View Vacancy - Food and Drink In-Market Specialist (BEL19.358)

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SDI (Scottish Development International)

Scottish Development International (SDI) is the international arm of the Scottish Government and Scotland's national economic agencies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. With 30 offices in 20 countries, the SDI overseas network is a primary platform to deliver in-market trade support to Scottish businesses. In April 2019, Scottish Government launched Scotland’s Export Growth Plan “A Trading Nation”. An ambitious vision to grow Scotland’s exports and shift the dial to achieve a real difference in the growth of our exports.

The purpose of this role is to increase and widen the on-the-ground support available to Scottish companies operating in the Food and Drink industry, who 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 4th and 8th largest global export markets, and we are seeking to develop these further by having a dedicated member of the Food & Drink team located in-country.  Combining existing sales into Benelux as a region would make it Scotland’s third largest food export market. This post will build on the existing Food and Drink Specialists which SDI have had in place since 2015, and will adopt the same ways of working, operating as a global team.

Although the appointment is for an indefinite period of time, it is expected that the overall period of service will most probably not exceed three years.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

To undertake the following:

  • 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;
  • 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.


  • Experience, Knowledge and understanding of the Food and Drink sector as a minimum, and ideally also tourism and/or textiles, 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;
  • Knowledge and experience of working in the specific region (Benelux);
  • 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 is required;
  • 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.

Other information

  • 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;
  • Fluency in any European language from one of our key target markets (e.g. French, German, Spanish, Dutch) would be desirable.
Seeing the Big Picture, Collaborating and Partnering, Achieving Commercial Outcomes, Delivering at Pace
24 September 2019
C4 (L)
Full-time, Permanent
Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
UK Delegation
1 November 2019

This is a permanent full-time contract, for 5 working days (36,25 hours net) per week. Although the appointment is for an indefinite period of time, it is expected that the overall period of service will most probably not exceed three years. This point will be addressed during the recruitment process.

The monthly gross salary for this position is €5,233.63, C4(L) level.

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.

Visa / Passport requirements: Candidates must currently hold the independent right to live and work in Belgium and be prepared to ensure that right remains throughout the scope of the contract. Additional requirements may become necessary pending EU Exit. If requirements change additional eligibility information will be shared during the recruitment process.

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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This opportunity is closed to applications.