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