Our Seed Supply Chain Specialist will lead a 3-4-person team to deliver high quality, well-priced seed to our clients while preparing our seed supply chain for scale. S/he will take ownership for managing an ISTA-certified seed lab to guarantee quality for our clients, maintaining execution excellence in our seed supply chain operations across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia, and investing in seed policy and value chain development to insulate our clients from challenges related to seed availability.
The overarching goals of this role are to:
- Drive execution excellence in our seed procurement and delivery operations across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi.
- Improve and maintain seed lab operations to ensure zero low-quality seed makes it into farmers’ hands.
- Understand and pre-empt possible seed supply risks relating to environmental stressors or a changing policy environment to ultimately insulate our clients from possible seed shortages.
- Deliver world-class customer service to our internal clients and key stakeholders.
A successful candidate in this role will:
- Achieve near 100% on time in full seed deliveries across seasons and country programs.
- Prevent low quality seed (due to germination, purity, or vigour issues) from being delivered to 1AF farmers through state of the art quality control mechanisms at multiple points across the value chain and a world-class seed lab.
- Guarantee that internal clients in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi always know the status of their orders including potential supply risks and logistical challenges.
- Build strong relationships with key suppliers to receive high service levels and below-market pricing.
- Ultimately insulate country clients in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi from changing regulations and inconsistent supplier performance through risk mitigation strategies and durable quality control processes.
Responsibilities of the Seed Supply Chain Specialist will include:
- Seed Sourcing and Delivery: by working through team and directly with key suppliers, they will deliver seed on time in full and at the right quality across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi
- Purchase and deliver seed to 1AF warehouses on time in full across seasons and country programs
Implement quality control and testing procedures at key points across the value chain to prevent low quality seed from reaching 1AF clients
- Maintain strong relationships with key suppliers to ensure high quality service levels
- Drive down costs to the farmer through smart purchasing plans and world-class contracts that guarantee favorable payment terms and purchase flexibility (i.e. ability to do seed returns or reduce orders)
- Seed Quality Assurance:
- Manage seed lab team to ensure 100% of seed delivered to farmers passes through multiple rounds of testing to guarantee high level of germination, purity, and vigor
- Improve seed lab operations through ISTA accreditation
- Oversee and streamline seed lab processes by minimizing waste throughout the testing process and ensuring lab calibration activities are done systematically and regularly
- Implement and oversee seed quality assurance activities from sampling at the supplier’s warehouse, to loading supervision, to re-testing at 1AF’s warehouses before farmer deliveries
- Execute on a Flexible Seed Procurement Strategy
- Work with Supply Chain leadership to set and execute a long-term vision for the Seed Supply Chain unit
- Build a strong understand for possible seed supply and quality risks due to climate change, supplier reliability, and changing seed regulations and implement proactive risk-mitigation strategies
- Use supplier relationship management and engagement with the seed sector to guarantee successful delivery of future seed demand across our country operations
- Build and maintain strong collaborative working relationships across country and global departments
Implement innovative and impactful sourcing strategies that can scale across several countries in East Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, minimize waste, and maximize seed deliver accuracy
- Build Team: Day-to-day management of 1-2 strong executors and 1-2 seed lab staff including:
- Responsible for rapidly growing the careers of direct reports through weekly check-ins and workshops, ongoing development feedback, and bi-annual career reviews
- Responsible for developing the level below through capacity building and developing strong management skills direct reports
- Motivate team around 1AF’s mission and individuals’ intrinsic motivations - ensure staff see the link between their work and the organization’s high level goals as well as their long term career goals
- Set clear, inspiring, and achievable expectations for staff and hold staff accountable with candid, actionable feedback
- Work with management to develop a long-term vision for seed supply chain unit and identify strong talent pools for recruiting high quality staff
- Communication: Represent the seed team with internal clients and external suppliers
- Deliver world-class customer service to country clients
- Serve as a key voice for seed procurement-related issues to country systems leadership
- Professionally represent 1AF with external suppliers and stakeholders at seed industry events
- Support country leadership on seed-related strategic projects such as identifying long-term tree seed supply, getting new seed varieties released, or determining alternative varieties as supply issues arise.
We are seeking exceptional candidates with 2-5+ years work experience in a competitive, professional work environment and a strong academic background. Candidates should have a passion for delivering results and working in the seed sector. Experience in the agriculture sector or an operations environment a plus but not required.
Candidates that meet the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:
- Work experience in a demanding professional environment, preferably in positions where frequent cross-department communication was required
- Some experience in operations or a related field preferred but not required
- Experience working in the agriculture sector with a specific emphasis on seed strongly preferred but not required
- Creativity and strong problem solving skills. You don’t take no for an answer and constantly look for alternative solutions to problems.
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills with suppliers, reports, peers, management, and suppliers
- Leadership experience at work or outside of work.
- Ability to work and make decisions independently
- Strong attention to detail – you can pick out a mistake in a contract from a mile away
- Strong quantitative reasoning skills – you can QC contracts, POs, and orders effectively with minimal support
- Professional maturity and ability to stay calm under pressure
- A passion for world class customer service
- Proven ability to meet targets
- Strong work ethic and ability to handle a demanding, high pressure work environment
- Strong sense of ethics, honesty, and integrity
- Top-performing academic background
- Related Master’s Degree is an asset, but not strictly required
- Language: English and Swahili required
Career Growth and Development
We have a strong culture of constant learning and we invest in developing our people. You’ll have weekly check-ins with your manager, access to mentorship and training programs, and regular feedback on your performance. We hold career reviews every six months, and set aside time to discuss your aspirations and career goals. You’ll have the opportunity to shape a growing organization and build a rewarding long-term career.
Preferred Start Date
Commensurate with experience
Health Insurance, paid time off.
Sponsor International Candidates
No; must have existing rights to work in Kenya. Kenyan nationals / East Africans are strongly encouraged