Calls for expressions of interest

AO 221261

Support to COLEACP and its partner-beneficiaries to strengthen the competitiveness of the agri-food sector in national, regional and international markets (with a specific emphasis on the EU27/UK) through market intelligence services)

Post date: 08/08/2022

Please complete the application form below:

Terms of Reference

1. Title of contract

Support to COLEACP and its partner-beneficiaries to strengthen the competitiveness of the agri-food sector in national, regional and international markets (with a specific emphasis on the EU27/UK) through market intelligence services.
Ref: COLEACP/AO/221261

2. Location

The required interventions may involve travel within partner-countries, with a specific emphasis on ACP states.

3. Main object (CPV code)

All agri-food products and in particular horticultural produces, especially:
03100000-1 Agricultural, farming, fishing, forestry and related products
03100000-2 Agricultural and horticultural products
15000000-8 Food, beverages, tobacco and related products

4. General address of the contracting authority

5 rue de la Corderie
94586 RUNGIS Cedex

5. Publication of detailed Contract Notice

Internet address of the contracting authority:

6. Procedure

The publication of this Contract Notice launches the first phase of the procedure and is intended to allow candidates to express their interest in bidding. An initial evaluation based on an analysis of the expressions of interest will result in the establishment of a shortlist of candidates deemed suitable to submit tenders.

Stages of the procedure:
Phase 1

  1. Publication of the Contract Notice and submission by candidates of their expression of interest
  2. Establishment of the longlist
  3. Pre-selection based on the application file
  4. Establishment of the shortlist

Phase 2

  1. Launching of the call for tenders (sending of tender documents to short-listed candidates)
  2. Selection based on the files provided by those tendering
  3. Establishment of framework contracts with the selected tenderers

The service providers selected following the consultation will be offered a framework contract, specifying a maximum daily remuneration rate per proposed expert. This rate of remuneration may differ from the financial proposal made by the tenderer.
In general, the services of the successful tenderers may start from the day of the signature of the framework contract. The interventions of the successful tenderers may extend until the full consumption of the budget allocated.

7. Background information

COLEACP is a non-profit inter-professional association created in 1973 by key players in the international fruit and vegetable trade, whose main objective is to develop an inclusive and sustainable trade in agricultural and food products (in particular fruit and vegetables), primarily in the ACP States, between ACP States and between these countries and the European Union (EU).

From an operational point of view, COLEACP is a technical assistance tool and a network of companies and experts committed to sustainable and inclusive agriculture. Since its creation, COLEACP has managed national, regional and international development projects in the agricultural and food sector in ACP countries, financed by donors.

COLEACP is organised into multiple departments corresponding to COLEACP’s areas of internal expertise: Technical Assistance, Training, Research & Innovation Brokerage, Market Insights, Information & Communication, Regulations & Standards, Access to Finance, and Network and Alliances.

FFM SPS and FFM Plus programmes
Fit For Market SPS: Strengthening sanitary and phytosanitary systems of the ACP horticultural sector
In December 2018, the EC and COLEACP signed a four-year grant contract, “Fit For Market – Strengthening sanitary and phytosanitary systems of the ACP horticultural sector” (FFM SPS), with a total budget of EUR 15 million funded by the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of the ACP States (OACPS) through the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). It is part of the European support to medium and long-term policies aimed at strengthening productive capacities, stimulating innovation and improving the sustainability and competitiveness of the ACP private sector.

The overall objective of this programme is to contribute to poverty reduction, improve food security and safety, and ensure inclusive and sustainable growth by strengthening the ACP agri-food export sector. The specific objective of the programme is to ensure that small ACP producers, farmers’ groups and organisations and MSMEs have access to international and domestic fruit and vegetable markets within a sustainable framework, by helping them to take account of the requirements of these markets, particularly in terms of food safety.

The implementation of this programme aims to build capacity in horticultural safety and plant health both at the level of private sector actors (small producers, farmer groups and organisations, MSMEs, etc.) and at the level of the competent authorities. To this end, COLEACP assists programme beneficiaries in meeting (regulatory) market requirements, including those related to food safety. In addition, COLEACP studies the destination markets for ACP fruit and vegetables, in particular local and regional ACP markets, with a view to gaining a better understanding of their quality and quantity.

Fit For Market Plus: Mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the sustainability of the ACP horticultural sector
In November 2021, the EC and COLEACP signed a five-year grant contract, “Fit For Market Plus: Mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the sustainability of the ACP horticultural sector”, with a total budget of EUR 25 million financed by the 11th EDF.

Both FFM SPS and FFM+ are part of the intra-ACP cooperation programme between the EU and the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), formerly ACP Group of States. It is part of European support for medium- and long-term policies aimed at strengthening productive capacities, stimulating innovation, and improving the sustainability and competitiveness of the ACP private sector.

The overall objective of FFM+ is to contribute to poverty reduction and improved food security and nutrition, by supporting the building of a fairer, safer and sustainable agri-food sector in member countries of the OACPS. Despite a disruptive landscape, the first specific objective is to support smallholders, farmer groups and MSMEs to maintain and improve access to national, regional, and international horticultural markets while adapting to changes in the operating environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, in a context of accelerated changes and paradigm shift, the second specific objective is to enable smallholders, farmer groups and MSMEs of the horticultural sector to seize new market opportunities through the development and adoption of safe and sustainable practices, skills and technologies.

The expected results of FFM SPS and FFM+ are complementary and integrated into an overall COLEACP implementation framework aimed at building and strengthening capacity at national and regional levels to ensure that effective and efficient national SPS systems are in place for the ACP horticultural industry.

Other projects implemented by COLEACP
As part of the diversification of its funding sources, COLEACP is led to implement other national or multinational programs funded by different donors. Thus, in addition to the FFM SPS and FFM+ programmes, COLEACP is also involved in the implementation of several technical assistance programmes/projects in line with the association’s mission:

  • “Strengthening the phytosanitary control and certification system for the fruit and vegetable sector in Togo” (STDF/PG/375) financed by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (FANDC – STDF)
  • “Strengthening of the Phytosanitary Control and Certification System in Guinea” (STDF/PG/498) financed by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (FANDC – STDF)
  • “Improving the sanitary and phytosanitary quality of Penja pepper in Cameroon to facilitate access to international markets” (STDF/PG/593) financed by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (FANDC – STDF)
  • “NExT Kenya: Enhancing Kenyan Horticultural Export” (CRIS 414-898) funded by the EU, aims to increase the contribution of the Kenyan horticultural sector to household incomes and improve food security, food safety and nutrition by strengthening the resilience, integration and sustainability of the country’s horticultural value chains.
  • “AGRINFO – Towards a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system: addressing compliance with EU regulatory and non-regulatory measures” (FOOD 2021/427-777), funded by the EC for a total budget of EUR 7 million. The AGRINFO programme focuses on identifying and monitoring EU policies, regulatory and non-regulatory measures, standards and market trends that have a potential impact on competitiveness, market access and trade dynamics on national, regional, international levels for agricultural operators in partner countries and in the EU.

The list of other programmes/projects is not exhaustive. Indeed, COLEACP is involved in the implementation of several national and regional technical assistance programmes/projects, in partnership with donors working towards inclusive and sustainable horticultural production and trade. Please refer to COLEACP’s website for more information on its interventions.

COLEACP’s Market Insights Department and the development of its activities
As part of the Market Insights Department, COLEACP monitors food regulations and private quality and societal standards. It also studies specific developments in the international market for fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, particularly in the European Union and ACP countries.

Like the general organisation of COLEACP, the Market Insights Department is constantly evolving in order to meet the needs of its partners. This implies, on the one hand, the development of more and more contents and data management. On the other hand, the Market Insights Department is in charge of conceptualising and implementing new means of disseminating this information to facilitate access to and understanding of this content. This work is facilitated by the continuous improvement of the digital anchorage of COLEACP and its programmes. This digital anchoring is done in close collaboration with the national ACP professional associations which are potential information relays to their members.

8. Market description

Overall market objective
This contract concerns the provision of support services for the technical implementation of all ongoing and future COLEACP programmes.

All successful tenderers will be offered a framework contract, which will specify the names of the selected experts and the maximum daily fee per expert. In some cases, and following the evaluation of the proposed CVs, the fees mentioned in the contract may differ from the fees proposed in the financial offer of the tenderer.

The objective of this tender is to create a pool of experts with the sought expertise, as described in “Type of activity”, who can be mobilised by the COLEACP’s technical team when needed. Services will therefore be required on an as-needed basis and through ordering letters specifying the terms of the assignments.

As a result of the above-mentioned, it is important to note that within this tender, although signing a framework contract is a pre-requisite to work with COLEACP, it does not guarantee that all service providers will be asked to carry out an assignment.

Principles of intervention
In the continuity of the previous programmes, the intervention logic of COLEACP programmes is based on the expression of requests from enterprises or producer groups, but also from intermediary support structures – be they public or private – that are actively involved in the process of compliance of the sectors concerned (service providers, professional organisations, training centres, inspection services, etc.). It also adopts the following modalities and principles of action that have contributed to their success:

  • Local ownership;
  • No substitution of local stakeholders;
  • Investment in local expertise and human resources;
  • Pooling of problems / economies of scale/intra-inter regional approach favoured;
  • Demand-driven approach;
  • A participatory approach and cost sharing;
  • South-South cooperation;
  • Technical, scientific and financial partnerships to avoid duplication, optimise synergies and upscale impact;
  • A cross-cutting framework on youth and women.

COLEACP will preferentially involve service providers with consultants based in partner-countries , with a specific emphasis on ACP countries, from which the beneficiaries of the programmes are requesting support, in order to ensure that the characteristics of the operators concerned and their environment are considered rapidly and effectively. This concern for the increasing involvement of local expertise is an integral part of COLEACP’s intervention logic.

Themes covered by the market
The themes covered by this call for tenders are the following:

  • Economic, trade and marketing expertise on agri-food markets and systems in the EU, UK and internationally, including partner-countries (with a specific emphasis on ACP countries): trade data collection, production data collection, consumer trend data collection, market analysis, quantitative statistical analysis, qualitative analysis of the agri-food system, supply chain analysis, value chain analysis, etc.
  • Management of economic databases: working with the COLEACP database, completing the COLEACP database, setting up database management systems, etc.
  • Specific knowledge in the horticultural sector, with a specific emphasis on fruit and vegetables sub-sectors.

Tenderers must demonstrate sufficient skills and experience in at least one of the subjects covered by this contract to enable them to carry out the tasks that may be assigned to them.

Beneficiary partners / target audiences
The direct beneficiaries of this contract are the internal departments of COLEACP whose activities are covered by this call for tender. This concerns mainly the Market Insights Department. The indirect beneficiaries/target groups of this contract are COLEACP’s existing and potential partners, namely stakeholders in the agri-food and horticultural sector in particular, in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the partner-countries (with a specific emphasis on ACP states).

In other words, actors in the agri-food supply chains (producers, exporters, importers, retailers, etc.), farmers’ organisations and cooperatives, professional organisations, economic communities, agents of intermediary structures in the sector, actors in the public and private (agri-food) sectors, etc.

Type of activities
The activities to be organised will be carried out within the framework of COLEACP’s digital and local anchoring process and that of the beneficiaries/partners of its programmes (in particular the professional associations). Thus, the planned activities can be carried out either on site, or totally at a distance using the available digital tools, or in a hybrid way with a face-to-face and a distance part.

The actions to be organised under this call for tenders will include the following aspects:

Expertise in agri-food systems
To provide expertise on agri-food markets and systems, particularly in the fruit and vegetable sector, in the EU, the UK and internationally, particularly in ACP countries and sub-Saharan Africa, through:

  • Detailed analyses of national, regional and international trade flows in the main agricultural commodities of the targeted country, region and/or continent.
  • Detailed analyses of production volumes by sector/sub-sector and/or country.
  • Analysis of national, regional and international consumption trends.
  • SWOT analyses.
  • Specific identification of the potential in relation to promising commodity chains (analysis of competition, applicable tariff regimes for the different destination markets, changes in consumer expectations, buyers’ requirements for certification, etc.). Analysis of supply and value chains.

Database management
The services sought will include, among others, the following activities required for various market analyses, in particular with regard to horticulture (with a specific emphasis on fruit and vegetables)

  • Data collection, including interviews with key stakeholders, surveys, literature reviews, contacts with national statistical agencies, consultation of global databases, etc.
  • Data encoding and normalisation,
  • Verification and cleaning of data,
  • Data processing.

Illustration – Some examples of actions:

  • Collection of data on trade flows,
  • Collection of data on consumption trends and consumers’ behaviours,
  • Data on the organisation of sectors and supply chains,
  • Data on the marketing mix of specific products (price, packaging, promotion).

This list is not exhaustive and some services may be added or removed depending on the needs of the partners and the activities to be organised accordingly.

9. Budget

The maximum value of this Contract Notice is € 299,000.

10. Provisional timetable

Date of publication of this Contract Notice: 08/08/2022
Deadline for receipt of applications (expressions of interest): 07/09/2022
Deadline for publication of the shortlist: 13/09/2022
Expected date for sending invitations to tenders: 13/09/2022
Deadline for submission of tenders: 13/10/2022
Date of notification to the successful bidders: 04/11/2022
Expected start date of the contract: (from) from the date of signature by the 2 contracting parties
The final schedule will be included in the tender documents.

11. Eligibility

Participation is open, under equal conditions, to all natural persons and legal entities (participating individually or in a consortium of bidders) who are nationals of the ACP and EU States and/or listed in Annex 1 to this document. A consortium may be a permanent group with legal status or an informal group created for the purpose of a specific call for tenders. All the members of a consortium (i.e. the lead partner and all other partners) are jointly and severally liable to the contracting authority.

A check will be carried out to ensure that none of the candidate bidders appears on any of the Financial Sanctions Lists (lists designating persons, groups or entities subject to financial sanctions by the United Nations, the EU and France).

The participation of an ineligible natural person or legal entity will result in the automatic exclusion of the application concerned. If this ineligible person is part of a consortium, the application of the entire consortium will be excluded.

12. Prohibition on pre-selected candidates forming groups

Any tenders received from tenderers allied with firms other than those mentioned in the shortlisted application forms will be excluded from the tender procedure. Shortlisted candidates may neither associate nor conclude mutual subcontracting agreements in the context of the contract in question. No more associations will be allowed after the shortlist has been established.

13. Criteria for selecting applications

Selection criteria relating to the technical and professional capacity of the bidder will be applied to candidates. In the case of an application submitted by a consortium, these criteria will apply to the whole consortium.

These criteria ensure that the candidate (or the consortium as a whole) has sufficient skills and experience to perform the contract.

The correct observance of the instructions for sending the application file will also be considered in the evaluation

14. Application form

The bidder should indicate an interest in participating in the call for tenders by applying. If the candidate is pre-selected, the name of the structure indicated on the application file will be used in the shortlist. No further changes (name, consortium or other) will be allowed.

The form is available in English and French and should be completed in one of these languages.
It includes the following data:
1. General information on the applicant
2. The application file:

  • 1 brief description of one and/or more recent and relevant assignments related to the type of activities (maximum 1000 words).
  • the names of up to 3 experts who technically meet the expertise requirements and a brief description of their respective skills and experience.
  • at least one professional reference with an email address.

The application must be received by COLEACP no later than Wednesday, September 07th, 2022.

15. Communication with COLEACP

If you have any questions regarding this Contract Notice or your application, please email .
Be sure to include Contract Notice reference COLEACP/AO/221261 in the title of your email when communicating with COLEACP.

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