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Expert in Regulation of the Canadian Organic Food Market, Colombia

Date de publication
Date limite pour appliquer
Cowater International
Description brève

Deadline for applications: February 11, 2022, 5 pm (EST). 

Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM provides technical assistance to Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries to maximize the development impacts of trade and investment. Over seven years (2018-2025), EDM will invest CAD 16.5 million to support Canada’s developing country trading partners to negotiate, implement and benefit from and adapt to trade and investment agreements with Canada.
EDM is a demand-driven project that will benefit potential partners – including governments, local private sector groups and local civil society organizations – through capacity building and technical advisory support on policy reform issues that have a high potential to reduce poverty and gender inequalities and support progress in trade and investment agreement negotiations.
Colombia has achieved impressive economic growth since 2000: GDP grew at an average annual rate of 3.7% between 2000 and 2019 and doubled in per capita terms.  Economic growth has also led to improvements in social conditions. The percentage of the population living below the poverty line was reduced almost by half, as was the number of those living in extreme poverty.  However, this growth has not been enjoyed equally, with a disproportionate share of the benefits accruing to the major urban centres.  At 51.3% in 2019, Colombia’s GINI Index score reflects one of the largest gaps between rich and poor anywhere in the world.  
The Government of Colombia has articulated a National Development Plan (2018-2022) to sustain economic growth and address inequality.  Among the central goals of the Plan are to foster entrepreneurship and diversify exports.  In particular, Colombia seeks to better harvest the benefits of Colombia’s existing trade agreements. 
Since the entry into force of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCoFTA), the Government of Colombia has worked to promote awareness of the agreement and use of the preferential market access opportunities it provides.  The Canadian market for agricultural products is of particular interest, given the duty-free access for all products except sugar and certain supply-managed agricultural products provided under the CCoFTA.  Colombia seeks to diversify its exports and provide sustainable economic development in rural regions by expanding agricultural exports.
The EDM has provided technical assistance to Colombia to increase awareness and use of the CCoFTA, including training courses and business guides to the market access provisions of the Agreement, tailored to general and agricultural producer audiences.  Support has been provided to rural agricultural producers to develop export development strategies and raise awareness of the food safety standards of the Canadian market. 
To further assist agricultural producers to take advantage of the market access opportunities created by the CCoFTA, ProColombia has requested assistance to raise awareness of the Canadian market opportunities and certification requirements specific to organic food products.  Currently growing at an estimated rate of more than 8% annually, the $7 billion Canadian market for organic food is viewed as a significant opportunity to expand Colombian exports.
Linkage to EDM Performance Measurement Framework
This technical assistance is aligned with the approved Country Needs Assessment Plan – ColombiaMandate 3: Benefiting from / adapting to trade and investment agreements.  The specific context for the assistance is increasing the use of the market access provisions of the CCoFTA.
This assistance is also aligned with the EDM Performance Management Framework, including Immediate Outcome 1220 (Increased capacity of partner country ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to expand access to export-oriented economic opportunities for SMEs, particularly those led by women, indigenous or other under-represented groups) and Immediate Outcome 1310 (Increased abilities among targeted private sector organizations (PSOs) to adapt to and benefit from trade and investment agreements with Canada).
Description of Technical Assistance Request
ProColombia, the trade, tourism and investment promotion agency of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, has requested expert assistance to train public and private sector trade support organisations on the characteristics of the Canadian organic food market, including the regulatory requirements for certification or labelling as organic.  The objective of this training is to equip Colombian officials to deliver training to agricultural producers, to raise awareness of export opportunities under the CCoFTA and ensure compliance with Canadian regulatory requirements.
Under this Technical Assistance Activity (TAA), the Expert will:
  • 1) Design a gender-sensitive and inclusive training program for agricultural producers, to be delivered by Colombian trade support organizations, on:
  • The organization and characteristics of the Canadian organic food market, including market size and growth, competition, consumer preferences, distribution systems and major retailers, voluntary standards, etc.
  • The requirements for certification for food products under the Canadian Organic Standards and other relevant policies, laws, regulations and procedures affecting the importation of organic food products into Canada.
  • 2) Prepare a related gender-sensitive and inclusive business guide to be used in the training course and as a standalone information tool.
  • 3) Design and deliver a “train-the-trainer” workshop to prepare trade support organization officials to deliver the course to agricultural producers, including those from underrepresented demographic groups. The workshop should include a component on how to engage underrepresented groups such as women, Indigenous peoples, and Afro-Colombian agricultural producers in the training and ensure its accessibility.  

The EDM seeks to promote gender equality, social inclusion and environmental protection as cross-cutting objectives of all technical assistance.  Proposals should explain how these objectives will be integrated into the content and conduct of the training.

The training course, business guide and train-the-trainer workshop are to be delivered in Spanish.  The guide is to be produced in a readable format and ready for publication.
As the timing of the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions cannot be predicted, consultations with the beneficiaries and the train-the-trainer workshop are expected to be conducted virtually.  Bidders should, however, indicate whether they have the capacity to deliver the training in person should the restrictions be lifted during the TAA.  The estimated budget/level of effort included in the bid should be based on virtual delivery; these can be adjusted if public health guidelines permit a change to in-person delivery.
The direct beneficiaries of the TAA will be officials of ProColombia and other Colombian trade support organizations.  Indirectly, the beneficiaries will include Colombian agricultural producers, who will be better able to take advantage of the market access preferences provided by the CCoFTA.  Importantly, these benefits will extend to rural populations, including women, Indigenous Peoples, minorities and other underrepresented groups.
In the short term, the TAA can be expected to improve the quality of trade support organization services to Colombian agricultural producers, including underrepresented groups, and awareness of the CCoFTA and Canadian organic food market.  In the longer term, the assistance can be expected to increase Canada-Colombia trade in organic food products and contribute to economic and social development in rural Colombia.  Increased utilization of the CCoFTA can also be expected to build readiness to engage in new trade and investment negotiations with Canada, including the Canada-Pacific Alliance FTA.

Technical Expert Profile/Expertise Required
Bidders must demonstrate expert knowledge and extensive experience in the following:

  • Canadian policies, laws, regulations and procedures affecting the importation of organic food products.
  • The structure of the Canadian organic foods market and evolving market trends.
  • Hands-on knowledge on common obstacles faced by developing country’s producers/exporters to meet Canada’s Organic (COR) standards.
  • Export market development in the agriculture sector.
  • The provisions of the CCoFTA relevant to trade in organic food products.
  • The design of adult education programs.
  • The design and delivery of train-the-trainer programs.
  • The delivery of trade technical assistance in developing countries.

The EDM includes a core focus on gender equality and social inclusion as well as on environmental issues associated with trade activities. Successful applicants are required to research and integrate specific good and emerging practices in these areas, partnering with other expert consultants if necessary.  Any prior experience in the provision of TA on gender equality and social inclusion and environment will be viewed as a strong asset.
Prior to starting activities, the successful consultant(s) will be required to complete the Government of Canada’s online Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) training (approximately 2 hours).   


  • Starting date: February 2022
  • Proposed duration: 6 months


  • A detailed work plan, work schedule and budget for the delivery of activities, taking into account COVID-19-related travel restrictions
  • Completed EDM Performance Measurement Framework template for the TA, including baseline data and targets against EDM indicators.
  • Draft outline and final detailed course description, including outlines and final texts of all teaching materials.
  • Draft outline and final text of the business guide.
  • Draft outline and final detailed program for the train-the-trainer workshop.
  • Final Narrative Report on Mandate: Due within 30 calendar days of completion of all TA activities. The report shall describe activities delivered; results achieved (versus initial expected results and baseline); lessons learned of relevance to future EDM activities; expenses incurred by the Consultant in carrying out the TAA; gender equality and social inclusion outcomes, environment outcomes, document officials trained/participating in activities (name, gender, job title, institutional affiliation). This report will be reviewed and approved by EDM prior to being shared with Global Affairs Canada.
  • Contribute as necessary to the development of EDM communication materials and participate in an EDM roundtable highlighting key results achieved.

Proposal submission process

For your proposal to be considered, please name your document in the following format:
4.6 Colombia, Consultants Last Name, First Name  (Proposals can be submitted by a single consultant or a consortium of consultants).
Your proposal should contain the following sections: 

  1. Cover letter 
  2. A proposal that includes the following:
  • Your approach to implementing this TA, taking into account COVID-related travel restrictions. Provide as much detail as possible.  (10 pages maximum)
  • Describe your approach to ensuring that gender equality and social inclusion are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery. (2 pages maximum)
  • Describe your approach to ensuring that environmental components are considered in all aspects of the TA, including approach, content, and delivery.  (1-page maximum)
  • Outline your project management and monitoring strategy for the implementation of the activities. (3 pages maximum)
  • Indicate all experts proposed to implement this project, their roles and responsibilities. Include all CVs of proposed personnel/experts. (3 pages maximum per CV)
  1. Provide an estimated level of effort (in days @ 7.5 hrs per day) and provide consulting rates (in CAD) for each proposed personnel and/or expert implementing the project. 

 Please submit your proposal as a single PDF document through the Cowater Career Page (attach your PDF document under the Cover note, do not upload your resumes separately). Emailed proposals will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please email

About us
With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada's global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec; London, United Kingdom; Nairobi, Kenya; and Brussels, Belgium; in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 
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