Location Ibague, Colombia
Start Date Apr - Jun 2019 (flexible)
Length of Placement 12 Months
Language Requirements English, Spanish
English Reading: Level 3, Writing: Level 3, Speaking: Level 3
Spanish Reading: Level 3, Writing: Level 3, Speaking: Level 3
Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Please submit a Spanish Resume and Statement of Interest
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only
Promote sustainable development and increase organic production in Colombia!
Cuso International collaborates with different types of partners for our work throughout value chains, including private sector companies, to help the communities we work with to achieve sustainable growth and change. Fruandes is an ethical and environmentally-responsible company that prides itself in supporting local production and processing of organic products, mainly of exotic tropical fruits, panela and cacao.
As the core focus of their business, they work hand-in-hand with small-scale fruit and coffee producers in 6 different regions of Colombia - Nariño, Cauca, Tolima, Cundinamarca, Huila, and Antioquia.
Under the guiding principles of the Fair Direct Trade and Organic Production and in line with their commitment to the environment and sustainable development, you'll develop mechanisms to improve productivity and increase organic production using innovative techniques that promote an efficient use of natural resources and promote sustainable development of small farms and regions where Fruandes is working.
You'll carry-out visits throughout Colombia working directly with fruit and coffee producers and understand the challengers and production of each crop, promoting knowledge exchange, and provide technical support in new innovative ways.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Provide technical accompaniment to the six producer associations and create a work plan for the technical support to small producers in each of the 6 regions of Colombia where Fruandes works. This will include carrying out visits to understand the challenges and production of each crop.
- Promoting knowledge exchange - develop and implement new communication methods and knowledge transfer tools to promote the sharing of best practices. This will include carrying out different workshops and meetings with each association.
- New technology - support the associations to do cost/benefit analysis of current techniques, and the creation and implementation of new technology/methods. Specifically, support the associations to calculate economic injury levels due to pests and disease, identifying key information to collect and analyze that will help the growers make informed decisions in the future.
- Other activities could include supporting the associations to look at fertilizers and improved nutrients in soil, designing small tools to improve planting, harvesting, miniatous; soil testing; monitoring tools.
Essential Academic Qualifications:
- University degree in biology, ecology, agronomy, agriculture or a related field.
- Courses or certification in organic production
Essential Professional Background:
- Working in agricultural and organic production, clean produce, efficient use and re-use of natural resources.
- Capacity to create manuals, guides, and other types of educational material to support small farmers.
- Experience monitoring pilot projects to capture lessons-learned and evaluate impact.
Operating as a B Corporation in Colombia, Fruandes specializes in producing, processing and commercializing Agro-Industrial organic products, to developed markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. The products, including dried fruits, sugar cane, and cocoa, operate under the guiding principles of Fair Direct Trade and Organic Production.
Respecting principles of Fair Direct Trade, the company works directly with an association of small and ecological producers in various regions of Colombia. They work hand-in-hand with a community of small producers in 6 regions of the country (Narino, Cauca, Tolima, Cundinamarca, Huila, and Antioquia) and maintains a close relationship with all of their clients, locally and internationally.
The commitment to the environment and ecological production is reflected in their production process (both the cultivation and processing of dried fruit), which is certified with organic production standards in Colombia, North America, and Europe.
The profitable business model is based on building strategic alliances with small and ecological producers, with efforts to strengthen the productivity of the value chain and the agricultural integration model. The model is aimed at establishing productive alliances by building an internationally competitive society for the industry while offering value-added products to the market.
For further information about the company and their team in Colombia, please visit their website: http://www.fruandes.com or see the latest CBC article written about Fruandes' work: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/growing-opportunity-colombian-fruit-firm-looks-beyond-war-with-some-help-from-canada-1.3803388
Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.
- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)
- Accommodation while in placement
- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs
- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance
- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation
- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend
- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)
- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return
- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).
- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation
- Bonus: Additional return flight home or cash in lieu after 12 months of service for volunteers who extend for another 6 months
We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.
Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.
Residency and Citizenship
The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.
We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.
Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.
By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.
You must check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:
- Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
- Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.