Do you have experience in sales, distribution or logistics? Do you love farm-fresh food? Are you looking for a way to give back to your community?
Refresh Appalachia (www.refreshappalachia.com) works to increase the success of farmers in Central Appalachia, strengthen local food systems, increase access to healthy food, and help farmers access regional and national markets. We operate five training farms, a mobile poultry processing enterprise, and a Food Hub distribution business that sells products from farmers to customers throughout the region. Our farms are in Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo and Cabell counties and we source products from farmers throughout Southern West Virginia. Refresh Appalachia is a social enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation in partnership with Wayne County Economic Development Authority, The Wild Ramp, Unlimited Future, Inc., the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, RCBI and others.
The Food Hub General Manager will coordinate and manage all food hub activities. This is a unique, challenging, and rewarding position to work within a creative and hardworking partnership of farmers, buyers, government agencies, distributors, and nonprofits. The successful candidate should have the ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, anticipate issues, and develop solutions. The Food Hub General Manager will be required to work closely with a wide variety of individuals and organizations, including regional farmers and buyers, the Williamson Farmers Market and Mobile Market, The Wild Ramp, academic institutions, regulatory agencies, and various other project partners. The successful candidate must have a sincere interest in and vision for promoting agriculture as a viable economic sector and supporting the development of a regional food system. The Food Hub General Manager will report to the President of Refresh Appalachia.
If you are looking for a job where you can truly make a difference in the lives of others, we hope you will consider applying for this position.
Hours: Full time (40 hrs/wk)
Key responsibilities & duties
The Food Hub General Manager will lead and support a variety of activities. Major activities will include but are not limited to:
- Manage aggregation, storage, marketing, and sales for Refresh Appalachia and partnering producers;
- Manage and expand the Farm Shares Subscription Program, the Mini-Markets program and weekly wholesale distribution cycle
- Work with other staff to build and maintain relationships with producers, provide feedback and continually improve product quality
- Aggressively recruit new customers, oversee customer service, and provide customers with accurate forecasts of future product availability
- Communicate regularly with customers via phone, email, text, and computer/web software as part of the sales force
- Use creativity and initiative in developing new sales channels and strategies to market available products
- Oversee expansion and upgrading of warehouse space, cold storage, and other necessary infrastructure
- Ensure compliance with food safety policies (e.g., GHP/GAP) and maintain up-to-date licenses and inspections
- Support production planning by gathering demand information, developing agreements with producers, and advising Refresh Appalachia’s own farms on product mix
- Coordinate with other staff and partners to offer a workshop series for producer readiness and other resources for producers
- Administer online marketplace software and other digital tools as needed
- Coordinate with supply chain partners, service providers, and other food and farm partners to build strong, productive partnerships
- Develop sales targets and lead other staff in ongoing self-evaluation progress
- Lead the development of annual Food Hub business plans and budgets
- Assist with other management, educational and farming tasks and leadership as needed and available.
Required skills and expertise
- Knowledge of local food systems and food hubs
- Effective salesperson, eager to articulate the value of our services and committed to exceeding clients’ expectations
- Proficiency with basic software and technology including MS Word, Excel, Google Drive, smart phones
- Interest and experience in taking on new challenges and overcoming obstacles with little supervision
- Excellent interpersonal skills and customer service skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Experience with communicating with a diverse group of individuals including farmers and food buyers; and
- Must excel at record keeping and data management.
Preferred skills and expertise
- Ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial business environment, which includes knowledge of and comfort with business development, strategic thinking, and business management principles
- Understanding of community based food systems
- Experience farming and/or with working with farmers
- Experience selling to, buying from, and/or operating in a food hub
- Familiarity and experience with certified natural or organic growing practices and GHP/GAP
- Experience with and passion for community and personal development
- Experience working within and for disadvantaged communities
- Personal and/or professional experience in Central Appalachia is an advantage but not required
Required licenses, certifications and education
- Bachelor’s degree
- Driver’s license
Preferred licenses, certifications and education
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in agriculture, business, environmental science, or related field.
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Paid vacation and sick leave
- Professional and personal development opportunities
This job will be based in Huntington or Charleston, WV. Candidate will be expected to travel frequently throughout the region.
Refresh Appalachia provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.