JOB FILLED - Director of Purchasing

Job Description: 

Harvest Santa Barbara is a wholesale produce and fresh food distribution company based in Carpinteria, CA that is leading the efforts to create a more sustainable food system by helping many of the best farmers and fresh food producers in the region bring their products to market.

We deliver to restaurants, grocery stores, schools, home delivery companies and other organizations with a need for fresh, local, and primarily Certified Organic produce and other fresh food products. Our standard for exceptional produce and service enables us to serve some of the best chefs and produce retail outlets from Paso Robles to the greater Los Angeles area.

In order to sustain our growth we are seeking a produce and fresh food industry professional with a proven background of effective wholesale produce purchasing based on quality and ecological and economic sustainability. Our Ideal candidate has been a buyer for a food hub, wholesale distribution company, grocery store company, coop,and or food service company that handles significant volume.

  • Must have at least 2 years of experience buying wholesale produce (ideally from organic small to medium sized, local farms).
  • At least 5 years of managing 3 or more employees.
  • Minimum 2 years of experience using Excel.
  • Ability to start work at 5:00-5:30 am 
  • Ability to lift 55 lb. boxes
  • Ability to navigate and learn new sales /inventory software programs.
  • Exceptional interpersonal communication skills.
  • Excellent English writing skills.
  • Spanish language speaking/writing ability preferred.
Responsibilities & Duties: 
  • Buy the best produce possible that aligns with HSB’s mission to support small family farms who are Certified Organic and, or ecologically responsible. Prioritize the most local/least food miles; consider: convenience, procurement logistics/labor, consistency, quantity, price and other factors which support a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with a grower.
  • Track and update Organic Certifications for all Organic Growers. 
  • Communicate with HSB Team to understand customer preferences/orders.
  • Communicate and monitor our requirements and expectations related to food safety, quality, insurance, and lines of communication (related to availability, prices, etc.) with all growers.
  • Stay up-to-date about what local farmers are planting and harvesting. Continually update what farmers are planting, and when the expected harvest dates are. Share this information with HSB Sales Staff consistently through spreadsheets, software, and orally (daily as needed, and more detailed reports on a weekly basis.)
  • Negotiate fairly with farmers—showing respect for their financial needs and helping them understand how Harvest SB’s mission is to be the “sales arm” for regional growers, so that they can focus on farming, and we can help open up new markets and increase the volume of sales on farms that align with our expectations for quality and consistency.
  • Stay abreast daily of prices changes with our growers and the market. Update Sales Team, and our price lists as needed.
  • Coordinate with Director of Sales and President to make buying decisions and set prices/margins to satisfy the needs of our customers, farmers, and Harvest Santa Barbara.
  • Communicate our clients’ needs to farmers so they can plant accordingly.
  • Check inventory (quality, pack, and volume) daily, and report to Sales team. 
  • Visit farms and farmers as much as practical and necessary to support HSB’s efforts to have long-term partnerships with farmers.
  • Train Drivers and other HSB staff about produce handling/quality control.
  • Create Pick up lists for daily procurement/receiving.
  • Support Director of Sales and President in any task or responsibility deemed necessary for the success of Harvest Santa Barbara. 
  • Coordinate logistics for all delivery and procurement routes. Route trucks in the most efficient way possible, evaluating the cost of overtime versus fuel and overtime.
  • Develop and manage schedules for all drivers and warehouse staff.
  • Develop a system for monitoring, and recording reasons for overtime.
  • Communicate with drivers and warehouse staff daily to ensure that Harvest SB receives and delivers the best produce possible.

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