Business Development Manager, Retail Partnerships

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA is seeking a Business Development Manager, Retail Partnerships to support achievement of our strategic growth and impact goals by growing our retail presence and expanding our relationships with major national and regional retailers.

The Business Development Manager, Retail Partnerships will be responsible for developing, cultivating, and managing relationships with key retail partners and identifying opportunities for new Fair Trade product categories within retail channels to drive value from producer to consumer.

Day-to-day, you will be managing current account relationships and proactively pursuing new relationships with regional/national retailers across channels. You will work collaboratively with various teams within Fair Trade USA to develop strategies to expand Fair Trade’s presence and impact within the retail channel, and with brokers and distributors.

We celebrate diversity of all kinds and are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We seek to hire, develop, and retain talented people from all backgrounds. Individuals from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized, or underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Primary Responsibilities:

Partner Acquisition and Product Expansion 

  • Source, pitch and negotiate new business and collaborate with internal and external teams to execute business development initiatives
  • Generate new leads, identify, and prioritize new retail partners and channels in alignment with Fair Trade’s strategy and goals for growth
  • Create new sales opportunities from prospecting to close, and work cross-functionally with product category teams across food and beverage to identify new or existing supply/producers
  • Develop partnership proposals including discovering objectives, defining partnership requirements, and developing value propositions
  • Prepare and deliver compelling sales presentations that articulate the business, social and environmental value of Fair Trade Certified to prospective partners
  • Work with product category teams (coffee, packaged goods, produce, floral, seafood, apparel, home goods and more) to increase the penetration of Fair Trade products in retailers’ offerings
  • Build and implement a broker/distributor and/or regional strategy for growth
  • Own the full lifecycle of the selling process using analytics to forecast and close opportunity pipeline

Account Management

  • Develop and execute strategies to achieve growth and retention targets with key customers based on a comprehensive understanding of retailers’ systems and inventory priorities
  • Support category, product and brand managers with product development, sourcing and marketing strategies that align within their overall business plans
  • Boost partners’ CSR/Sustainability commitments by identifying key product/ingredients categories that align with growth and expansion goals
  • Co-develop market activation plans with partners to support new product launches, including initiatives to drive consumer engagement and sales growth
  • Provide data and guidance on key Fair Trade Certified product categories (coffee, sugar, produce, seafood, etc.)
  • Maintain a strong understanding of market and customer-specific trends including customer market share, focus markets, Sustainability programs and end-products
  • Manage prioritizing, escalating, and driving customer issues to resolution within the organization

Brand Building

  • Participate in industry conferences, tradeshows and meetings as a representative of Fair Trade USA
  • Work with the Fair Trade USA marketing team and our partners on promotions and tools to maximize customer purchase and awareness
  • Seek out opportunities for new industry partnerships in order to build the Fair Trade brand



Required Skills, Experience & Knowledge

  • 4+ years of experience in retail or consumer brands in food and beverage, working in corporate level sales
  • 4+ years of experience with brand managers, sourcing/procurement, buyers, and/or product development in regional and/or national retailers
  • 4+ years of demonstrated consultative selling experience with complex programs and long selling cycles, including upselling experience
  • 4+ years of experience building partnerships, market/business development, account management, and negotiations
  • Proven understanding of the way retailers buy, source, and develop products in food and beverage sector, including private label
  • Understanding of both the buyer and supplier side of retail product selection and review cycles
  • Must have experience with private brand/private label product retail strategies
  • Ability to operate with flexibility in a fast-paced, evolving environment
  • Highly collaborative team player who can work cross-functionally with all levels of an organization, both internally and externally
  • Self-starter who has the energy, influence, and people skills to build and service strategic partnerships
  • Ability to manage multiple projects at one time and collaborate with peers to achieve sales targets
  • Strong verbal and written communication and presentation skills
  • Solid understanding of sustainable, economic, and social development programs (CSR/Sustainability) in the retail and food and beverage industry
  • Passion for the Fair Trade mission
  • Entrepreneurial spirit. Takes initiative to problem-solve and provide innovative ideas and program improvements. Excellent at following up on leads
  • Willing to travel to meet with partners, attend trade shows and/ or industry events        


Education & Training

  • Bachelor's Degree in Business or equivalent experience required.


Technology & Software

  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel and PowerPoint, and Salesforce CRM

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