PB Careers: Fair Trade USA – Business Development Specialist – Private Label, CPGs

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

Overview of Position
We are looking for a dynamic team member to support private label manufacturers and grow sales of private label Fair Trade Certified™ consumer packaged goods to increase our positive impact on farmers and workers in agricultural supply chains.  As a Business Development Specialist, you will (a) manage and develop existing partnerships with key private label manufacturers, (b) cultivate new partnerships by educating manufacturers about the importance of Fair Trade, and helping them incorporate Fair Trade into their business, (c) help register new companies and their Fair Trade Certified products, (d) create tools to help them sell their Fair Trade products, and (d) work hand-in-hand with our supply chain and certification teams to ensure successful outcomes at FTC farms.

A good fit for the position is someone who:

  • Believes deeply in our mission and loves the idea of bridging business strategy with sustainable development
  • Communicates confidently and effectively with business partners
  • Enjoys being a great customer service provider
  • Is a self-starter and can work independently, learn quickly, and get projects done in an innovative, fast-paced and rapidly-changing environment
  • Recognizes that getting things done means working in teams and playing well with others, so is a great listener, learner and communicator

Specific Responsibilities include:

  • Partner Acquisition:
    • Identify new development opportunities and develop targeting strategies for potential new partners to manufacture private label products using FTC ingredients.
    • Drive the sales process from prospecting to close, which will include following up on leads and making formal presentations, communicating the business, social and environmental advantages of Fair Trade certification. Develop tools and materials as needed to pursue new partners.
    • Support the onboarding of new partners and the launch of new FTC private label products. Assist partners in complying with Fair Trade USA guidelines and standards.
    • Work closely with the Fair Trade Retail team to facilitate and support connections between potential Fair Trade private label manufacturers and retailers.
  • Account Management:
    • Support existing Fair Trade USA manufacturers on all day-to-day business needs, helping them to achieve their Fair Trade expansion goals and promote their Fair Trade Certified offerings.
    • Work with the Fair Trade USA marketing department and our partners on promotions and tools to maximize consumer outreach.
    • Ensure partners are kept up-to-date on all relevant news and activities.
    • Work with the Certification team to resolve any data or reporting discrepancies.
    • Help prepare and deliver producer profile and impact data to partners.
    • Work with the CPG supply chain team to identify programs and initiatives that provide value to partners, including program development, education and training, and relevant information about challenges and opportunities for producers at origin.
    • Ensure partner information is accurate, complete and up to date. Maintain records of communications and activities in SalesForce (CRM database).
  • General:
    • Represent Fair Trade USA at industry and consumer trade shows, conferences and events both domestically and internationally.
    • Participate in cross-functional projects and programs determined to be a priority for the organization and the consumer-packaged goods category.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2+ years of sales and/or account management experience in the food industry Experience in the CPG, private label or retail/grocery industry is desirable
  • Ability to think quickly: learn, adapt, and work autonomously, as well with teams
  • Excellent negotiation and communication skills
  • Ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Creative problem solver with a passion for outstanding customer service
  • Must be able to prioritize work effectively, problem solve and handle detail-oriented projects in a systematic and highly organized manner
  • Be outcome-oriented
  • Proficient computer/internet skills such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Box, Dropbox
  • Prior experience working with a CRM system, such as Salesforce


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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.