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

Proforest is looking for someone to manage the Palm Oil Independent Smallholders’ Improvement Project in Johor.

About the role

Proforest is seeking a motivated, organised, and experienced professional to manage 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) in its supply base. The company wish to bring all suppliers 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. 

The Independent Smallholder Improvement Project

Proforest Malaysia is working with a major consumer goods company, with support from the SHARP partnership 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 model for replication and scale up to systematically engage with the rest of the ISHFs across the entire supply base of the consumer goods company. 

About the role

The project’s Field Coordinator will be responsible for planning and delivering project activities in the pilot project field site on behalf of Proforest Malaysia, under the supervision of the Programme Manager. 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 Field Coordinator will be expected to contribute directly on training and capacity building and 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 a vital part of this role. 


Key responsibilities

  • Working with colleagues from the Proforest Malaysia team on: 

- Detailed planning for field implementation of the project
- Development and collation of requisite training materials

  • Supervise the Assistant Field Coordinator in the key tasks assigned to him and in ensuring good teamwork in achieving the project’s goals and objectives. 
  • With support from Programme Manager and the Assistant Field Coordinator, conduct the following activities: 

- Awareness raising on the project concept, core issues of sustainability, the responsible sourcing guidelines of the consumer goods company, relevant tools for smallholders and RSPO P&Cs
- Coordinate a training programme on implementation of the above-mentioned concepts and issues
- Facilitate the formation and institutional development of smallholder groups for achieving more responsible palm oil production
- Facilitate experiential learning and experience exchange between dealers

  • Technical support and mentoring for the traders on: 

- Systematic field level risk assessment of core sustainability issues in ISHF supply base
- Setting 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

- Implementation of relevant tools for smallholders related to responsible palm oil production
- Assessment of smallholder livelihood support needs related to improved production
- Development of action plans to address needs for livelihood support and risk mitigation
- Implementation of risk mitigation and livelihood support action plans in project area
- Preparation for RSPO and/or MSPO certification

  • Testing provisional arrangements for engagement of MPOB extension agents into the process of delivering support on improved production practices 
  • Contribute to analysis and refinement of provisional model for group management and internal control systems, to inform plans for scale up (to be led by Proforest Malaysia and the SHARP Secretariat) 
  • Field coordination of monitoring and internal audit

Other Competencies - Essential Qualifications, Experience and Skills 


  • Bachelor’s degree, or otherwise a technical qualification and at least five years of working experience in relevant subject area 
  • Familiarity with the palm oil sector and issues related to its production 
  • Practical experience of working with local communities 
  • Proven ability to build constructive working relationships with stakeholders across private, NGO, and government sectors 
  • A clear understanding of environmental and social sustainability issues affecting the agricultural commodities sector 
  • Strong leadership and project management skills (including excellent time-management, problem solving and organisational abilities) 
  • Well-developed 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, preferably with 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.

Contract Type

Duration: 11 months (1 July 2017 to 30 May 2018)


Location: Johor State, Malaysia

Salary and other benefits 

Salary range: RM5500.00 per month

Proforest supports the development of their employees by investing in appropriate training activities.

To apply

Send your CV along with a cover letter (one page) that describes how you meet the requirements for this position to

Application Deadline: 11th June 2017

Proforest is an equal opportunity employer.


Location: Johor, Malaysia
Deadline: 11 June 2017
Download: the job description
To apply:  send your CV and a cover letter