PB Careers: Fair Trade USA – Business Development Manager, Coffee

PB Careers: Fair Trade USA – Business Development Manager, Coffee
Location: Oakland, CA
Job Term: Regular
Duration: Full-time

As the Fair Trade USA 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 supporting current coffee roaster accounts to grow and market their Fair Trade products, identifying potential opportunities to grow Fair Trade business within those accounts and with their customers (e.g.. retailers, food service providers), providing sales support and education to staff within those accounts, identifying and assessing new and prospective accounts, and communicating the impact of Fair Trade to various stakeholders. 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 continued development of strategy and execution of engagement activities with private label coffee manufacturers and their retail grocery clients. This segment of our portfolio is the most impactful, and the fastest growing portion of our business. 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 and/or customer service roles, experience managing (and ideally growing) accounts, is highly determined, and has shown skill with professional communications (oral and written) ideally aimed at B2B or industry clients or stakeholders. Direct experience within the coffee industry is preferred but not required. Additionally, the candidate will be enthusiastic, highly motivated, incredibly organized and detail oriented, possess strong public speaking abilities, and have a genuine passion for the mission of Fair Trade USA. Candidate must be a quick learner, and self-starter, yet able to work within existing processes and systems. 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) Support and develop business partner relationships on a day-to-day basis, as determined by BD Director

  • Develop and strengthen relationships with current business partners through proactive outreach
  • Plan and execute strategies to identify opportunities to provide value to, and create business growth within key accounts
  • Maintain records of communications, contacts, and activities in SalesForce (CRM database)
  • Act as a strategic ally to business partners, while proactively recommending tactics to promote and market their Fair Trade products
  • Remain organized and methodical in tracking activities that further our knowledge of business partner’s needs and challenges, while determining where our products and services may provide support in those areas
  • 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

2) Identify and develop new business opportunities

  • Research and gauge opportunities by sector (ex: regional grocers, foodservice, etc.), develop and execute strategies for engagement
  • Proactively outreach to 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

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 one year of sales, customer service, vendor management, or account management experience, ideally within the Coffee, Food & Beverage, or Retail Grocery industries
  • Exceptional customer service background with proven success developing strong relationships with clients, customers, prospects, or vendors, ideally in a B2B setting
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills, and passionate about developing relationships with contacts via in-person meetings and over the phone
  • 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
  • Must have a growth mindset, be comfortable learning while doing, able to persevere and learn from challenges and failures, and generally committed to continuous improvement
  • 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
  • Dedication to follow through and documentation of critical processes and activities
  • Openness to utilize new systems, ability and eagerness to try new tools and platforms
  • Must be able to prioritize work, problem solve, and handle detail-oriented projects in a systematic and highly organized manner
  • Must perform well in a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • Highly proficient with PC computers and Microsoft Office programs, especially Word and Excel
  • Experience analyzing data and/or measuring business performance utilizing metrics and documentation strongly preferred
  • 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
  • Travel required for this position, up to about 25%, primarily domestic with some occasional international travel
  • To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to the attention of Mari Triplett, Director of Business Development, Coffee.


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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.