Director of Blueberry Grower Relations - Wish Farms

Director of Blueberry Grower Relations

Position: Full time

Location: Plant City, Florida

Wish Farms is a nationally recognized year-round supplier of berries with growing regions throughout the USA, Canada and South America. With our committed focus on providing the best tasting berries, Wish Farms continues to see impressive market growth.

Established in 1922, Wish Farms is a family owned and operated grower, shipper, and marketer of berries. We employ a dynamic group of passionate individuals who believe in our mission of providing the best tasting berries through living our core values of Quality, Integrity, and Responsiveness.

While our mission is to provide the best tasting berries, our brand is defined by much more than the product we deliver and the retailer you find it in.  It is defined and protected by us, the employees. With that in mind, we have created 33 fundamentals, which serve as a shared language across our organization and is the basis for how we do business.  Join our team and become a Wish Farms pixie at our state-of-the-art headquarters where our culture is second to none.

We have a career opportunity available for a talented and motivated individual to join our team at our state-of-the-art headquarters in Plant City, FL as the Director of Blueberry Grower Relations.  The Director of Blueberry Grower Relations is responsible for leading and growing the supply of the blueberry program throughout North America. This position is part of the overall success of the blueberry category, including recruiting new growers and suppliers, managing all grower and supplier relationships. As an organization that meets the needs of retail customers and grower/suppliers, you will be the company’s grower advocate that ensures we are representing our growers well and marketing their berries at a high level relative to our competition.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Drive company strategy through building alliance programs and distribution networks
  • Interact with Supply and VP of Sales to forecast the needed supplies for all established accounts as well as predict the needs based upon known or suspected market trends
  • Maintain a strong understanding of daily sales activity, including pricing, marketing conditions, and sales volumes and commitments.
  • Actively participate in 3 to 5-year planning with Sales and Operations for new market entrance
  • Maintain awareness of the competitive landscape, opportunities for growth, customers, market, new industry standards, and so forth.
  • Ensure volume expectations and pricing guidelines within the marketing agreements are executed with all blueberry suppliers.
  • Provide strategic leadership and direction to support key business objectives, securing and maintaining trusting relationships with growers and suppliers.
  • Develop and secure new business opportunities through identification, outreach and follow-ups with potential partners for corporate collaborations, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances within markets with minimal presence.
  • Maintain a strong network of contacts within the blueberry producer communities and keep records of these contacts and information about their operations.
  • Responsible for overall management of grower deals during their harvest/packing season, including daily communication of market conditions, volume estimates, preparation, and communication of packing plans to packing facilities/suppliers.
  • Daily engagement in the day to day harvest volumes, production plans, sales activity, and inventory levels.
  • Continue to monitor and communicate with grower(s) a minimum of 3 times per week either farm visits or by phone, and not less than 5 days per week via all means of communication (i.e. verbal, text, email) to check in on the grower, crop, harvest, etc.
  • Review and update weekly volume forecast every Wednesday at a level that it can be distributed companywide for planning purposes for sales, packaging, quality control, etc.
    • The forecast should be updated for every grower/supplier.
    • Forecast represents current week and the next 4 weeks (total of 5 weeks).
  • Reviews and approves grower/supplier pricing
  • Prepare a written quarterly report on the progress of recruiting producers in the target regions, including noteworthy competitive factors.
  • Represent the organization at trade association meetings and conferences.
  • Work with the Supply Team identify supply gaps – Establish time frames of supply gaps and identify growers who can fill those times with supply
  • Develop weekly and long-range volume estimates for sales and production planning.
  • Tour farm and packing operations to establish grower feasibility as someone who can meet Wish expectations
  • Ensure growers/suppliers remain in compliance with companies Food Safety standards

Required Qualifications & Skills:

  • Ability to negotiate contracts and deals while maintaining good rapport with suppliers
  • Excellent communication skills, with ability to communicate effectively across multiple departments and teams
  • Ability to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • Positive attitude aligned with the Wish Farms culture
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task, and meet deadlines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word
  • Proficiency in Famous Software
  • Flexible work schedule including some nights and weekends
  • Typical workload will be 40-60 hours per week depending on season
  • 50%-70% time in office
  • 10%-30% overnight travel away from home
  • Willing to execute a non-solicitation and non-compete agreements

 

This position is full time and offers paid holidays and PTO as well as a competitive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, long term and short-term disability, FSA, HSA with company match, supplemental policies and 401k with company match.  We also have an onsite chef and gym!

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