[STAGE] Sustainable cocoa and coffee officer

[STAGE] Sustainable cocoa and coffee officer

in Jobs

For our Rikolto in Belgium team, we are looking for an intern that will work on the European market for sustainable cocoa and coffee.

Rikolto's mission

A sustainable income for farmers and nutritious, affordable food for everyone. That is what Rikolto works for. We reach our goals by building bridges between smallholder farmer organisations, companies, governments and other actors across rural and urban areas. Together, we create innovative ways of accessing, distributing and producing nutritious, quality food, so no one is left behind.

Sustainable cocoa and coffee

The coffee and cocoa sector are plagued by issues such as declining productivity due to climate change, deforestation, child labour and low incomes for smallholder farmers. Living incomes for cocoa and coffee farmers are crucial for truly resilient farming communities. This requires guaranteed minimum prices, good agricultural practices, income diversification strategies and a strong enabling environment. Rikolto has an international team working on sustainable cocoa and coffee, intervening in producing and consuming countries. We reach our impact by focusing on three interlinked aspects: sustainable production (1), market inclusion (2) and an enabling environment (3).

Internship description

We are looking for an intern that will join our Rikolto in Belgium team and will work on the European market with regard to these two aspects:

  • Market inclusion: creating win-win relationships between farmer cooperatives, buyers and retailers
  • Enabling environment: supporting and strengthening the development and implementation of policies and regulations that raise the sustainability bar in the cocoa/coffee sector. From our concrete interventions, we gather evidence about successes and pitfalls, to nudge sector actors (companies, retailers, consumers, governments) to contribute to a better ‘norm’

Main tasks

The exact focus of the internship will be defined together with the candidate and will be matched with their profile.

  • Contribute to a market intelligence report for the EU cocoa and coffee market (containing relevant information on price evolutions, market shares, business decisions, consumer trends etc.)
  • Screen sustainability programs of cocoa and coffee companies, assess impact and compare with relevant impact literature
  • Follow up on relevant policy evolutions (mainly EU deforestation law and EU due diligence legislation) and contribute to the elaboration of an internal Rikolto strategy
  • Contribute to the organisation of a learning event with chocolate companies to exchange lessons learnt and explore upscaling possibilities
  • Participate in and report on concrete project meetings in which inclusive business models between farmer cooperatives and buyers are being tested


You are an independent and accurate worker who likes to contribute and think along in the work of a research team. You enjoy delving into datasets, but you also know how to keep an overview. You have a great sense of responsibility and you dare to propose your own ideas to a manager. You are able to easily adapt to changing circumstances. Besides these qualities and the competences below, you also have an interest in the sustainability and health of food.


  • You are at least in the 3rd year of a bachelor's programme or 1st year of a master's programme
  • You are an independent and diligent worker who likes to actively contribute to and think along in the programme team
  • You enjoy exploring impact literature and translating these concepts into concrete plans that are applicable in mainstream business models
  • You are a team player
  • You are a critical thinker
  • You have affinity with sustainable food
  • You have a good knowledge of Dutch/French and English


A nice, welcoming workplace in the very heart of Leuven (Blijde Inkomststraat) close to the railway station, perfect if you’re planning on commuting.
You’ll have a good work-life balance thanks to flexible working: you decide together with your colleagues when to work at our office and when to work remotely, and you get great autonomy over your working hours and schedule.

We offer you ...

  • We are offering an internship of max. 6 months
  • We offer an enriching and enthusiastic working environment: you will work on the EU market (from our office in Belgium), but be in contact with and learn from our colleagues in the producing countries
  • Reimbursement of commuting costs is possible for students with a scholarship (transport costs necessary for the job will be reimbursed)

Do you feel you are the right person for this internship? Please send your application by email to liesbeth.vanmeulder [at] rikolto.org