Independent Contractor - Certification Advisory Expert

Root Capital

Root Capital

Posted on Sunday, June 9, 2024

This is a call for applications for independent contracting on a periodic basis. This is not a call for an open position of employment with Root Capital.

Organizational Background

Agriculture is the key to unlocking a better future for billions of people. But while rural families sustain the world, they struggle to sustain themselves. Root Capital is a nonprofit social impact investor that puts its money where others don't – in underserved agricultural businesses.

We provide financing and business training to agricultural enterprises in the "missing middle" - those that are too big for microloans but too small for commercial lenders. As these agricultural businesses succeed and scale, they become engines of impact that help farming families, communities, and economies to flourish.

Founded in 1999, we are the largest social investor in agricultural businesses. As both a lender and a nonprofit, our unique model allows us to go where other financiers don’t and support agricultural enterprises so they can succeed and grow. Our world-class team of experts identifies, partners with, and invests in exceptional agricultural entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Over 23 years, Root Capital has invested $1.9 billion in more than 750 agricultural enterprises, proving these under-served businesses are bankable and investable. We have shown that access to finance helps these enterprises succeed and fuels the economy. Root Capital’s investments and essential business and finance training have impacted 10 million farming families through job creation, financial security, and climate resiliency. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we currently have offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Ghana, and Kenya.

Proud winner of the 2024 SCA Sustainability Award for Non-Profits. Learn more here.

Position Overview

The Certification Advisory Expert is responsible for enhancing the ability of Root Capital’s clients, coffee cooperatives in Aceh, to manage and improve their certification processes across various standards and regulations, including but not limited to the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, and European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). This role involves using standardized assessment tools to evaluate cooperative practices, identify gaps, and provide strategic recommendations and training to cooperative staff to ensure certification readiness and compliance.

Main Consultancy Deliverables

In close coordination with the Head of Advisory, Indonesia perform the following:

Certification Gap Analysis:

  • Conduct assessments of cooperatives using standardized tools to evaluate current client certification practices against a range of global standards.
  • Identify gaps and lead the creation of action plans to enhance cooperative compliance and performance across various certifications.

Serve as Internal expert on certification

  • Maintain continuous engagement with multiple certification bodies to ensure understanding of existing and updated standards.
  • Provide expertise to Root Capital’s Advisory and Lending teams concerning certification standards and their application in Aceh.
  • Collaborate closely with other consultants in Advisory Services to design action plans (e.g., within agronomic and climate resilience advisory, digital business intelligence, gender equity advisory, business management advisory) that holistically address relevant certification needs and requirements. Provide input and feedback on specific training curriculum as relevant.

Strategic Advisory:

  • Develop and implement tailored training and improvement programs that fall outside the scope of Root Capital’s existing services, as needed, based on assessment findings.
  • Guide clients through the certification process and process for implementing required improvements for multiple standards, ensuring alignment with international sustainability and compliance requirements.
  • Provide training and coaching to talent partners around their scopes of work and responsibilities within client organizations.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Agriculture, Agribusiness, or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in environmental certification or a closely related advisory role, with a strong focus on multiple certification standards.
  • Extensive and up-to-date knowledge of agricultural certification standards and sustainability regulations and their implications for coffee businesses.
  • Basic knowledge of coffee agronomy. Proven expertise in training design with participatory methodologies and adult education principles and techniques for rural populations.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
  • Excellent networking skills with local stakeholders
  • Familiarity with social issues
  • Professional fluency in Bahasa and English required. Knowledge of Gayo is a plus.

Desired Skills

  • Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, capable of effectively engaging with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Proficiency in digital data management tools for tracking and reporting.

Working Conditions

  • Office and field-based role with significant travel to agricultural sites across Indonesia and potentially other Southeast Asian countries.
  • Must be able to work flexibly to accommodate different time zones and client schedules.

Application Instructions

  • If interested in the role, please submit a curriculum vitae/resume and compelling cover letter to
  • The subject of your email should follow this convention: “CA – Applicant Location – Applicant First Name and Last Name” (e.g., CA – Jakarta – Susi Susanti).
  • Inquiries that do not follow this convention will not be reviewed.
  • The cover letter should explain why you are a good fit for Root Capital, your experience with Agri-small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and your expertise in certification.

Root Capital offers equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees, consultants and/or collaborative opportunity applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military status or veteran, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (including pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, identity gender, gender expression, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that respects our leadership principles: empowerment, equity, integrity, service and transparency.