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Produce Buyer



A produce buyer purchases produce to be made into other products or resale in a retail environment.



What responsibilities will I have?

  • Manage sourcing strategy, including contract and negotiation decisions, to improve quality and profitability
  • Negotiate raw product contracts with growers and brokers based on quality parameters
  • Create custom market and sourcing reports for distribution internally and externally
  • Be the company expert in matters related to raw product quality, market trends and the science of perishable inventory management
  • Travel to grower fields to monitor progress of contracted crops
  • Effectively communicate with suppliers to ensure timely deliveries, excellent product quality, continuous improvement for cost reductions and improving lead times
  • Facilitate the development of new suppliers in collaboration with quality assurance in order to help them to reach the level of excellence required by company standards
  • Evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to supply product in accordance with the organization’s requirements like quality, contract compliance, and accuracy among others
  • Work with other parts of the company to determine volume needs or consumer preference


What education and training is required?

A bachelor’s degree in agriculture business, marketing, supply chain management, horticulture, or other business related field.


To pursue a career as a produce buyer:

The following high school courses are recommended:  agricultural education, mathematics, statistics and business.


Where can I work?

Produce buyers work for restaurant chains, grocery stores, food service providers or food production companies.


Future Job Market / Outlook

The future outlook for a produce buyer will be good over the next five years.


Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Supply Chain Management Association
  • Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
  • American Purchasing Society
  • Produce Marketing Association 
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