Calls for expressions of interest
Support to the COLEAD team for the implementation and monitoring of COLEAD programme activities in Ghana
Post date: 07/03/2023
Please complete the application form below:
Support to the COLEAD team for the implementation and monitoring of COLEAD programme activities in Ghana.
The required interventions will necessitate travel within the country/region for which the service provider is responsible, to other ACP countries and possibly to COLEAD offices (Brussels, Rungis, Nairobi, etc).
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Internet address of the contracting authority:
The publication of this Contract Notice launches the first phase of the procedure and is intended to allow candidates to express their interest in bidding. An initial evaluation based on an analysis of the expressions of interest will result in the establishment of a shortlist of candidates deemed suitable to submit tenders.
Stages of the procedure:
The service providers selected following the consultation will be offered a simple framework contract, specifying a maximum daily remuneration rate per proposed expert. This rate of remuneration may differ from the financial proposal made by the tenderer.
In general, the services of the successful tenderer may start from the day of the signature of the framework contract. The interventions of the successful tenderers may extend until the full consumption of the budget allocated.
COLEAD is a non-profit interprofessional association created in 1973. Its purpose is to facilitate and implement all actions allowing, directly and/or indirectly, to increase the contribution of the agricultural sector, and horticulture in particular, to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
From an operational perspective, COLEAD is organised into several departments corresponding to COLEAD’s internal areas of expertise: Technical Assistance, Training, Research and Innovation Brokerage, Market Insights, Information and Communication, Regulation and Standards, Access to Finance, and Networking and Alliances.
Policy context and regulatory developments
The international operational and regulatory environment has undergone a series of major changes over the past two years. The European Commission (EC) is currently assessing a new medium-term direction for EU trade policy in response to a variety of new global challenges and taking into account the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. EU trade policy has established global, regional and bilateral agreements with many partner countries and regions. Trade between the EU and OACPS member countries has historically been important in many sectors, including agri-food. This trade has created millions of jobs on both sides, generating growth and income for value chain actors, with a direct impact on smallholders, women and youth (as agents of change). The EU’s future trade strategy aims to ensure that the EU remains open to trade and investment while being able to adapt to growing geopolitical, economic, social and environmental challenges. In normal times, and even more so in the post-Covid-19 context, the challenge for the EU and OACPS member countries is to stimulate job creation, generate sustainable growth and investment.
In addition to the disruptions associated with COVID-19, new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) compliance challenges continue to face the horticultural industry in OACPS member countries, in particular, (i) the tightening of EU phytosanitary rules (i.e. the new EU Regulation 2016/2031), which imposes increased requirements on inspection services and National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) in ACP States and (ii) developments under Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, which governs the placing on the market of plant protection products (PPPs). The revision process of 1107/2009 is leading to the effective loss of PPPs, affecting the viability and competitiveness of some ACP exports, while exacerbating phytosanitary problems and leading to non-compliance with EU maximum residue limits (EU 396/2005). Finally, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/625 of 6 May 2020 amended Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 on the temporary reinforcement of official controls and emergency measures governing the entry into the Union of certain goods from certain third countries.
Capacity building in the area of SPS measures and market requirements also contributes to private sector development objectives, as outlined in the Joint ACP-EU Cooperation Framework for Private Sector Development (PSD).
Business standards, demanded by global buyers, are also changing. Previously, the focus was on food safety, then social responsibility, due to regulatory changes in key markets and the need to manage reputational risk in the face of growing consumer awareness and concern. Today, standards are expanding to address the environment and sustainable production in a much more comprehensive way. In addition, global buyers and standards bodies have imposed additional measures and requirements along supply chains in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, COVID-19-related requirements were added to audits for food safety risk assessments, health and safety measures, accident and emergency procedures, and subcontractor and visitor policies. The pandemic has also created new challenges for social requirements and audits. Additional requirements in social audits cover (for example) contracts, wages, child labour, hours of work and access to grievance mechanisms to deal with specific issues related to COVID-19.
These trends require producers, exporters and public sector quality and regulatory infrastructure institutions in OACPS member countries to be increasingly flexible and dynamic in responding to what is a very diverse market, meeting SPS challenges in a cost-effective manner and raising quality standards, among other adaptations.
SPS requirements and market demands can be seen as both a constraint and an opportunity, as they contribute to modernising agricultural processes and increasing international and intra/interregional trade, while ensuring food security in domestic markets. But the lack of intra/interregional harmonisation of SPS standards creates constraints to intra/interregional trade, increasing transaction costs and affecting the competitiveness of products of regional origin. Food insecurity is also increasingly attributed to the inability to transport food from surplus to deficit areas, as the pandemic has shown.
In parallel, the EU published in June 2018 a new Organic Regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products. This was to apply from January 2021, but following a request from stakeholders to take into account the overly complex situation resulting from the COVID-19 situation, the implementation of this new regulation has been postponed to January 2022. The draft Commission Implementing Regulation laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council on controls and other measures ensuring traceability and compliance in organic production is still under discussion.
Organic production and trade essentially comply with a number of principles set out in the EU’s Farm to Table strategy. The EC is expected to propose a policy framework supporting sustainable food systems by the end of 2023. This policy framework should integrate sustainability into all food-related policies while addressing the responsibilities of all actors in the food system. Combined with certification and labelling of the sustainability performance of food products and targeted incentives, the framework will enable operators to benefit from sustainable practices and gradually raise sustainability standards to become the norm for all food products placed on the EU market.
Last but not least, the UK’s exit from the EU customs union and single market will also significantly change the trade dynamics between the EU27/UK/OACPS member countries in the coming months and years. In 2019, OACPS member countries exported £640 million of fruit, £162 million of vegetables and £77 million of cut flowers directly to the UK market, with a further large triangular trade in fruit, vegetables and cut flowers indirectly serving the UK market via initial landing points in EU27 Member States (estimated at over £500 million additional), which is particularly important for small-scale exporters of short shelf-life horticultural products.
The horticultural exporters from OACPS member countries most severely affected are likely to be Commonwealth countries, given their close trading links with the UK market. Indeed, many African and Caribbean Commonwealth fruit, vegetable and cut flower exporting countries are overly dependent on the UK market in their current trading relationship with the EU28. This makes them particularly vulnerable to sudden changes in UK tariffs and border clearance arrangements. The future relationship between the EU and the UK should be as close and frictionless as possible in order to preserve well-established trade routes and minimise trade disruption that could adversely affect UK, EU and ACP operators.
Support to private and public sector agri-food operators in OACPS member countries to improve the business environment and exploit opportunities in national, regional and international markets is more critical than ever due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes continuous capacity building of MSMEs, farmers’ groups and organisations, business members’ organisations, service providers, relevant authorities, research centres, training institutes, civil society actors and more, and improving product quality and standardisation to facilitate access to national, regional and international markets.
FFM Plus programme
Fit For Market Plus: Mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the sustainability of the ACP horticultural sector
In November 2021, the EC and COLEAD signed a five-year grant contract, “Fit For Market Plus: Mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the sustainability of the ACP horticultural sector”, with a total budget of EUR 25 million financed by the 11th EDF.
FFM+ is part of the intra-ACP cooperation programme between the EU and the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly ACP Group of States. It is part of European support for medium- and long-term policies aimed at strengthening productive capacities, stimulating innovation, and improving the sustainability and competitiveness of the ACP private sector.
The overall objective of FFM+ is to contribute to poverty reduction and improved food security and nutrition, by supporting the building of a fairer, safer and sustainable agri-food sector in member countries of the OACPS. Despite a disruptive landscape, the first specific objective is to support smallholders, farmer groups and MSMEs to maintain and improve access to national, regional, and international horticultural markets while adapting to changes in the operating environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, in a context of accelerated changes and paradigm shift, the second specific objective is to enable smallholders, farmer groups and MSMEs of the horticultural sector to seize new market opportunities through the development and adoption of safe and sustainable practices, skills and technologies.
In the continuity of the previous programmes, the intervention logic of FFM+is based on the expression of requests from ACP enterprises or producer groups, but also from intermediary support structures – be they public or private – that are actively involved in the process of compliance of the ACP sectors concerned (service providers, professional organisations, training centres, competent authorities, research institutes, etc.). It also adopts the following modalities and principles of action that have contributed to previous COLEAD programmes success:
Other programmes managed and implemented by COLEAD (at the time of launching this contract)
As part of the diversification of its funding sources, COLEAD is implementing other national or multinational programmes funded by different donors. Thus, in addition to the FFM Plus programme, COLEAD is also currently involved in the implementation of several technical assistance programmes/projects in line with the association’s mission:
The list of other programmes/projects is not exhaustive. Indeed, COLEAD is involved in the implementation of several national and regional technical assistance programmes/projects, in partnership with donors working towards inclusive and sustainable agri-food production and trade. Please refer to the COLEAD website to learn more about its interventions.
Problems to be solved – contract justification
COLEAD programmes are demand-driven: partner-beneficiaries have to take the initiative to write requests and once their development projects are validated, invest themselves in the implementation of the actions identified.
However, COLEAD’s past experience has shown that some operators, need close support to:
Moreover, the use of national relays makes it possible to complete the local anchoring of COLEAD which already exists through the Nairobi and Cotonou/Lomé offices.
In addition, in order to respond appropriately to the needs of the agri-food sector, key information such as needs, challenges, evolution of the sector, etc. must be captured continuously at the national level.
This is why it is necessary for the COLEAD team to be supported by “National Facilitators” in the beneficiary countries for the implementation of the programmes, especially for those targeting interventions with more complex structures such as public services or in countries with more complex environments due to, for example, particular political situations or poor communication means.
Type of contract
The successful tenderer will be offered a simple framework contract.
Overall objective of the contract
The objective of this tender is to facilitate information to partners, the signing of development projects, effective implementation, smooth running and monitoring of the activities of the COLEAD programmes, and more specifically of the FFM+ programme, in the beneficiary country/region for which this service contract has been issued.
The services provided by the contractor will contribute to :
Within the framework of their mission, the service provider undertakes to defend the interests of COLEAD and never to harm it, the interest of partners-beneficiaries in the country and the donors of the programmes associated with this mission. All materials produced in the framework of the assignments under the framework contract shall belong to COLEAD.
Description of the interventions
The services to be provided under this call for tenders will cover one or more of the following activities:
This activity aims to facilitate relations with stakeholders involved in strengthening the competitiveness of their respective fruit and vegetable sectors, and more particularly those responsible for setting up sanitary and phytosanitary safety systems within the beneficiary countries. The service provider must have a good knowledge of the key interlocutors, their respective positions within their institutions and have privileged access to these persons. The service provider should be able to intervene with stakeholders to achieve the set objectives, speed up decision-making (such as the signing of a framework agreement), collect any complaints and pass them on to the COLEAD team, etc.
In general, the level of responsibility of the stakeholders targeted in this activity will be high: for example, the Secretary General of a ministry or even the Minister or a member of their cabinet, a Director of a department of a ministry, the President or Director of a professional organisation, the head of a public/private platform, etc:
Sectoral, national and regional meetings, symposia and fairs are regularly organised in ACP countries. It may be of interest to COLEAD to publicise the possibilities of support through ongoing programmes to potential partner-beneficiaries.
To do this, the service provider will be able to :
The provider may also identify opportunities to promote the programmes and share them with COLEAD. It may alert COLEAD to opportunities identified, whether or not they are known to the association.
Many programmes financed by the European Union or other donors have similar components and fields of action to those of the programmes implemented by COLEAD in ACP countries. In order to maximise complementarities and synergies between these interventions and to avoid any risk of duplication, the service provider will be responsible for regularly informing the different donors about their respective activities and for feeding back the information to the COLEAD team. They will facilitate the contacts between those programmes/projects and COLEAD offices.
The follow-up required of the service provider here is administrative, organisational and technical support. The service required for this activity will consist of :
The activities carried out in the implementation of COLEAD programmes should be assessed through internal control procedures. These internal controls will be carried out either by the COLEAD team in the framework of monitoring and reporting activities (and in particular for the deployment of the COLEAD self-assessment tool), or by independent experts specialised in this exercise. The service provider will be asked to support the COLEAD team and these evaluators in the successful completion of this task.
Many missions are and will be scheduled. These missions are usually of short duration. The service provider will therefore have the task of organising the appointments according to the indications given by the COLEAD team and, if deemed useful, of accompanying the mission.
In each country, COLEAD builds long-term relationships with the structures that benefit from its programme interventions. Within these structures, a person is usually designated as the focal point for relations with COLEAD. The service provider ‘s role will be to assist and advise these designated persons in carrying out the tasks assigned to them.
The service provider could be mobilised to guide the partner-beneficiaries through COLEAD’s resource center, in particular: digital resources (library, e-learning, monitoring of regulations, statistics), self-assessment tools, the network, news and online events.
COLEAD may call upon the service provider for any other assignment related to the implementation of the programmes for which it is responsible.
The technical skills required will depend on the type of assignment and will be defined on a case-by-case basis. In general, the service provider must demonstrate, in whole or in part :
The maximum value of this Contract Notice is € 25,000.
Date of publication of this Contract Notice: 07/03/2023
Deadline for receipt of applications (expressions of interest): 06/04/2023
Deadline for publication of the shortlist: 20/04/2023
Expected date for sending invitations to tenders: 21/04/2023
Deadline for submission of tenders: 22/05/2023
Date of notification to the successful bidders: 27/06/2023
Expected start date of the contract: (from) from the date of signature by the 2 contracting parties
The final schedule will be included in the tender documents.
Participation is open, under equal conditions, to all natural persons and legal entities (participating individually or in a consortium of bidders) who are nationals of the ACP and EU States and/or listed in Annex 1 to this document. A consortium may be a permanent group with legal status or an informal group created for the purpose of a specific call for tenders. All the members of a consortium (i.e. the lead partner and all other partners) are jointly and severally liable to the contracting authority.
A check will be carried out to ensure that none of the candidate bidders appears on any of the Financial Sanctions Lists (lists designating persons, groups or entities subject to financial sanctions by the United Nations, the EU and France).
The participation of an ineligible natural person or legal entity will result in the automatic exclusion of the application concerned. If this ineligible person is part of a consortium, the application of the entire consortium will be excluded.
Any tenders received from tenderers allied with firms other than those mentioned in the shortlisted application forms will be excluded from the tender procedure. Shortlisted candidates may neither associate nor conclude mutual subcontracting agreements in the context of the contract in question. No more associations will be allowed after the shortlist has been established.
Selection criteria relating to the technical and professional capacity of the bidder will be applied to candidates. In the case of an application submitted by a consortium, these criteria will apply to the whole consortium.
These criteria ensure that the candidate (or the consortium as a whole) has sufficient skills and experience to perform the contract.
The correct observance of the instructions for sending the application file will also be considered in the evaluation.
The bidder should indicate an interest in participating in the call for tenders by applying. If the candidate is pre-selected, the name of the structure indicated on the application file will be used in the shortlist. No further changes (name, consortium or other) will be allowed.
The form is available in English and should therefore be completed in that language.
It includes the following data:
The application must be received by COLEAD no later than Thursday, April 06th, 2023.
If you have any questions regarding this Contract Notice or your application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to include Contract Notice reference COLEAD/AO/231280 in the title of your email when communicating with COLEAD.