Location London
Job-type Permanent
Salary £Competitive
Reference 17555

Acre is partnering with The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), an international development organisation working to alleviate hunger and food insecurity by developing, uniting, and accelerating the food bank model around the world.

The food bank model is based on the recovery and redistribution of surplus, wholesome food to improve food access and food security, thereby reducing food loss and waste. Founded in 2006, GFN now connects food banks in 44 countries, primarily in emerging and developing market economies, and provides vital assistance to 40+ million people experiencing food insecurity. The organisation is operating under a ten-year vision to improve food access for 50 million people facing hunger by 2030.

GFN's work is aligned with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG Target 12.3 (Halve Global Per Capita Food Waste). The organisation is attentive to the socio-economic, cultural and food security realities unique to each community served by member food banks and guide global resources and support for local action and impact. Since 2019, GFN has made significant investment to broaden the capability and scale of member food banks, better enabling their efforts to recover more food and leading to the distribution of more than 882 million kilos of food and grocery product for hunger relief in 2020.

Our aim in future years is to accomplish even more. A third of all food produced is lost or wasted, leading to substantial resource and environmental degradation, whilst more than 2 billion people worldwide are food insecure. Food banks can help address this need. GFN supports food banks to provide even greater food access for vulnerable populations, increasing the amount of food distributed to those in need and strengthening the resilience of their communities and the food systems they rely upon.

GFN is working with Acre to appoint an outstanding and visionary individual to lead the Food Systems Partnerships team, a group of experienced and skilled global staff based in Colombia, Singapore, and the United States. This position fosters multinational partnerships that generate greater food recovery to mitigate food loss and waste (FLW), increased product donation from varied segments of the value chain across the food system, builds alliances with multi-stakeholder organisations in the broader dialogue on FLW, and devises strategies for significantly increasing the amount of nutritious and culturally appropriate food being distributed by GFN network food banks.

The Senior Director will be the principal strategist and thought partner primarily responsible for the organisation achieving the food recovery, food distribution, and nutritional diversity targets set forth by GFN's Board of Directors through the strategic plan and GFN's executive management team.

In this role, you will:

  • Serve as a partner to the CEO and executive leadership team, leading and informing the organisation on overall strategies to achieve transformational breakthroughs in food recovery and donations, from excess capacity across supply chain segments at a network-wide level

  • Coordinate the development of strategies to engage multinational companies (MNCs) in the work of GFN food banks with the purpose of increasing preferred product donations, working in close coordination with the development team

  • Develop, implement and collaborate on the organisation's Food Loss and Waste (FLW) thought leadership agenda; coordinate FLW-related projects with project leads

  • Develop and coordinate strategies to increase donated food volume, with an emphasis on nutritional diversity and cultural appropriateness of foods distributed by GFN member food banks

  • Cultivate and leverage the interests of multinational partners in a way that prioritises and serves food banking organisations' goals and interests

  • Collaboratively create food-systems, food-recovery and food-donation knowledge-sharing internally to GFN, through GFN knowledge management activities, and to key food banking partners

Essential responsibilities include:

  • Maintain a high level of understanding of GFN and - through data and analysis - devise strategies that lead to transformational breakthroughs in the volume and diversity of product flowing through the GFN members, especially in regions of organisational focus. Serve as the expert on all matters related to food systems and food systems actors, food recovery and food distribution at a network level (including regional and global trends related to supply chain segments), opportunities for greater recovery, and nutritional mix/product diversity

  • Forge and maintain strong and creative relationships with MNCs that generate increased product donation of desired foods, essential grocery items and, secondarily, valuable in-kind and human capital resources in markets of focus, in close collaboration with the development team. This includes crafting a global case for product donation, developing target lists, interfacing with potential donors, crafting creative partnerships, and stewarding partners

  • In partnership with the data team, collect and analyse information on donation volumes, food categories, and segments from which sourcing is occurring. Share analyses in a way that supports decision-making and where appropriate, back to donors and food bank staff

  • Lead GFN's Food Loss and Waste (FLW) mitigation thinking and actions with a focus on food recovery. This includes aiding in the strategic vision and determination of objectives of GFN, member activities, and recruitment of multinational partnerships within the framework of SDGs 2 and 12.3, Board objectives, and the role of food banks in food system resilience

  • In partnership with GFN field teams, develop and manage technical assistance, training, and knowledge sharing that can be used network-wide

  • Manage a global team of four spanning 13 time zones. Develop and maintain an annual Food Systems Partnership function budgets and work plans, and support quarterly reporting to the Board of Directors on KPIs related to food recovery and product sourcing

  • Work to collaborate with the development team in achieving GFN fundraising goals, including ensuring all opportunities for corporate engagement from funding partners are fulfilled with excellence

Unique attributes of working with GFN

GFN is in a growth phase, having expanded its membership by nearly 50%, more than doubling its service delivery and increasing food distribution by more than 100% in just three years. The organisation is looking for entrepreneurial leaders, that are firmly committed to respecting and embracing a diverse and locally driven network of community leaders.

The issues this portfolio includes are changing rapidly, and it is vital this leader be able to adapt their approach and strategies in an evolving landscape, be skilled at representing GFN and have the opportunity to achieve SDGs 12.3 and 2 well to external audiences on a global platform, and build GFN's relationships with multinational corporations.

Internally, GFN is supporting food recovery organisations through its field team. This leader must be a positive internal collaborator and an excellent people manager. The GFN work environment is remote, and the candidate must be comfortable and effective working full-time in a virtual setting.

To be successful in this role, you may have the following background:

  • At least ten years of prior experience working in the food and agricultural space with MNCs, which should include work in an emerging or developing market context. Food banking experience or experience working in food recovery preferred

  • Demonstrated experience in forging strong relationships that generate product donations with actors in the food system, preferably with FMCG or retail grocery players. Experience serving as the relationship lead on high-profile, global partnerships with MNCs

  • An understanding of global dialogues and global organisations on food loss and waste, including familiarity with the intersection of the issues with broader food security and environmental conversations.

  • Previous experience crafting innovative relationships that drive tangible impact, such as financial or in-kind support through multi-stakeholder partners - such as global NGOs, UN actors, or regional and global convening platforms.

  • Experience managing diverse teams in service to a diverse client base. The ideal candidate will have worked in emerging and developing markets. Skilled in cross-cultural communications

  • Strong data analytics capability, especially using data to steward partnerships and inform decision-making.

  • An effective and service-minded people manager. Proven ability to translate big-picture vision into specific strategies and manage outcomes. Demonstrated success in building effective working relationships with peers in flat and remote organisational structures

  • Commitment to the mission of nourishing the world's hungry through uniting and advancing food banks

  • A willingness to conduct the position on a global stage, including managing a team and interacting with partners based in a variety of time zones. 25% travel expected. Please note The Global FoodBanking Network requires the COVID-19 vaccine for all positions involving travel.

If you are keen to work at the forefront of tackling food loss and global food security in a role where you will have an impact on the continued growth and success of the organisation, please apply today or contact Tom Townsend at tom.townsend@acre.com