Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

International Specialist (Dairy Quality and Controls)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Job Description

  FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or Duty Stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization Organizational Settings

The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) is responsible for leading FAO's response to regional priorities for Food Security, Agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO's priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at Headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO's strategic response to regional priorities. REU also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization's Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, and supports Capacity Development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

Reporting Lines

Under the overall supervision of the Assistant Director General/Regional Representative and the Budget Holder, the direct guidance of the REU Food Safety and Consumer Protection Officer, and work closely with the designated authorities representing the Government of North Macedonia. The National Consultant will work in a team consisting of FAO officers, Officials from MAFWE and other key government agencies, and national consultants.

Technical Focus

North Macedonia – along with other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council Summit in 2003. Both the Stabilization and Association Agreement (2004) and the Association Partnership (2008) were signed between the EU and North Macedonia, with the objective of improving food safety and quality in the country through the harmonization of food safety and quality standards and supporting their effective implementation.

Improving food quality and safety standards and their implementation is also highlighted as a priority in the National Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (NSARD 2014-2020), as part of the overall goal to increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized farmers and agri-food enterprises.

The project should focus on quality and safety aspects of the dairy sector, which are an integral part of compliance with EU-CMO regulations and value chain development. The dairy sector was identified as a possible priority sector, and special focus should be given to improving capacities at the level of primary production. Farmers need support on which quality standards they need to meet, this information should be delivered through tailor-made guidelines and trainings. At the same time, there is a need to work with competent authorities on the setting of appropriate standards and controls, and in particular the establishment of a milk payment scheme linking quality to price.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The Consultant will support the implementation of quality and safety standards in line with the Common Market Organization (CMO) principles in the dairy sector, and in accordance with the project work plan, the consultant will undertake the following tasks: - Work closely and provide technical input to discussions with MAFWE, other government key partners, the Standing Committee on Milk and the team of experts contributing to the project; - Review available background reports which analyse the current system of milk payment scheme in North Macedonia, to gain knowledge of the specific needs and challenges; - Provide practical advice in establishing procedures for implementing an integrated milk payment control system, taking account of: o Policy interventions needed in order to enable the improvements in the milk payment scheme and actual implementation (working closely with the NPC, MAFWE and NCs); o Key solutions and recommendations to improve the government institutional set-up or controls; o The specific needs and challenges of farmers and dairy processors or private sector – in order to ensure the success of the milk payment scheme.

- Support the implementation of on line meetings, and discussions on the proposed milk payment scheme including drafting agendas, background materials and presentations for workshops (at least 2) to validate and roll-out the improvements to the milk payment scheme; - Provide specific advice on other procedures required for implementation of milk trace and tracking system, software programs, templates for keeping records (farm, dairy, laboratory, authorized institution), their networking and communication; - Review the outlines for three codes of practice, make adjustments and contribute to the drafting; - Participate in on line meetings and discussions as needed throughout the assignment.


Minimum Requirements

• University degree in veterinary sciences, agricultural Engineer, food science, or related field (Masters/PhD is advantage) • At least 12 years of relevant practical experience in dairy sector, including food safety and quality controls Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other FAO languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian) for Consultants. Working knowledge of English for PSAs.

FAO Core Competencies • Results Focus • Teamwork • Communication • Building Effective Relationships • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement Technical/Functional Skills

• Practical experience in the introduction of an integrated milk control system and milk payment schemes • Legislation and regulations to support the milk payment scheme • Dairy systems and controls in the EU, including the systems of milk payment schemes • Ability to plan work, organize technical work and support work of multi-disciplinary teams • Extent of knowledge of the socio-economic conditions and dairy sector in North Macedonia or Western Balkans • Demonstrated analytical, negotiating and advisory skills • Computer literacy with spreadsheets, databases and electronic programmes is an asset • Specific experience of CMO systems and milk payment schemes • Experience in advising senior management of Ministries with responsibility for official food safety and quality control is required • Computer literacy with spreadsheets, databases and electronic programmes is required • Quality of both oral and written communication skills
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