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12 Jul 2017

West Coast Grower Relations Manager – Northern California

Posted by Tara Schwartz, tara@producecareers.com – Anywhere

Job Description

Job #31821

Category leading food and agriculture organization has a terrific opportunity for a grower relations expert who can expand their grower base and develop strong relationships with farmers.  Based in Northern California, this company is in a fast-growing category that will continue to expand.

The Position

The Manager of Grower Relations positon plays a key leading role in sourcing from outside growers, ensuring “the right” high quality fruit is delivered to the processing facility in a timely and cost-effective manner.  The Manager of Grower Relations serves as the liaison between the company and its grower partners.  This includes managing all existing grower relationships, cultivating new grower relationships, developing and implementing grower communication programs, evaluating grower orchards, communicating best agricultural practices, and coordinating and managing the harvest and delivery of grower fruit to facility.  This position is a member of the Ag Leadership Team.

The successful candidate will be very hands-on, working closely and collaboratively with the other members of the organization in executing aggressive growth strategy through its outside grower supply requirements.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement strategic and tactical plans for the Grower Relations department to ensure on-going and expanded supply from existing and new outside growers.
  • Develop all planning and budgeting for Grower Relations department operations.
  • Evaluate and manage all grower contracts, agreements and partnerships.
  • Transmit crop quality requirements, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s) and best practices to its grower community, identifying state of the art production processes and industry learnings to all outside growers.
  • Plan, coordinate, and control all communication efforts to its existing and emerging outside grower community.
  • Evaluating ongoing grower crops/performance, and maintaining a data base related to crop attributes, production practices and grower performance.
  • Coordinating the harvest and delivery of product to the facility and working across the organization to develop and execute the Annual Harvest Plan.
  • Networking within the industry and serving as a representative of the company in various Industry organizations and functions.
  • Identifying and coordinating services and benefits of the company may provide to its grower community.
  • Helping to evaluate new ranch and/or crop expansion opportunities.
  • Contribute cross-functionally as a member of the Ag Leadership team.

Ideal Candidate Profile

We seek a results-driven Manager who has excellent strategic thinking skills, relevant Grower Relations and crop production experience, a strong collaborative and team-oriented attitude and a business builder’s entrepreneurial perspective, thought process and execution capability. The winning candidate will have a dynamic management style and strong interpersonal skills that are equally effective in an on-farm visit with an outside grower, potential grower and in the boardroom. A pioneering view that supports the company’s growth strategies is essential.

Experience and Skills Required

  • Minimum of 5-8 years of Grower Relations experience, preferably with tree crops.
  • A solid grounding in and knowledge of agricultural production methods.
  • A mature knowledge of the sales and discovery process, effectively managing the sales cycle.
  • Superior negotiation skills and strategic acumen.
  • Strong ability to analyze data and make qualified judgements on results.
  • A strategic thinker – and hands-on doer – with the knowledge, skills, experience and judgment to evaluate the existing and ongoing utilization/performance of outside growers’ orchards.
  • Proven collaborative, negotiation, communication, and integrative skills that are effective at all levels of the organization from board room to all stakeholders – both internal and external.
  • Demonstrated strong collaborative leadership and team-building expertise.
  • Knowledge of fruit varieties and production practices prized and highly desirable.

Personal Characteristics Required

  • Building trust with all team members and stakeholders, encouraging the open expression of ideas and opinions.
  • Highest integrity.
  • Competitive nature.
  • A true hands-on style and approach, with high physical and intellectual energy, and a robust entrepreneurial spirit with
a “never-give-up” tenacity.
  • Takes-on uncertainty with confidence and gusto and is not afraid of competition or change.
  • A willingness to engage a broad range of stakeholders in order to build strong relationships.

Education Level Desired and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy, Horticulture, Crop Science, Ag Business, or relevant discipline.
  • Valid California Driver’s License with clean driving record.

Please contact Tara Schwartz, tara@producecareers.com

Job Categories: Operations, Production, Processing. Job Types: West Coast. Job expires in Endless.

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