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Head of China

Date Published



RSPO Secretariat SDN BHD

Job Type
Career level

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a not-for-profit, international membership organisation that is working to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To do this, we have united stakeholders from all sectors of the palm oil supply chain and civil society to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil production and procurement.

Since its inception in 2004, RSPO has enjoyed rapid growth and today has close to 5,000 members from over 100 countries, including oil palm producers, processors, traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks, and non-governmental organisations. Thanks to the commitments and actions of these members, nearly 20 per cent of the global supply of palm oil has already been certified as sustainable.

At RSPO, we believe that a not-for-profit organisation is made successful by the passion, skills, and expertise of its members and staff. They are the ones who drive our organisation to new heights and guide us through the next phase of our development.

The Market Transformation Division is responsible for driving the uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) globally to close the gaps between its demand and supply by working with current and potential members and other stakeholders. This division is also responsible for the development and implementation of Shared Responsibility rules and frameworks, which ensure that all members of RSPO can contribute to our mission by being proactive enablers of change.

The purpose of this role is to support the Deputy Director of Market Transformation to develop and implement strategies and initiatives to increase RSPO’s uptake, influence and market share in the China region.

The Head of China will report directly to the Deputy Director of Market Transformation and will ensure that RSPO continues to grow its impact and market share in this market. They will participate in and support RSPO’s strategic thinking, planning, and policy development, and will be responsible for managing special campaigns and projects as directed from time to time by the management team.

The preferred location of this role is Beijing or Shanghai.

Key roles & responsibilities 

Duties include but will not be limited to the following:

1. Engage with RSPO members and stakeholders to increase awareness and accelerate the adoption and uptake of RSPO certification

  • Identify and engage stakeholders and champions within all member organisations
  • Identify and close the gaps in supply and demand with market research and targeted initiatives
  • Map supply chains and recommend market transformation initiatives based on PalmTrace and Annual Communications of Progress (ACOP) data
  • Lead RSPO’s priorities and agendas across national forums/platforms like the China Sustainable Palm Oil Alliance (CSPOA) and other relevant initiatives. Work with RSPO’s partners and members to increase RSPO’s influence and impact for CSPO imports in this market.
  • Drive outreach and engagement activities and campaigns for RSPO members to get certified as per our standards
  • Lead RSPO’s priorities and agendas to improve market access and incentives for smallholders in palm oil producing countries, in consultation with the Director, Technical and Deputy Director, Market Transformation.
  • Drive campaigns, initiatives and activities for RSPO members to get certified as per our standards and to address their queries on a regular basis

2. Recruit New Members

  • Analyse and use market studies and stakeholder maps showing the flows of CPO, CSPO, main buyers, uses, etc.
  • Drive and implement market transformation initiatives to engage potential members based on gap analysis in supply and demand
  • Lead targeted campaigns with NGO/FIs/Industry associations/government, etc. to encourage new members to join in consultation with Deputy Director, Market Transformation
  • Engage with new buyers and suppliers: retailers, flagship companies, local CGMs, traders, refiners, crushers, etc.
  • Encourage potential members (specifically large users of palm oil) to complete the RSPO membership process and to support the onboarding phase with member focused toolkits and other outreach and engagement activities

3. Shared Responsibility (SR)

  • Lead the implementation of the SR strategy in consultation with Head of SR and Deputy Director, Market Transformation
  • Use SR principles to encourage and reinforce CGM, retail commitment to buy CSPO
  • Encourage multinational companies to jump start initial uptake using SR messages
  • Use SR principles to encourage and reinforce processors and traders’ commitment to buy and sell CSPO
  • Promote SR, incentivise and acknowledge members who are leading change makers for sustainable palm oil

4. Recruitment, onboarding, coaching, mentorship and performance management of the China team to meet the goals for RSPO for China

5. Lead the implementation of youth/consumer programmes, campaigns, events and initiatives in consultation with Deputy Director, Market Transformation and and the larger management team

6. Lead the implementation of government relations and policy advocacy programmes, campaigns, events and initiatives in consultation with Deputy Director, Market Transformation and the larger management team

7. Lead the implementation of communications and media campaigns, regional events and initiatives in consultation with Deputy Director, Market Transformation and the larger management team

8. Lead the activities and initiatives related to the development of sustainable palm oil standards and systems for China and/or the localisation of RSPO’s global standards.

9. Apart from the duties stated above, to perform any duty or duties reasonably assigned.

The successful applicant 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/Management, Business Management, Sustainability, or related majors
  • 12-15 years working experience, including experience in handling stakeholder engagement, market/business development preferably at a national or global level
  • Experience and interest in internal and external communications, consensus building, negotiations, partnership development, strategy development and policy design

Technical & professional knowledge 

  • Strong entrepreneurial outlook and business acumen with the ability to synthesise key themes and deliverables from objectives and strategies defined by senior management and the Leadership Team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication in English and Chinese languages, negotiation, cross-team project management, and consensus-building.
  • Highly resourceful team player with the ability to be effective independently and manage a regional team.
  • Emotional maturity, patience, curiosity, and a sustained willingness to change one’s mind.
  • Proven ability to handle confidential information with discretion, be adaptable to various competing demands, and demonstrate the highest level of service and response.
  • Market/Business Development and stakeholder engagement skills to identify and engage with relevant organisations - recruit and convert
  • Ability to work independently, with a lateral mind that can recognise opportunities
  • Advanced analytical, commercial, negotiation, conflict management and crisis management skills
  • A strong communicator, with strong influencing skills
  • Agile and iterative approach to developing business opportunities
  • Proficiency in MS Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)

What’s on offer 

Your commitment and passion to drive innovation will be rewarded with an opportunity to work in an international multi-stakeholder organisation, where making a difference to People, Planet and Prosperity is not just a statement, but what we passionately believe in.

Operating within a dynamic and fast-paced environment, you will enjoy functioning within a role that offers the opportunity to broaden your skill set and develop your capabilities.

How to apply 

Qualified applicants are invited to send in their updated CV giving comprehensive details of educational background, work experience, and related achievements to

**RSPO is an equal opportunity employer. Due to the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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