Business Development Manager, Coffee

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


As the Coffee Business Development (BD) Manager, your role is to support coffee roasters and drive their impact through the increased purchasing of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees. This includes identifying new coffee roaster and brand prospects, identifying potential opportunities within their businesses and with their customers (e.g.. retailers, food service providers), educating staff, and communicating the impact of Fair Trade. Finding and growing these relationships is key to improving the livelihoods of more farmers around the world.

Internally, you will support ongoing activities within the Coffee Business Development team, potentially including industry and B2B communications, project management, industry event planning and support, and development of data analysis and insights. Externally, you will lead the development of strategy and engagement in emerging sectors for sustainable coffee, to potentially include ready-to-drink (ex: cold brew), food service, and grocery retail. The BD Coffee team is entrepreneurial, and encourages you to develop 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 proven success within previous sales roles, experience managing and growing accounts, and has shown skill with B2B communications (oral and written) and industry facing events and publications. Direct experience within the coffee industry is preferred but not required. Additionally, the candidate will be enthusiastic, highly motivated, organized, possess professional communication skills, and have a genuine passion for the mission of Fair Trade USA. 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!


1) Identify and develop new business opportunities

  • Research and gauge opportunities by sector (ex: cold brew, food service, regional grocers, etc.), develop and execute strategies for engagement
  • Proactively outreach potential partners, making the case for Fair Trade as a valuable business opportunity
  • Build out a sales pipeline with specific goals and associated metrics
  • Develop tools (e.g., presentations, materials, tracking processes) to pursue new partners
  • Represent Fair Trade USA at targeted industry and consumer trade shows, conferences and events

2) Support and develop business partner relationships on a day-to-day basis, as determined by BD Director

  • Develop and maintain relationships with relevant coffee industry organizations
  • Maintain records of communications, contacts, and activities in SalesForce (CRM database)
  • Act as a conduit between business partners and their existing and prospective clients
  • Identify new growth opportunities for partners’ existing Fair Trade products in various channels, convert existing products to Fair Trade, and support product development for new Fair Trade products
  • Work with our Coffee Supply Chain team to identify programs and initiatives to provide additional value to business partners, including program development, education and training, and relevant information about challenges and opportunities for producers in coffee growing countries
  • Support Coffee Team and business partners through new product processes, and aid them in complying with Fair Trade USA guidelines and standards

3) Contribute to Fair Trade USA’s Operational Excellence

  • Play an active role on projects and programs determined to be priority for the organization and important to the overall success of Business Development
  • Assist with cross-departmental activities (e.g., external communication strategy, opportunity management processes, process improvement)
  • Leverage data to provide valuable business analysis to our internal team and business partners


  • Bachelors Degree
  • At least 3 years of sales, vendor management, or account management experience, ideally within the Coffee or Food & Beverage industries
  • At least 1 year of direct experience managing a sales pipeline and/or generating and qualifying leads
  • Exceptional customer service background, supported by proven success with clients and customers
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Experience analyzing data and developing/working with business analytics systems
  • Generous knowledge of and/or high interest in the coffee industry, as well as an understanding of the social/economic/environmental issues impacting coffee agriculture
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to think quickly, adapt to dynamic work streams and evolving business needs
  • An entrepreneurial spirit: ability to think creatively and leverage external resources to complete tasks
  • Must be able to prioritize work, 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
  • Prior experience working with a CRM system, (i.e. Salesforce) is highly preferred
  • Familiarity with social media platforms (i.e Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Experience with email marketing, specific skills with email marketing platforms a plus
  • Ability to speak Spanish a plus
  • A passion to make a difference in the world, and alignment with the Fair Trade USA mission

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

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