Assistant Field Coordinator – Palm oil Independent Smallholders’ Improvement Project in Johor

Date Published

Benut, Johor Malaysia



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Hiring on: 1st of July 2018

Proforest is seeking a motivated and organised individual to assist in the management and the delivery of the field component of a responsible palm oil production project involving independent smallholders in Johor State, Malaysia. This project has been commissioned by a major consumer goods company to improve the production practices of independent smallholder farmers (ISHFs). The company wish to bring all suppliers in its supply base into line with its own responsible sourcing criteria and up to the standards for sustainable palm oil developed by the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) initiative.


About Proforest and its services

Proforest is a dynamic non-profit organisation with global presence that has established itself as a leader in the development and implementation of sustainable production and sourcing of natural resources including a range of agricultural commodities. We help companies, government departments, non-governmental and civil society organisations to achieve the sustainable use of the world’s natural resources.

Proforest is a UK-based organisation with a Southeast Asia regional office located in Kuala Lumpur. The KL office has a small but dedicated team who implement consultancy projects and not-for-profit programmes in various locations in the region, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Proforest has been working with many of the world’s leading companies to implement their responsible sourcing commitments in agricultural and forestry commodity supply chains over the last 15 years. A key challenge in these endeavours is to enable companies to engage with their smallholder suppliers and ensure access for these smallholders to responsible supply chains and certification systems. For further information, see also

We work at every stage of the supply chain, from production and processing, through to purchasing and investment. Agricultural and forestry commodities that we have experience working on include palm oil, soy, sugarcane, rubber, beef, cotton and jatropha. We focus on the opportunities for conservation and social benefits within the production landscape, and never lose sight of the need for pragmatic and workable practices.


The Independent Smallholder Improvement Project

Proforest Malaysia will be working with a major consumer goods company, with support from the SHARP partnership[1] and technical partners in Malaysia. For this purpose the consumer goods company has selected a pilot project of around 1,000 ISHFs to pilot test a model that draws on tools and approaches developed by the SHARP partnership, as well as a smallholder risk assessment methodology. The outcomes and lessons from this pilot project will inform the refinement of this modelfor replication and scale up to systematically engage with the rest of the ISHFs across the entire supply base of the consumer goods company.


Position summary

The project’s Assistant Field Coordinator will support the Field Coordinator in the planning and implementation of project activities in the pilot project field site on behalf of Proforest Malaysia. This will entail detailed planning and scheduling of activities in partnership with oil palm fresh fruit bunch (FFB) dealers, sub-dealers and other local stakeholders in the selected palm oil supply base. Furthermore, the Assistant Field Coordinator will be expected to assist in organising training and capacity building activities and in the provision of close technical support to dealers and the smallholder groups from whom they are sourcing FFB. Establishment of good working relationships with all these stakeholders will be a vital part of this role.


Under the supervision of the Field Coordinator, contribute effectively on:

oInitial awareness raising on the project concept, core issues of sustainability, the responsible sourcing guidelines of the consumer goods company, the RSS framework, HCV for smallholders and RSPO P&Cs;

oCoordinate a training programme on implementation of the above mentioned concepts and issues.

oFacilitate the formation and institutional development of smallholder groups for the purpose of achieving more responsible palm oil production

oFacilitate experiential learning and experience exchange between dealers

Assist the Field Coordinator in providing technical support and mentoring for the traders who will serve as implementing entities for the RSS framework, accompanying them through:

oSystematic field level risk assessment of core sustainability issues in ISHF supply base

oSetting up group structures through which independent smallholders can organise and control their production activities, leading on to group capacity building and development of Internal Control Systems

oImplementation of the simplified HCV approach for smallholders to assess and manage HCVs in established plantation landscapes

oAssessment of smallholder livelihood support needs related to improved production.

oDevelopment of action plans to address needs for livelihood support and risk mitigation

oImplementation of risk mitigation and livelihood support action plans in project area

oPreparation for RSPO and/or MSPO certification

Support the Field Coordinator on monitoring and internal audit at the end of the 12 month pilot period


Essential Qualifications, Experience, Skills:

  • Essential:
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject area
  • Familiarity with the palm oil sector and issues related to its production
  • Practical experience of working with local communities, and with stakeholders across private, NGO, and government sectors
  • Familiarity of environmental and social sustainability issues affecting the agricultural commodities sector
  • Project management skills (including time-management, problem solving and organisational abilities)
  • Interpersonal and team working skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in Bahasa Malaysia
  • Good working knowledge of English

Highly desirable:

  • Practical experience of working in the palm oil sector
  • Practical experience of working with oil palm smallholder producers
  • Experience of budgeting, planning and team management
  • Experience and/or knowledge related to sustainability standards, auditing, and certification in the context of natural resource management
  • Proven ability to deliver to tight deadlines.

Duration: 12 months

Closing date: 18th May 2018


[1] For further information, see

Asia Pacific’s Hub For Collaboration On Sustainable Development
An Eco-Business initiative
The SDG Co