Strategy Development – Pacific Coconut Market

Solomon Islands
Apply by 3 June 2018
Senior-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 4 April 2018

Job Description

Strategy Development – Pacific Coconut Market

An assignment for Strongim Bisnis, a program supported by the Australian Government in Solomon Islands.

Duration: 17.5 days

Specialist Inputs: One consultant sought

ARF rate: Up to C4

Background to the Strongim Bisnis program

Strongim Bisnis is an AUD14 million, three-year market systems development (MSD) program funded by the Australian Government in Solomon Islands, working under the umbrella of the Solomon Islands Growth Program (SIGP). Its goal is to stimulate growth in specific sectors (initially tourism, cocoa and coconut) through activities that catalyse business innovation, change practices, strengthen collaboration, manage risks, build resilience and increase women’s participation and empowerment. It commenced in July 2017.

The program has three end-of-program outcomes (EOPOs) to June 2020:

  1. Business is demonstrating potential for increased productivity, greater resilience, better risk management, more income earning opportunities and access to high value markets, measured by higher agricultural yields, more efficient use of assets and labour, and new business models that favour employment, incomes or trade.
  2. The private sector and government work together to increase opportunities for trade and investment, and form external partnerships that accelerate business growth, measured by a more favourable investment climate and external partnerships that accelerate changing business practice.
  3. Women and youth have increased economic opportunity, measured by women’s and youth participation in the above outcomes, and specific measures for women’s and youth economic empowerment.
Background to this Assignment

The coconut industry is at a crucial crossroads. Traditionally the industry has relied on the production and export of copra. The price of copra and cost of production/transport are making it a less viable option to drive industry growth over the long term. Many in the industry are increasingly focused on product diversification and value-addition; however, without sufficient information upon which to make investment decisions and appropriate support and expertise to capitalise on opportunities for value-addition; innovation and the potential for diversification will be stunted.

Our partner, a local coconut processor, has an established supply chain and steady bulk exports of organic virgin coconut oil (VCO). The company aims to provide sustainable livelihoods for our rural communities, through the production of high quality virgin coconut oil and by products. The company VCO is produced by a network of more than 50 village producers across the Solomon Islands. Typically, a family owns and runs the oil making machinery, which uses the cold-pressed direct micro expelling (DME) method. The family buys coconuts from farmers surrounding the village. The company sources from over 3500 ha of registered certified organic plantations owned by more than 1000 farmers across the country. More than 60% of oil revenue goes back to communities providing an income to over 5000 people. All oil is Quality tested and must meet strict standards. However, the increased world supply of bulk virgin coconut oil, means that the company has not been able to increase its prices paid to community-based DME production units for a number of years.

The company produces value-added coconut products, such as scented body oils and soaps in the domestic market but has limited exports of those products. The company has a strong vision to expand its market both within the pacific region and internationally, including expanding its product offer to cocoa, coffee, and other potential export products. The company’s products can compete in export markets, initially regional markets and European or Asian markets, but they first need to develop a strategy to identify the most appropriate markets and understand the requirements and standards of these markets in terms of marketing – specifically packaging, branding and advertising.

To address this need, Strongim Bisnis is seeking a qualified consultant to support the company, a key player in the Solomon Islands coconut sector, in the development of its expansion strategy.

Objective of the Assignment

The objective of this consultancy is to work closely with the company to analyse the Fiji, Taiwan, South Korea and Hawaiian markets for potential expansion/export destinations for the company products and to identify potential distributors. The strategy will be devised using market analytics and trends and will need to take into consideration the company’s capacity and vision.

Scope of Work

The consultant will undertake the following:

  1. Review and analyse key documents related to the company and the coconut sector
  2. Familiarize themselves with the company business model, opportunities and limitations through virtual consultation with the company’s Managing Director, and/or other company staff.
  3. Analyse market potential for current/potential coconut products from the company in Fiji, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hawaii, including:
    1. industry trends in these markets
    2. existing products/competitors’ prices and strategies (including pictures of products from retail outlets in each country).
  4. For each country identify potential distributors (contact them for input into the strategy) and create a list with contact information and detailing their interest in current/potential coconut products.
  5. Develop recommendations for the company taking into consideration the constraints of Solomon Islands’ operating environment (e.g. high operational costs, high transport costs, geographic remoteness, access to finance constraints, human resource constraints, IT constraints) and taking into consideration the company’s social operating model and vision.
  6. Which markets the company should aim for, including roll-out sequence and necessary prerequisites (i.e. certifications, licenses, etc)?
  7. For each country, what products should the company promote?
  8. For each country, what consumer segments should the company focus on and what does that imply for the marketing/sales strategy (i.e. packaging, unit volumes, pricing, distribution channels, promotion channels, messaging).
  9. For each country, what are relevant regulations, duties, airfreight costs, logistics, etc?
  10. The strategy should be documented in MSWord, Excel, as well as a summary PPT presentation.
Deliverables and schedule

The assignment will commence in April 2018 and require 17.5 days of inputs by the consultant. The assignment should be completed in May 2018. Deliverables dates will be finalised upon contract signing. All deliverables must be approved by project team.

Tasks

Consultant

Timeframe and deliverables

1. Review and analyse key documents related to the company and the coconut sector

Up to 2 days

2. Familiarise with company business model

Up to 0.5 days

Submit strategy document draft outline and methodology

3. Analyse market potential for current/potential coconut products from the company in Fiji, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hawaii.

Up to 10 days

Submit draft strategy highlights

4. Develop recommendations

Up to 5 days

Submit draft strategy document (MSWord) including recommendations.

Submit final strategy document including recommendations (MSWord/Excel and PPT summary).

Maximum days

17.5 days

Skills and experience required

The consultant should have:

  1. A university degree in the following or relevant field of study: business management, economics, agriculture; MBA preferred.
  2. Demonstrated experience in working with businesses in the Pacific Island countries on business strategy; coconut sector preferred.
  3. Proven understanding of private sector development, political and economic institutions, and, particularly the coconut market systems and/or supporting sectors in the Pacific Islands; Solomon Islands preferred.

About the Organization

Adam Smith International Limited (ASIL) has built upon the original ideas of Adam Smith as these apply to policy and practice in modern economic development and government reform. The practical policy reforms advanced by ASIL to promote the benefits of competition and individual liberty have been central to the social and economic success of many societies and their governments throughout the world. ASIL's philosophy stems from a group of core values, which we have applied to the problems of developing and transitional countries all over the world. These values focus on fostering: - Competitive markets - Honest government - Individual liberties ASIL's consulting and training divisions, informed by these values, have helped many governments to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of their people. ASIL's areas of advisory, consultancy and training work include: - Enterprise restructuring and corporate governance - Public administration and governance reform - Utility restructuring and regulation - Infrastructure privatisation policy and execution - Trade reform - Conflict resolution and negotiations support Our focus is on the provision of cutting edge economic and governance thinking underpinned by practical support for ministers, officials, managers and citizens at all levels. We work with governments, enterprises and aid agencies on a short or long term project basis, or through tailor-made training programmes.

More information

TOR coconut strategy 190318.pdf

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