BEO Nov 2021 - Business Engagement Officer

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Posted: 09/11/2021 10:53
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: 31,630 per annum
Location: London
Level: 7
Deadline: 30/11/2021 10:00
Hours: 35.00
Benefits: Variety of benefits including up to 10% contributory pension
Job Type: Fixed-term, full time

Fairtrade Foundation are recruiting for a business engagement officer to deliver excellent customer service and operational support to all businesses working with Fairtrade.

You’ll need to be a great communicator, enthusiastic and able to prioritise your work in a fast-paced environment. You will need experience in working independently and as part of a high-performing team, balancing many varied tasks. Accuracy and attention to detail are needed, as well as the ability to explain our processes clearly to businesses with professionalism and diplomacy. You will be working with our internal IT systems on daily basis. You will be supporting businesses to make the most out of their commitment to Fairtrade and ensuring they have a good customer experience. If you have experience in a compliance role, that’s great, but it’s not essential.

Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade deliver for farmers and workers. Fairtrade is a global movement with a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The international Fairtrade system (of which the Fairtrade Foundation is a member) works on behalf of farmers and workers to drive sustainable livelihoods, empower producers and workers, and make trade fair.

The Fairtrade Foundation is an equal opportunities employer, offers flexible working and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

We particularly welcome applications from candidates with ethnically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ candidates and from candidates with disabilities, because we would like to increase the representation of these groups at this level. We want to do this because we know greater diversity will lead to greater results for producers and farmers around the world.

Closing date: 10am, Tuesday 30 November 2021

Contract x 2: 6 months, fixed term contract, full time & 12 month Fixed term contract

Job Title:                 Business Engagement Officer x2 (6 months fixed term,  & 12 Month Fixed term contract)

Reports to:              Senior Business Services Manager

Staff Reporting:      Occasional volunteer management

Based at:                 5.7 The Loom, 14 Gower’s Walk, London, E1 8PY (Current remote working due to COVID-19 impacts)

Salary:                     £31,630 a year

Grade:                     Grade 7

Date updated:         November 2021

Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade deliver for farmers and workers.

Fairtrade is a global movement with a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The international Fairtrade system (of which the Fairtrade Foundation is a member) works on behalf of farmers and workers to drive sustainable livelihoods, empower producers and workers, and make trade fair.

The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that focuses on four key areas of work in the UK:

  • We partner with businesses to certify their supply chains according to Fairtrade’s independent, producer/worker focused standards, and to enable increased investment in producer and worker led development plans. This includes licensing the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products.
  • We grow demand for Fairtrade products by connecting producers and workers with retailers and branded businesses in the UK, and helping to strengthen supply chain relationships that are fairer and more equitable. 
  • We work with commercial and donor partners to develop programmes and services that support producers and workers to achieve their development goals. 

We campaign to raise awareness of the need for Fairtrade amongst the public and with policy makers, supporting the grassroots Fairtrade movement to call for fairer trade.

The hundreds of Fairtrade Towns, Faith Groups, Schools and Universities and committed supporters are vital in helping us realise our vision of fair trade.

In the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation employs around one hundred staff across Commercial, Public Engagement and Impact Directorates, and in Finance, IT & Data, Legal, Facilities & HR teams.


The Commercial Partnerships Directorate consists of four sub teams: Commercial Partnerships, Programs and Partnerships, Supply Chain and Business Services and Out of Home.

These teams work closely together to deliver Fairtrade’s commercial strategy, maximising producer impact and driving Fairtrade system revenue.

The Business Services and Out of Home team is responsible for providing support to all Fairtrade businesses with in the UK

The business services team is crucial to maximising the volume of product sold on Fairtrade terms; responsible for providing operational support and customer service to existing Fairtrade licensed customers, as well as identifying and pursuing new opportunities. We support customers to create new licensed Fairtrade products whilst ensuring they are able to meet Fairtrade’s robust certification requirements. In addition we work closely with the commercial partnerships and out of home team to bring new customers into the Fairtrade system. We work hard to ensure customers receive a good experience working with Fairtrade, whilst ensuring credibility is maintained and we deliver value to producers. This is achieved through continual improvement of our customer services and operations.

We have recently embarked on a multi-year process across the whole of the Fairtrade Global System to define and design a new 5 year strategy (2021-2025). A strategy which meets the challenges being presented to markets and producers, as well as seizing the opportunities our ever evolving world provides. Our primary focus remains achieving decent & sustainable livelihoods for producers. Key requirements for us to be successful over this next strategic period will be to further champion progress in Living Income and Living Wages, to grow the volumes of products sold on Fairtrade terms and to further support producer organisations to become more resilient in a fast changing environment (including climate resilience & adaptation). 

The Role Profile

Based within the Business Services team for the Fairtrade Foundation, the Business Engagement Officer role is crucial to the successful end to end journey of our licensees, ensuring that they understand and comply with the requirements of them to become Fairtrade certified, while maintaining the integrity of the FAIRTRADE Mark.  This will involve fielding new business enquiries, guiding them through from Initial discussions and license application, approving recipe exceptions and products / packaging to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, to supporting licensees to load products on to our system, dealing with general licensing / system queries and ensuring data / sales reporting is correctly submitted by licensees - all while providing exceptional on-going customer service and support. The role will also support customers to make the most of their Fairtrade partnership and maximise the impact they are having for producers, through our marketing, PR, campaigns and impact.

As a hub of expert knowledge this role will also provide support to internal  colleagues at the foundation, other National Fairtrade Organisations within the Fairtrade movement, Fairtrade International and FLOCERT.

This role will also play a  crucial role in driving our volume growth and therefore impact for producers, through spotting opportunities to grow the reach of the FAIRTRADE Mark through new products and licensees. Through collaboration with colleagues in the commercial and supply chain teams, the successful candidate will take ideas from inception to reality for our partners.

Key Tasks

  1. Providing exceptional levels of customer service as the first point of contact with potential / existing members of the Fairtrade system and licensees, prioritising workload appropriately to ensure that necessary support is given to licensees within prescribed timescales. Providing greater operational support to pre-agreed account managed businesses e.g. retailers and large brands
  2. Communicating Fairtrade licensing requirements (including commodity and product information) to customers at all levels in simple and easy to understand way. Resolving all licensing queries and redirecting these as appropriate. Advising licensees and retail partners of the feasibility of proposed new products and or commodity areas.
  3. Once businesses have decided to work with us, help onboard them into the Fairtrade system, including supporting with certification, identifying supply, explaining the licensing requirements, due diligence, ensuring license agreements are signed, agreeing and articulating applicable fees, sending welcome packs and introducing to Fairtrade systems.
  4. Handle new business enquiries, as well as identifying and proactively prospecting new opportunities for licensees. Sell in the benefits of Fairtrade to prospective partners, update salesforce to keep organisation updated with the progression of new business. For larger opportunities, work closely alongside partnership managers throughout the sell-in process, including crafting licensing solutions and articulating these to external partners.
  5. Act as key operational contact for agreed commodities or growth areas and contribute to growth taskforces. Support new offers to business within specific product categories, lead on designing operational solutions and implementing any new ways of working or agreed services
  6. Utilise internal and external systems to support, train and coach new / potential and existing licensees within prescribed timescales through the licensee application process from product application to registration and artwork approval.  This includes ensuring all data entered is accurate, correct and on time. as well as creating licence agreements for new licensees, in conjunction with the commercial colleagues and the legal team.
  7. Supporting licensees to accurately meet their monthly, quarterly and or annual sales reporting requirements, on time.
  8. Addressing customers needs quickly and effectively to maintain and build strong relationships and retain existing business. Alongside the team, collate and respond to customer feedback, and identify opportunities to improve processes, procedures and systems to improve the customer experience.
  9. Work with customers to maximise their partnership and volumes with Fairtrade, including sending impact reports, liaising with marketing to promote new Fairtrade products, involving customers in campaigns such as Fairtrade fortnight, sending marketing toolkits, promoting on social media, send feedback surveys and annual impact reports, when required or in line with seasonal campaigns.
  10. Manage a portfolio of smaller accounts/licensees and brands by building on established relationships, acting as the main point of contact for specified accounts. Build and maintain strong relationships with these accounts to support internal teams at the foundation to develop new business and promote Fairtrade sales.
  11. Build  relevant in depth and up-to-date knowledge of product categories and supply chains to pass  this on to licensees and advise them on standards related issues, products available and suppliers of Fairtrade ingredients in order to grow the sales of Fairtrade products 
  12. Ensuring that licensees understand the prescribed licensing, product and art working standards and remain compliant to these standards.  Coaching and supporting licensees where appropriate to take corrective action and granting exceptions where appropriate, and keeping stakeholders up-to-date with any relevant changes to the prescribed standards.
  13. Using initiative and discretion to escalate potential risks of licensee non-compliance / other issues to internally as appropriate and work with the Senior Business Services Manager to take appropriate action. Implement suspension and/ or termination of licence agreements as appropriate and support suspended licensees to meet the prescribed standards. Informing commercial partners and relevant stakeholders of suspensions/decertification and exceptions within their supply chains, assessing the impact and supporting with alternatives as necessary.
  14. Contribute where appropriate to strategy and collaborating with other members of the Foundation, Fairtrade movement, FLOCERT and National Fairtrade Organisations to achieve all of the above key tasks
  15. Keep up-to-date with legislative requirements for product labelling in order to provide relevant guidance and to ensure that companies are trading in accordance with these
  16. Provide sales forecasts for licensees and/ or product areas not covered by the commercial team

Review Arrangements

The details contained in the Job Description particularly the principal accountabilities, reflect the content of the job at the date the job description was prepared.  It should be remembered, however, that it is inevitable that over time the nature of individual jobs will change; existing duties may be lost and other duties may be gained without changing the general character of the duties or the level of responsibility entailed.  Consequently, the Fairtrade Foundation will expect to revise this job description from time to time and will consult with the post holder at the appropriate time.

Person Specification

Job Title:       Business Engagement Officer

Education/ Training

  • 5 GCSEs grade A-C including Maths and English or demonstrable equivalent experience


  • Experience of providing excellent business-facing Customer Service verbally and in writing, being tenacious, proactive and flexible in finding the answer or solution to all queries with enthusiasm (E)
  • Updating customer records and queries electronically (E)
  • Proven to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills with ability to interact  at all levels  diplomatically with a diverse range of internal and external customers while building positive working relationships in all interactions (E)
  • Ability to display discretion and respect for confidentiality (E)
  • Excellent accuracy and attention to detail (E)
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently (E)
  • Working in a high volume, fast-paced environment with the ability to plan, organise and prioritise own workload having an appetite for delivering results on time under own initiative (E)
  • Being able to deal with all queries and challenges with patience, professionalism and resilience remaining calm under pressure and in challenging situations getting the best resolution for all parties (E)
  • Demonstrable ‘can do’ attitude remaining positive in all situations (E)
  • Experience of working in a compliance, checking or related role (D)
  • Experience working with leads or selling in new services (D)


Knowledge/ Technical Skills

  • Ability to work independently and with multiple priorities in a time sensitive manner (E)
  • IT literate, including databases, Adobe, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and picture file formats (E)
  • Excellent literacy and numeracy skills with the ability to analyse information and write reports. (E)
  • Proven ability working with standard or procedures (E) and ability to analyse and critically assess a companies’ capacity to comply with a set of prescribed standards (D)
  • Ability to maintain integrity (E) and demonstrate how this can be used  for certification standards (D)
  • Knowledge of systems and procedures based working (D)
  • Ability to explain complex procedures in an engaging and accessible manner (E)
  • Being aware of when to use initiative and seek advice / support or escalate a query (E)
  • Knowledge of supply chains (D)
  • Interest in development issues and sympathy with the mission of the Fairtrade foundation (D)
  • Good knowledge of graphic applications and or print techniques (D)



  • Passionate Commitment - having passion, dedication and proactively showing support for the work of the Foundation.  Contributing to a positive internal atmosphere and external perception of the Foundation.
  • Embracing Change - flexibility and responsiveness to changing needs.  It is about innovating, doing something new or differently.  It also involves welcoming creative ideas and solutions.
  • Working with Integrity - using a principled approach for every decision and action. Choosing to do the right thing even when it is difficult.
  • Leadership - taking a leadership role regardless of your rank within the hierarchy.  It involves acting with the Foundation’s vision in mind, being decisive and working for the good of the entire organisation and its mission.
  • Teamwork - working in a way which acknowledges the interdependence of people in your team and other teams.  It is also about effective cross-team project working.
  • Positive relationships - fostering and maintaining constructive and professional relationships with colleagues and external stakeholders.
  • Delivering results - achieving a high quantity of measurable results whilst maintaining, or even raising, quality of work.
  • Managing resources responsibly - managing the Foundation’s resources well.  It involves negotiating best value for the Foundation and ensuring the longevity of the organisation.
  • Information and Knowledge management - working in a way that values the gathering, management and sharing of information (facts and data) and knowledge (understanding gained through experience) of benefit to the Foundation.

Organisational Commitment

  • Knowledge of and commitment to Fairtrade, our values and development issues (E)
  • We want everyone to be ambassadors for the organisation and encourage staff & volunteers to speak at events which on occasion might be during evenings and weekends (E)
  • Commitment to our values: Accountability, Integrity, Respect and Partnership (E)
  • At Fairtrade we are committed to the safeguarding and protection of children & vulnerable adults in our work. We will do everything possible to ensure that only those who are suitable to work within this environment are recruited to work for us (E)

* E = Essential      D = Desirable

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