Form Five Selection 2024

Market Research for Tanzanian Cocoa in the U.S. Market at IESC May, 2024

Description of the Program:
Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC) serves as the lead implementer for the Farmer-to-Farmer Access to Finance Program (F2F A2F) to address deficits in the financial ecosystem hindering investment and growth in agriculture for individual farmers, as well as micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises through the delivery of volunteer technical assistance. IESC has designed a thematic F2F program to generate sustainable, broad-based economic growth and create jobs in the agricultural sector with a special focus on assistance to women and youth. Focusing on Kenya, Tanzania, and Liberia, the F2F A2F Program will work with local partner organizations and volunteer hosts to field pro bono experts from the U.S. agriculture, corporate, and banking sectors to address systemic capacity constraints for farmers and lenders in each targeted country and unlock finance for improved agricultural production leading to utilization of agricultural technologies and increased sales and incomes.
Problem Statement:
Today, chocolate is a highly demanded luxury product in the world.  While the developed world consumes 90% of the chocolate produced every year, most of that chocolate wouldn’t exist without cocoa production in Africa. Cocoa production began in Tanzania in the late 1960s, but it has not been significantly promoted or developed as a cash crop over the past 60 years. Buyers have reconnected with Tanzania’s cocoa producers, so there are now new market opportunities for Tanzanian cocoa.
One company in Tanzania has recently entered the cocoa value chain, and they are exploring opportunities to export their cocoa products (beans and nibs) to the U.S. F2F A2F is recruiting a U.S. citizen or permanent resident volunteer expert to provide support to the company in Tanzania to conduct market research for Tanzanian cocoa beans and nibs in the US market, and inform them on US market potential on specific products, including Rainforest Alliance-certified cacao beans and nibs. The volunteer expert will help to assess the company’s cocoa fermentation process and quality of cocoa and help to develop a market strategy to penetrate US markets and, ultimately, increase company sales and the incomes of Tanzanian cacao farmers.
Objectives of the Assignment:
Conduct US market research on Tanzanian cocoa products and provide recommendations for US market entry.
Assess thehost cocoa fermentation processes and quality of cocoa produced.
Market research report with recommendations,includinga specific list of initial target customers for Rainforest Alliance-certified cacao beans and nibs
PowerPointpresentations, including recommendations on market/brand messaging for Tanzanian cacao beans and nibs
Trip report
Anticipated US and In-Country Schedule for Assignment:
Estimated days
Pre- departure
Review: Volunteer Manual, Country Guide, Host Profile, Environmental Materials
Conduct market research on:
Cocoa products quality standard requirements in USA
USA Companies that produce final products from cocoa like chocolate, collect market information including demand size, customer preference, where and how they currently source.
Day 1
Depart USA
Day 2
Arrive in Tanzania
Day 3
Initial meeting with host, F2F A2F team and USAID
Drive from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro
Dar es Salaam and Morogoro
Day 4- 5
Visit cacao farmer groups in Morogoro
Assess the fermentation process and quality of cacao
Day 6
Travel from Morogoro to Kyela-Mbeya
Morogoro to Kyela-Mbeya
Day 7
Visit cacao farmer groups in Kyela-Mbeya
Assess the fermentation process and quality of cacao
Day 8
Travel from Mbeya to Kilimanjaro
Mbeya to Kilimanjaro
Day 9-10
Visit host processing factory.
Spend time with the host for feedback and recommendations
Day 11-12
Preparation of the report
Day 12
Submit the report
Debriefing with host, F2F A2F team and USAID
Kilimanjaro/Dar es Salaam
Day 13
Depart to US
Day 14
Arrive in US
21 days (13 days in country)
Volunteer Outreach:
USAID and IESC encourage all F2F A2F volunteers to participate in public outreach. An important objective of the program is to increase awareness of Americans’ good work in developing countries. Volunteers should select at least one outreach activity from the list below, to be completed within one month of return to the US:
Write an entry for the IESC website.
Post a photo, video, or text related to the F2F A2F assignment on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, personal website or other social media site, and send a link to IESC staff.
Send a press release to a local newspaper in the volunteer’s hometown. (IESC can provide a template)
Write something for an alumni or professional association newsletter, or other publication. (IESC can help as needed).
Give a presentation about the F2F A2F assignment to colleagues, students, religious group, rotary club, etc.
Send an email about F2F A2F to friends, family, or colleagues.
Requested Expertise of Volunteer Expert:
A master’s or doctoral degree in business, commerce, or marketing.
At least 10 years of experience working in market research on food products.
A good understanding of cocoa products and quality standards.
Hands-on experience in cacao production techniques and fermentation process.
Experience working in Tanzania and/or the region is a plus.
Strong leadership and communication skills and capacity to plan strategically and flexibly.
Sufficiently physically fit, with appropriate medical clearance.
Writing Skills: reporting requires good computer skills including, but not limited to, working, and generating reports with MS Word. Experience with PowerPoint presentations is desirable.
Good writing and analytical skills, interpersonal communication, and presentation skills (adult education skills).


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