| May 23, 2024

Chief Partnership Officer in Sustainable Food Systems | Europe

Guest Author


  • Full Time
  • Europe

Website EIT Food

Are you a strategic, executive-level partnership-builder or business-developer with an understanding of the European agrifood ecosystem? Do you find the prospect of joining a pan-European organisation focused on transforming food systems to address some of the most pressing global issues, from climate change and resource depletion to disease and obesity exciting? If so, look no further.

Acre is thrilled to partner with EIT Food, the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community to identify a new Chief Partnerships Officer (CPO) who will be a vital member of the Executive Management Team. Our client is seeking an experienced leader to grow and elevate the success of EIT Food’s partnership program by investing in projects, organisations and individuals that bring innovation to address the key challenges across the food system to create healthier lives through food and a net zero food system that is fair and resilient.

The ideal candidate will have experience of working in the agribusiness ecosystem and leading a partnership strategy that maximises commercial opportunities and measures membership satisfaction. They will have executive leadership experience and be comfortable operating in a rapidly changing organization.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Deliver a clear partner strategy to recruit, engage and grow our partnership, support our partners’ engagement in our strategy, and the impact that they deliver across our Missions.
  • Provide executive leadership across the organisation to drive the growth and success of EIT Food’s Partnership.
  • Lead the strategy development and delivery of pan-European Partnership activities.
  • Provide strategic direction, vision, and clear executive leadership to regional teams.
  • Develop and implement a Partnership growth strategy to support the diversification of funding sources.
  • Define a compelling Partnership value proposition to support the implementation of the growth strategy.
  • Lead the development and implementation of a Partnership satisfaction strategy based on partner needs and issues.
  • Through the Regional Directors, build strong communities in our offices, supporting the organisation to improve recruitment and retention across Europe.
  • Work with regional directors to develop regional strategies that align with the organisation’s global strategy, and align to the EU’s regional and national agendas.
  • Represent Partners’ in executive decision-making.
  • Work with the Communications and Events team to develop a Partner-focused events schedule and the events
  • Act as a key executive escalation point for Partner issues, including tracking and resolution.

Ideally, the candidate has:

  • Demonstrable experience growing a network and community, creating a vibrant ecosystem of organisations and people.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in a similar leadership role, involving partnerships/networks, with an international scope, with at least 10 years’ experience is senior leadership roles with externally facing responsibilities such as sales, strategy, service delivery etc.
  • Experience in an executive management team (statutory director/officer) of a mid to large, pan-European organisation.
  • Relevant experience in the international food system that allows for an understanding of the context of EIT Food and the needs of its diverse partner base strongly desirable.
  • Ability to balance competing and complex interests from varied regional, global, and other organizational stakeholders.
  • Excellent leadership and strategic capabilities consistent with the requirements of a C-level role.
  • Ability to summarize and solve complex problems in a structured way and communicate these solutions clearly and directly.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and excellent English skills.
  • Flexibility – the ability to lead others in a rapidly changing organisation.
  • Analytical – ability to analyse complex situations and use data to inform insights.
  • Business and commercial acumen – ability to translate business needs and problems into solutions and effectively commercialise partnership opportunities.

This is a hybrid role based in an EU country with priority given to Eastern or Southern countries and a preference for Spain, Italy or Poland where we already have a presence. Frequent travel within Europe required.

Diversity Statement

Diversity drives innovation and accelerates businesses and enterprises towards their missions. As such, we are wholly committed to partnering with clients and candidates alike to foster a more inclusive, sustainable future for generations to come.

Acre is committed to increasing diversity and maintaining a progressive and inclusive workplace, both for ourselves and for the organisations we support. It is important to us that we offer equal opportunities in the recruitment processes that we run. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, marital status or whether or not they have a disability.

If you require additional equipment, resources or support in order to participate in the job application or interview process, please let us know by contacting the named consultant managing this search and we will work with you to ensure that your accessibility needs are met.

About Acre

At Acre, we work with the most aspirational businesses with potential to make real change; from those who are just starting out to those who are well on the journey to crafting a legacy.

Our 20 years’ experience in sustainability recruitment, combined with our extensive global network, enables us to provide talent solutions that are designed to deliver this change. Through our unique behavioural assessment technology, we understand the types of people, skills and behaviours required to create impact. We can develop these qualities within your existing teams too.

We find talented people and develop their skills to make a true impact in ambitious, progressive organisations. The result? Businesses equipped to build resilience, adapt and manage the risks involved in tackling climate change.​


To apply for this job please visit www.acre.com.