Business Development Senior Manager, Coffee

Location: Oakland, CA
Job Term: Regular
Duration: Full-time


As the Coffee Business Development (BD) Senior Manager, your primary role is to provide services and support that ultimately increase purchases and promotion of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees, with both existing and prospective coffee companies. Finding and growing these business partner relationships is the key to helping improve the lives of more farmers and workers around the world.

Externally, you will manage key coffee manufacturer accounts, actively identifying opportunities both within these accounts and throughout their customer base to convert current coffee products to Fair Trade and encourage promotion and support of existing Fair Trade products. It’s imperative that you continuously develop and refine a deep understanding of your portfolio’s businesses to identify areas in which Fair Trade can provide value and grow volumes. This ongoing understanding requires a dedication to relationship building through regular phone calls, engagement at trade shows and conferences, and travel to visit client offices and facilities. Using your knowledge of the grocery retail industry, and the value of sustainable coffee sourcing, your job is to develop strategic plans to grow existing business within your portfolio and bring in new business to the organization.

Internally, you will support ongoing activities within the Coffee Business Development team, including market research and strategy design, and continued identification of sales and marketing materials that better help you, your colleagues, and your clients to sell the value of Fair Trade to their stakeholders. Using your analytical abilities, you’ll help to create custom reports and resources that assist current business partners to understand and strengthen their connection to their company’s direct impact to coffee producers. The BD Coffee team is entrepreneurial, and encourages you to recognize new initiatives, refine current approaches, and distinguish unique ways to provide more value to our business partners and their clients, while increasing the volumes of Fair Trade Coffee being purchased and sold.

The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience managing large business accounts and/or suppliers, with at least 3 of those years within the retail grocery or wholesale coffee industry. Must have at least 2 years of direct sales experience or have proven success growing business with key accounts. Experience proactively selling in a B2B (business to business) environment is strongly preferred. Candidates should be passionate about sustainability, have a strong understanding of coffee supply chains and/or retail grocery product development processes, and appreciate different companies’ diverse approaches toward Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Deep understanding of the grocery private label industry, marketing and/or Sales Operations experience a very strong plus. Additionally, the candidate will be enthusiastic, highly motivated, incredibly organized, possess exceptionally professional communication and presentation skills, and have a genuine passion for the mission of Fair Trade. Candidate must be a quick learner, and self-starter. Most importantly, the individual must work well with others, take initiative, and be willing to roll up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to help our team achieve success!


General Responsibilities

  • Manage an account portfolio of ~100 coffee brands and manufacturers (representing nearly $1 million in revenue, and many millions of dollars in impact to coffee producers), providing relevant support and services to build stronger relationships and an increased commitment to Fair Trade
  • Successfully hit volume and revenue targets determined by the Business Development Director
  • Identify optimal opportunities with prospective brands and manufacturers, to define and execute approaches to cultivating relationships and building business with targeted brands and manufacturers
  • Promote the success of current Fair Trade Certified™ products by supporting the creation of general and customizable B2B resources and tools for manufacturers and their clients
  • Identify new growth opportunities for partners’ existing Fair Trade products in grocery retail and other channels; convert existing products to Fair Trade; and support product development and launch for new Fair Trade products
  • Play an active role on priority projects and programs for the organization and important to the overall success of the Business Development team
  • Maintain records of communications and activities in SalesForce (CRM database)
  • Ensure business partner and relevant contact information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date
  • Assist with cross-departmental activities to ensure the smooth operation of the organization (e.g., external communication strategy, opportunity management processes, process improvement)
  • Ensure brands and other industry stakeholders are kept up-to-date on all news and activities
  • Work with Coffee Supply Chain team to identify programs and initiatives to provide value to partners, including program development, education and training, and relevant information about challenges and opportunities for producers in coffee growing countries
  • Develop tools (e.g., presentations, materials, tracking processes) to pursue and obtain new partners
  • Support Coffee Team and business partners through new product processes, and aid them in complying with Fair Trade USA guidelines and standards
  • Represent Fair Trade USA at industry and consumer trade shows, conferences and events both domestically and internationally


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • At least 5 years of sales, vendor management, or large account management experience, with at least 3 of those within the coffee or retail grocery industries, ideally in a B2B environment
  • At least 2 years of direct sales experience, or 2 years of proven success growing business within key accounts
  • Exceptional customer service background, supported by proven success with clients and customers
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Must be a self-starter, able to take ownership over projects and accounts, be self-directed with your schedule and prioritization of work
  • Specific experience with business communications and content creation (traditional and digital)
  • Strong knowledge of the coffee industry and global coffee supply chains, as well as an understanding of the social issues impacting coffee agriculture
  • Solid grasp, or specific experience in, Corporate Social Responsibility and/or Sustainability
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to think quickly, adapt to dynamic work streams and evolving business needs
  • An ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment: have a strategic approach to your work and clients, and confidence in your decision-making abilities in the absence of specific instruction or supervision
  • Must be able to prioritize work appropriately, problem solve, and handle detail-oriented projects in a systematic and highly organized manner
  • Highly proficient with PC computers and Microsoft Office programs, especially Word and Excel
  • Proficiency with social media platforms (i.e Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Experience with email marketing, specific skills with email marketing platforms a plus
  • Prior experience working with a CRM system, (i.e. Salesforce) is preferred
  • Digital design experience a plus
  • A passion to make a difference in the world, and alignment with the Fair Trade USA mission
  • Ability to speak additional languages a plus

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter and your resume to the attention of Mari Triplett, Director of Business Development, Coffee

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