Food and Drink in-market Specialist - Benelux (BEL538)

FCO - Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Food and Drink in-market Specialist - Benelux (BEL538)

Scotland House

Brussels, Belgium

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer. We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

Job Category: Other British Government Departments (Partners across Government, including UK Visas)
Job Subcategory: SDI (Scottish Development International)

Job Description (Roles and Responsibilities)

Scotland House in Brussels is part of a world-wide network, representing Scottish political economic interests overseas. We are seeking to recruit a Food and Drink in-market Specialist to represent Scotland’s Economic Development organisation – Scottish Development International (SDI) – as an integral part of Scotland House team.

In October 2016, the First Minister of Scotland announced that SDI’s resources in Europe would be supplemented to ‘double the number of SDI staff working across Europe’ to support Scottish companies to trade internationally during the uncertainty of the 2-year period of Brexit negotiations. This position has been identified as one of the additional staff roles which are being created across Europe. Each post is being recruited for a fixed-term appointment for the period during which the UK Government and the EU negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU and allowing for some limited extra time after this negotiation period ends to wrap up outstanding matters that have not been completed during the negotiation period itself.

The main purpose for this position is to increase and widen the on-the ground support and widen the on-the-ground support available to Scottish companies operating in the Food and Drink industry, during the Brexit negotiation period, who will have the ambition, capacity and capability to export their products and/or services into Europe and specifically into Belgium and Netherlands. Additionally to identify new opportunities and trends from the region and communicate these to Scottish companies.

Netherlands and Belgium are respectively Scotland’s fifth and tenth largest global food export markets. This new post will build on the existing Food and Drink Specialists which SDI have had in place since 2014, and will adopt the same ways of working, operating as a global team to drive forward and grow exports to this market. We will continue to work closely with DIT colleagues in the region. Combining existing sales into Benelux as a region would make it Scotland’s third largest food export market.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

To undertake the following during and in relation to the Brexit negotiation period:

  • Provision of trade advice and guidance to Scottish companies wishing to access markets in Benelux within the Food and Drink sector;
  • Support companies with their market entry and growth strategies;
  • Develop and maintain market-specific relationships and networks with key industry organisations and networks in the region;
  • Work with sector and account teams in Scotland to identify and deliver specific in-market trade opportunities for account managed companies and other companies with export potential;
  • Gathering market intelligence and data through appropriate mechanisms and reporting back insights, opportunities, trends and findings to sector teams, companies and partners as appropriate;
  • Help to build Scotland’s reputation and profile in-market through developing targeted activity leading to the achievement of the longer term strategic objectives for the sector;
  • Support the development and maintenance of good working relationships with key partners and organisations, stakeholder networks, trade press and business contacts throughout Benelux and in Scotland;
  • Lead in the development of market plans, feeding into the sector operating plan, and participate/lead (as appropriate) in the project teams for all international market events taking place in Benelux;
  • Highlight opportunities to expand exports as part of a cross-sector approach and work with relevant partners to deliver.

Essential qualifications and experience

  • Knowledge and understanding of the Food and Drink sector, or must be able to demonstrate the ability to quickly acquire the requisite level of specialist knowledge to engage credibly with senior industry representatives in the sector;
  • Strong customer relationship management skills;
  • Ability to manage a diverse range of customer relationships and projects;
  • Strong communication skills, and must be IT literate and comfortable using MS Office platform as well as CRM systems;
  • Fluency in English as well as at least one of the regional languages is required. A strong aptitude in both French and Dutch is desirable;
  • Business development as well as research and analytical skills acquired in an international market development context;
  • Strong team-working ability with experience of working in a multi-partnership context.

Desirable qualifications and experience

  • Working with a wide variety of colleagues and partners, the role will be focussed on supporting company growth within an international context, and will often be required to work autonomously away from our main office locations;
  • The post-holder should expect to spend a significant amount of time out of the office in direct customer and client facing activity;
  • Travel to Scotland for training and sector development activities is expected on a regular basis;
  • Attendance at evening and weekend events will sometimes be a feature of this role;
  • Experience of working in an international trade and investment environment is extremely desirable;
  • Knowledge and experience of working in the specific region is extremely desirable.

Required competencies

Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Achieving Commercial Outcomes, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace.

Application deadline: 22 November 2017
Grade: C4 (L)
Type of Position: Full-time, Flexible working, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Working hours per week: 36,5
Region: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Type of Post: UK Delegation
Number of vacancies: 1
Starting monthly salary (EUR): 4747.11 gross
Start Date:  2 January 2018

Other benefits and conditions of employment

This is a fixed-term contract for two years, for 5 working days (36,5 hours net) per week.

The monthly gross salary for this position is € 4,747.11 C4 (L) level (The British Diplomatic Missions in Belgium salaries are not subject to annual indexation).

Please note that Belgian nationals will be paid their salary gross and are expected to comply with their tax obligations through completion of a tax return to the Belgian authorities. Non-Belgian nationals will receive their salary net, minus the deduction of an equivalent level of Belgian tax retained at source. Further information on this will be given to candidates during the recruitment process.

The successful candidates will be subject to professional background checks and security clearance.

Staff recruited locally by the British Diplomatic Missions in Belgium are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local Belgian employment law.

Additional information

Please note that the deadline for applications is 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

We advise you to allow enough time to complete and submit your full application, since only applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered. Please be aware that the deadline for submitting applications is considered to be the time zone for the country where the vacancy has arisen.

Please be advised that the British Diplomatic Missions will not be able to meet the travel costs incurred when travelling to the interview, nor the costs connected with relocation if offered a job.

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