Heifer USA is supporting an emerging farmer cooperative to find an experienced, hands-on, creative and determined manager that can lead and grow a social enterprise centered on the community supported agriculture (CSA) model. The enterprise is formed around the idea that multiple smallholder farmers can increase their profits and sustain their livelihoods by organizing fruit and vegetable production together, aggregating it, and distributing it to a direct-to-consumer market, based on institutional partnerships. The manager will ensure that strategies are effectively executed to build revenues and a sustainable customer base. Initially, the manager will report to Heifer USA and will over time transition to report to a farmer board of directors. The manager will lead a small team consisting of sales, aggregation, distribution, and administrative support personnel.
- Develop multi-year business and operating plans for the enterprise and obtain board approval.
- Lead implementation of multi-year business and operational plans.
- Represent the organization at community events, in the media, and to other stakeholders.
- Increase sales through facilitating the development and implementation of a multi-year marketing plan and by forming institutional market partnerships.
- Assist in developing and implementing a robust brand awareness, marketing, and public relations plan.
- Manage systems to maintain records of business transactions and product inventories, reporting data to Heifer USA and the farmer board.
- Oversee produce transportation and storage.
- Review and project product orders to determine types and quantities required.
- Work through regional technical assistance providers to advise growers on land preparation techniques that will help to ensure timely produce availability and maximize the quantity and quality of production.
- Administer and ensure proper food safety considerations.
- Supervise the activities of the CSA team.
- Ensure quality control of produce.
- Ensure timely payments and honest and continuous feedback to farmers.
- Work with farmer-leaders to develop and enforce sustainable production practices.
- Develop and implement internal controls and ensure regulatory compliance with taxes, FDA, and Arkansas Department of Health.
- Bachelor’s degree in business, management, or related field, plus five (5) years of related experience,
- Or eight (8) years of related experience.
- Food supply chain or food systems experience.
a) Master's degree in business, management, marketing, logistics or related field.
b) Minimum of three (3) years in a leadership/managerial capacity.
c) Entrepreneurial experience, including a leadership or management role in startup/growth-phase business, enterprise, marketing/sales and wholesale/retail produce brokerage or comparable experience.
d) Experience with smallholder farm value chain development.
e) Operational experience in a startup or growth phase enterprise, especially a social enterprise.
Most Critical Proficiencies:
- Strategic leadership and experience in staff management.
- Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business management.
- Possess a track record of success in business and financial management.
- Exceptional communicator, motivator and leader of people.
- A person of high integrity, trustworthiness, and inspiration.
- A persuasive presenter and public speaker with experience in developing and implementing marketing plans.
- Strong commitment to social justice and diversity in both supplier and buyer relationships.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:
a) Ability to communicate clearly to a variety of colleagues and diverse constituents at all levels, in both oral and written communication via phone, email or in person.
b) Willingness and ability to work occasional weekends, after hours and holidays as required.
c) Ability to work under pressure, perform multiple tasks and manage consistently competing priorities.
d) Must be comfortable in a rapidly changing environment. Must be flexible and able to improvise to handle a variety of situations.
e) Producing and presenting critical, analytical reports in a well-designed and attractive format with superior attention to detail.
f) Highly motivated with a willingness to work closely in a team as well as independently for extended periods of time.
g) Ability to work with sensitive information and to maintain confidentiality.
h) Willingness and ability to travel extensively throughout Arkansas.
i) Ability to lift from floor to waist and carry up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms) floor to waist at various locations/project sites.
j) Ability to work in outdoor temperatures and various weather conditions as needed.
k) May require constant sitting; working at a computer and focusing for extended periods of time and performing office environment activities while on the road and/or in remote conditions.