International Consultant for Cinnamon International Market Research


Terms of Reference (TOR)

(International consultant) Cinnamon International Market Research

Project “Market development and competitiveness enhancement for cinnamon products to promote women's economic empowerment in Lao Cai province”

1.   Background

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) is a non-profit, international development organisation founded 53 years ago, and now operating in 28 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Our global team of local and international advisors use their expertise in three sectors – Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene – as well as the cross-cutting topics of gender, climate change and youth employment to contribute to solving some of the leading problems facing the world today. We work with local partners to equip communities, businesses and organisations with the tools, knowledge and connections they need to increase and gain access to basic services – empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and guide their own development.

SNV has been working in Vietnam since 1995, and currently has over 30 national and international staff. SNV Vietnam operates from a head office in Hanoi and projects in over 50 provinces in the country, including in the poorest and most remote areas.

SNV Vietnam has obtained a contract to implement the “Market development and competitiveness enhancement for cinnamon products to promote women's economic empowerment in Lao Cai province project” under the “Gender Responsive and Equitable Agriculture and Tourism” (GREAT) program funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and managed by CowaterSogema. The project focuses on improving the social and economic status of ethnic minority women in Vietnam by strengthening their engagement in the cinnamon value chain. This in turn increases incomes for local ethnic women, supports local businesses in Lao Cai province to better access international markets for cinnamon export is a key feature of the project.

SNV is looking for a qualified consultant (team or firm) who can deliver the services described below at a competitive price.

2.   Consultancy Objectives

The general objective of this assignment is to research and provide comprehensive and accurate information on the existing international market for cinnamon and based on that propose appropriate recommendations to support project beneficiaries i.e. smallholder cinnamon producers/cooperatives and relevant cinnamon value chain stakeholders to develop new/improved market opportunities.

The research will have the following specific objectives:

  • To provide a comprehensive overview of the international context and trends of the cinnamon with focus on high-value international markets for organic/sustainably produced cinnamon.
  • To provide a detailed description of the national context and competitiveness of the cinnamon value chain in Vietnam.
  • To present a detailed description of existing trade linkages between Vietnamese business and domestic and connections to international markets.
  • To identify and describe in detail new market opportunities (international) for Lao Cai cinnamon sector, and in particular for the project’s private sector partners, Son Ha Flavoring Ltd. co and VINASAMEX JSC companies and the project farmer groups/cooperatives that supply them
  • To develop and formulate recommended marketing strategies to further improve existing and have access to new markets of the Vietnamese Cinnamon products, including traditional market China, Japan, India, Taiwan, Korea and other international European markets.

3.   Outputs and use of outputs

The consultant is supposed to deliver at a good time and of good quality the following deliverables:

  • Output 1: Inception report (research work plan, approach and methods/tools)
  • Output 2: Data/information collection completion and hand over to SNV (the raw data);
  • Output 3: A detailed final report (in English) presenting an overview of the Vietnamese cinnamon sector and practical recommendations (as above). The final report will also provide inputs for SNV to:
    • Refine its interventions especially on market development for Son Ha, Vinasamex and local companies in Lao Cai province
    • Identify potential partners for post- harvest and processing improvement
    • Identify potential international partners for cooperation with farmers groups and local companies

The title of consultancy report will be “Cinnamon – The export market to high-end international market - For a competitive development of the Cinnamon Value Chain in Lao Cai province”. The report will fully address the research objectives as described above. Specifically, the report will include the following:

  • Market scan and analysis of Asia markets for different types of products sources of cinnamon over the last 5 years
  • Identification and analysis of most potential importing countries in European Union and America markets for the Cinnamon from Vietnam
  • Requirements to be able to access to the America & European Union Market
  • Situational analysis of the market in Lao Cai and Vietnam and causes that block the competitiveness.
  • Market action plan and mechanism to formalize the cinnamon trading 
  • Impacts of Covid 19 on the production and consumption of cinnamon products in the world.

4.   Scope of work 

The assignment will start with a general orientation on the cinnamon sector. This includes:

  • Study existing materials and documents

Data collection will include the following components

  • Collection of secondary data related to the cinnamon value-chain/market in Vietnam and Lao Cai, including data to be obtained from cinnamon exporters in Vietnam
  • Retrieval of primary data related to the cinnamon value-chain/market in Vietnam and Lao Cai.
  • Retrieval of secondary data related to the cinnamon market in China and cinnamon sector study
  • Retrieval of secondary data related to the Cinnamon international market

The following basic question needs to be answered during the research

  • What is the real demand, in terms of quality and quantity, of Cinnamon in Asia, EU, America and overall marketplace?
  • What are the conditions for different Cinnamon products in terms of entering high-end markets (e.g. Japan, America, EU…)
  • What is the real supply in terms of quality and quantity, of Vietnamese Cinnamon products?
  • Who are the key players and their requirements in Asia and overall markets?
  • What is the destiny of Vietnamese Cinnamons in the Asia and European market?
  • Who are the key players and trading linkages of the Cinnamon in Vietnam and Lao Cai? 
  • What are the main constraints that block the competitiveness of the Vietnamese Cinnamon? What is the current status of Son Ha Flavoring and VINASAMEX JSC companies and local firms in Lao Cai in terms of their ability to access high value international markets?
  • What are the potential niche markets for Vietnamese Cinnamon products: Organic, FLO, Geographical Indication, etc?
  • How Covid 19 affects the production and trade of cinnamon products in the world?

The analysis of data is the full responsibility of the consultant. This will be concluded in a validation workshop, in which 15 to 20 stakeholders will participate, during which a draft report, including its market research and intervention opportunities will be presented.

The role of the consultant is to be the main responsible party to implement the assignment, whereas SNV’s role is supportive as well as quality assurance. The division of main responsibilities is as follows:


Main responsibility



General orientation

Design the orientation program and fully participate.

Guide the consultant based on SNV’s existing network and information

Development of research methodology


Approval of research methodology (inception report)

Collection of secondary data

Ensure that all available data is retrieved.

Provide information available from SNV.

Interviews key stakeholders

Prepare list of interviewees.

Undertake interviews.

Approve list of interviewees.

Analysis of data

Fully responsible for the analysis of data.

Organize validation workshop

Participate in the validation workshop

Presentation and Final Report

Present the results of the consultancy to clients and SNV by means of a PowerPoint presentation as well as a draft report

Prepare a final version of the consultancy report, integrating comments and feedback provided by clients and SNV

Attend the presentation of the results.

Provide feedback for the final results of the Consulting.

Approve the final version of the consultancy report.


5.   Remuneration and Timelines

A total estimated of 30 working days by the consultant during the period February to May 2021.

A lump-sum to cover fee and related data collection, travel, as appropriate, will be paid upon satisfactory completion of the assignment.

Remuneration will be subject to the qualification of the consultant and to agreement on services provided by the consultant in relation to the SNV’s financial regulation.

The contract will be in form of lump sum with the proposed total budget covering consultancy fee, VAT/PIT tax.

6.   Consultancy qualifications

The consultant should be a team, combination of two experts (one international and one national experts), and should meet the following requirements:

  • Holding master’s degree either in Economics or Business Administration
  • Having good understanding on value chain development approach
  • Being fluent in research methodologies (qualitative and quantitative methods)
  • Being fluent statistics software users.
  • Being able to deliver the committed outputs on time
  • Having Excellent analytical skills and report writing skill in English
  • Having experience in agricultural sub-sector analysis and market study is an asset
  • Understanding on cinnamon and cinnamon sector is an advantage

7.   How to apply

Interested consultants are requested to submit his/her CV and interest letter with a short proposal demonstrating their ability to deliver the assignment and proposed rate to the link by 17.00 hrs February 28th, 2021.

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Sun, 2021-02-28