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IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, has been heavily investing to accelerate the sustainable production and trade of agricultural commodities produced in Asia, Africa and South America in the last 10 years. With funding from the Dutch, Swiss, Danish and Norwegian Governments, and from business partners, IDH organizes scoping, development and implementation of public private partnerships in 11 sectors such as palm oil, timber, coffee, tea, aquaculture, apparel and 16 landscapes across 12 countries. We are young, thriving, and dynamic organization to solve sustainability issues in commodity sector and sourcing areas.

Our Landscape and Commodities program brings together businesses, government, farmers, communities and civil society to build sustainable governance models across tropical forest regions, or landscapes. Through our three-pronged PPI approach, we create areas where agricultural products are grown sustainably (Production), forests and natural resources are safeguard (Protection), and communities thrive (Inclusion).

IDH is a dynamic and demanding organization of about 200 staff members and consultants at the HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands and hubs in South America, Asia and Africa.

To strengthen its work on market demand for sustainable commodities, particularly palm oil, soy and tropical timber, IDH is recruiting a: 

Program Director Markets, IDH’s landscape program

based in Utrecht, the Netherlands 

Job profile

As Program Director Markets of IDH’s landscape program, you are heading up IDH’s thought-leadership and practice on linking sustainable commodity production in landscapes in Asia, Africa and Latin-America to demand in Europe, India and China. The focus is on palm oil, soy and tropical timber as main commodities.

You drive a strategic agenda which engages partners and stakeholders towards next-stage supply chain solutions in market transformation:
1. creating physical links between producing regions and manufacturers/brands/retail;
2. scale imported volumes of sustainably produced palm oil, soy and tropical timber in the European, Chinese and Indian markets;
3. support government-to-government agreements on sustainable trade.

To this end you lead the market team within IDH’s landscape program with strategic knowledge, business-development (pipeline) and program implementation to reach the targets.

Based in Utrecht, you are part of the global landscape team, reporting directly to the Global Director Landscapes. The position is a full-time position and requires extensive international travel.

IDH is looking for an organized, self-motivated, team player with leadership skills and a strong interest in supply chain sustainability.  You are both analytical and practical, able to work independently and learn fast. Working in a results-oriented, flexible and hands-on manner, you take control of your and your team’s targets. 

Key responsibilities

  • Responsible for developing and implementing of the market program within the wider IDH Landscape Program;
  • Responsible for convening major public and private players in the relevant sectors, bringing together strategic alliances and aligning sector coalitions;
  • Responsible for managing and guiding of (Senior) Program Managers at a strategic level in the process of scoping, development and implementation of the program;
  • Responsible for the maintenance and expansion of the relevant IDH network and donor base, and contributing to the further strategic development of IDH;
  • Responsibility for sharing knowledge and outcomes externally through events and congresses;
  • The IDH Programs represent the core deliverable for the organization. The Program Director Markets shares responsibility for ensuring the involvement of the wider IDH team in the successes, the challenges and the learning of the Program;
  • Responsibility for the motivation and development that drives the performance of the members of the markets team.


  • 15+ years of relevant working experience, in a senior role in a trading firm/trading position or bank/trade commodity financing position;
  • Deep knowledge and expertise in international commodity supply chains (main focus on palm oil, soy and tropical timber), corporate sustainability (environmental and social issues), and the reality of developing & emerging economies;
  • Experience in managing and leading a team in an international setting;
  • Strong networks in agricultural commodity trading companies as well as in manufacturing, retail and consumer brands companies;
  • Working and thinking at M.Sc. level;
  • Fluency in English.

IDH offers a challenging position with opportunities for growth within an enthusiastic and passionate team.  As an IDH team member you can contribute to positive global change. The successful applicant will initially be offered a one-year contract but with the possibility to extend. We offer a competitive salary (depending on seniority and experience) and solid fringe benefits, including a good pension scheme.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply (motivation letter and 2-page resume in English) by using the following hyperlink:

We encourage applicants to respond as soon as possible, latest by 28 February 2019. Candidates are based in the Netherlands or should have permission to work in the Netherlands.