. We embrace transparency because we believe that the best way to build trust across our alliance is through openness about our tactics, our impact, and partners on the ground. Together, we can achieve our vision of a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.

Our vision for a sustainable tea sector is one where certificate holders (CH) play a more equitable part in the supply chain. We are creating a stronger voice for certified groups, farmers, and workers in the tea supply chain. Our requirements are designed to benefit farms and workers for their efforts, with the entire supply chain being able to invest in a shared roadmap for sustainability and measure progress. Therefore, our 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard (SAS) outlines two financial requirements for the buyers of Rainforest Alliance Certified (RAC) commodities: the Sustainability Differential (SD) and Sustainability Investments (SI).  These requirements address the need to reward family farmers for their commitment to sustainable agriculture and benefit workers on larger plantations (SD), and direct additional resources needed to implement certification and support continuous improvements (SI).  

Rainforest Alliance is implementing Shared Responsibility pilot projects to test the feasibility of the proposed SD/SI for tea together with companies that act as early implementers. In view of this Rainforest Alliance is seeking a consultant who will act as de-facto “project manager” for the tea shared responsibility pilot, with both Rainforest Alliance certified tea producers and supply chain actor partners.



Main Objectives


The main objectives of this assignment are.


  1. Project manage the activities in the activity plan between the stakeholders involved in this pilot.
  2. Field testing and support in-region SI investment plan articulation 
  3. Test workings of tea SD SI payment mechanisms (brand owner – packer – farm CH) 
  4. Generate feedback that enables further refinement and improvement of the requirements and guidance for tea SD SI, which will in turn improve implementation efforts 
  5. Collect practical experience and challenges in the implementation of the Shared Responsibility requirements, that would allow its refinement and customization  
  6. Provide opportunities for claims and narratives and/or communication piece  
  7. Introduce transparency around the investments required for tea farm CHs and enable informed and open discussion between producers and supply chain actors on SR 
  8. Start to drive investments in to farm CHs transitioned to the 2020 SAS certification program during 2023 before payments are required by brands from late 2023 


Contractor Services at a minimum

  1. The tea SD SI consultant is responsible for coordinating and project managing the activities related to the implementation of a Shared Responsibility pilot during CY 2023 on behalf of the Rainforest Alliance in three Africa tea origins.
  2. The consultant will coordinate and track the activities related to this pilot using the activity tracker agreed between the parties, based on the memorandum and terms of reference signed between them.
  3. The consultant will: Use the activity tracker as a tool to oversee and track progress on the activities in the pilot to ensure that the pilot is progressing as planned
  4. Convene the various parties involved on regular calls to agree, align, and progress specific tasks
  5. Update said tracker and project report on a regular basis to monitor the success of the pilot
  6. Support mapping the full supply chain we want to pilot in cooperation with all parties
  7. Support training of relevant parties participating in the pilot
  8. Support implementation of shared responsibility requirements with producers, supply chain actors and other parties
  9. Support paper simulation of the requirements and activities in the pilot, to include mock audits, commitments on SD SI, payment of SD SI and related steps.
  10. Monitor, feedback, and report on progress
  11. Collect insights and learnings
  12. Produce a final report of this pilot with outputs/results of this pilot



  • Formulation and guidance tea SD SI pilot activity plan
  • Regular convening of and reporting to project stakeholders
  • Guidance to certificate holders, certification bodies, and other stakeholders to move the activity plan forward
  • Pilot development of investment plans developed by farm certificate holders that include focus on investment needs determined by said farm certificate holder in a consultative process with the project stakeholders
  • Final report of the pilot with outputs/results and recommendations including.
  • Reports of SD distribution per certificate holder
  • Report of lessons for the use of SD by certificate holders
  • Report on lessons from the process to develop and implement SI plan 

General terms and conditions for Request for proposal

  • Proposals and/or any additional information received after the submission time and date are subject to rejection by The Rainforest Alliance. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion.
  • The Rainforest Alliance reserves the right to request additional information at any time during the procurement process.
  • RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process. RA also reserves the right to cancel the procurement.
  • All proposal costs shall be borne by the applicant and will not be reimbursed by RA.


Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, Business Administration, Business Economics or equivalent in relevant field.
  • Project management experience.
  • Demonstration of experience in forging connections between individuals and teams and finding innovative solutions
  • Experience in the food commodities, supply chain, or the tea sector is not a must, but beneficial
  • Proven experience in working in independent contributor roles.
  • Superior analytical and communication skills, ability to synthesize and present complex analysis


Proposal Process and Format

  • Proposal Process and Format Interested parties should apply to Rainforest Alliance, via by 18 January 2023
  • Guidance on what proposals should contain. Examples include:
  • Project team (if a Consultant Firm)
  • Work plan/technical proposal/methodology/timeline for deliverables (depends on technical needs of project)
  • Financial proposal: this depends on the needs of project:
  • cost-reimbursable: request daily/hourly rate and estimated number of days/hours needed to complete project
  • fixed price: request budget needed to complete deliverables.
  • financial proposals must include a basis for costing (ex: "Include previous rates")
  • Note: state currency required
  • Note: RA prefers not to define budget amount for the opportunity. Instead, we prefer to gather proposals to determine market price for activity. Stating the budget available for the consultancy can result in proposals only coming back at that cost. 
  • List of previous engagements that addresses the above experience desired
  • Current C.V.(S)
  • Contact details of recent references (specify number needed; always ask for email and phone number)
  • The Finalist(s) will be notified of their selection by 31 January 2023.  




Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance

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