Cardno is seeking a market research consultant to improve the marketing and export potential of essential oils from Bosnia & Herzegovina.
**Please submit your application and CV to email@example.com to apply for this position**
USAID/Sweden FARMA II - Description of Project
USAID and the Government of Sweden have awarded Cardno Emerging Markets USA a five-year contract for implementation of the Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity II (FARMA II) project in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH). The purpose of the FARMA II Project is to create agricultural and agribusiness economic opportunities for BiH farmers and entrepreneurs. FARMA II will achieve this by assisting agricultural producer organizations to adopt European Union (EU) and international agricultural and food standards and new production techniques, produce new high value products and expand their access to foreign and domestic markets.
One of the sub-sectors supported by USAID/Sweden FARMA II project is the medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP) sector, which is experiencing a real and significant expansion. The key export products in this sector include essential oils, dried wild mushrooms, dried herbs, frozen forest fruit and natural cosmetics.
About 30 wild and 15 cultivated herbs are harvested in BiH in significant quantities. Most of essential oils exporters hold organic certificates, including NOP for US market. The most exported BiH essential oil is immortelle (Helichrysum italicum), followed by sage (Salvia officinalis), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and various other plants.
Companies from BiH participated in numerous world trade fairs such as BIOFACH (Germany), Natural Products Scandinavia (Sweden), World Food (Moscow and Istanbul), where they established contacts with international companies. However, the US market is still quite unknown for most BiH companies.
USAID/Sweden FARMA II and the BiH Foreign Trade Chamber will support five BiH exporters to exhibit at the Natural Products Expo East / BIOFACH America trade fair in September 12-14, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to five exhibitors, four additional representatives from non-exhibiting BiH companies will visit this fair. BIOFACH America is one of the largest MAP international trade fairs for Organic Products and attracts buyers from USA, Canada and all over the world, while featuring over 1,400 exhibitors. This will be the first time that BiH has its national stand at the fair in the United States. In order to get the most benefit out of this large trade fair it is necessary to engage the consultant with the task to train BiH companies on US trade and market potentials and assist them in making B2B linkages with the potential distributors.
Purpose of the assignment
The objective of this assignment is to improve the marketing of BiH essential oils and increase the exports of essential oils from BiH to the world markets. This activity should help the BiH exporters to improve their understanding of the US market for essential oils, key market segments and distributors / importers; establish contacts with the relevant exhibitors / visitors at the fair; and improve their marketing practices, resulting in higher exports.
- The consultant will conduct a market research and provide an overview of the US essential oils, hydrolates and dry cut herbs market to BiH companies. Specific attention should be given to immortelle essential oil and hydrolates, dried chamomile, melissa and sage oils, with additional information on other products relevant to BiH companies (the consultant will be briefed prior to the research). The research will start with the identification of key distributors and importers of essential oils, their classification into relative groups (natural cosmetics, perfume industry, detergents industry, food ingredients, drug manufacturers / pharmacies, other). It will also include market requirements, procedures, laboratory analysis requirements, packaging and labeling, import potentials, standards and certification requirements;
- Following the broader research, the consultant should analyze the list of exhibitors at the Baltimore trade fair (prior to the fair), provide information on the most relevant competitors and identify potential partners/distributors. The fair website has the necessary information on the exhibitors.
- Based on profiles of BiH companies that will exhibit/visit the trade fair, the consultant is expected to identify the potential buyers/distributors, schedule and facilitate B2B meetings during the trade fair;
- After the trade fair, the consultant will visit BiH to meet the selected MAP exporters, examine their marketing practices and recommend improvements. The consultant will also deliver one training to BiH exporters on US market requirements; FARMA II will make a selection of companies, coordinate these meetings and support the organization of training with the relevant exporters.
- Upon the return to the US and based on the better knowledge of BiH exporters and their products, the consultant will provide additional contacts of potential buyers in the US and/or other countries.
- A detailed report on the US imports / distribution of essential oils, hydrolates and cut herbs relevant to BiH companies should be submitted to FARMA II in MS Word by September 1, 2019. The report should include the description of the key market segments, key importers/distributors in each segment, key importing requirements, together with other details as described above.
- A brief report on the analysis of the exhibitors at the Baltimore fair, with information about key competitors and identification of relevant importers/distributors should also be submitted by September 1, 2019. It is expected that at least 10 relevant competitors and 20 potential buyers/distributors will be identified. The report should include their brief description, info about their key products and their contact details.
- Organize / facilitate at least 20 B2B meetings during the trade fair. Have at least one B2B meeting organized for each of the exhibitors / visitors.
- During the visit to BiH, conduct the training for at least 20 MAP producers on the US market potentials and requirements; visit up to 10 MAP producers/processors with the potential for export to the US, examine their marketing practices and provide recommendations for improvements.
- It is expected that at least 3 companies will find new buyers based on consultant’s assistance and recommendations.
Timing and Level of Effort
Total LOE is estimated at up to 25 days. Roughly, this will include: 3-5 days for US market research and research of the exhibitors prior to the trade fair, 3 days at the fair to facilitate B2B contacts and advise the BiH companies in their approach, 10 days for the visit to BiH (including one day training and 3-5 days for visits to BH companies), 2 days to facilitate contacts in the US upon the return to the US, 1 day for reporting, 2 days for travel in the US and 2 days for international travel.
The information about BiH companies and more details about the BiH MAP sector and relevant products will be provided to the consultant immediately after signing of the contract.
Qualifications and skills
- Senior expert with relevant practical experience in market analysis and product marketing;
- Excellent knowledge of the MAPs industry (market) in the US;
- Excellent understanding of trade shows;
- Excellent business facilitation skills;
- Excellent analytical and presentation skills;
The candidates should also submit sample of previous related work (a report or study). We encourage qualifying candidates to send a Cover Letter including three References (of relevance to the related work) and CV.
The closing date for the receipt of applications is July 26, 2019.
Cardno Emerging Markets USA, Ltd is an equal opportunity employer. All information received will be treated with confidentiality. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.