LWR and IMA’s work in coffee has traditionally focused on grants-based support to producer cooperatives and their farmer members. Recently, LWR and IMA embarked on an impact investing initiative that has broadened its enterprise development beyond grants-based programming to include investments in mission-driven coffee production companies. Our first investment, which will be the initial focus for this position, is in a coffee production company that operates on Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano straddling the border between Uganda and Kenya.
The Coffee Quality and Marketing Manager will support the growth of LWR and IMA’s portfolio companies and grantees by training staff in evaluating/grading coffee, creating blends and single origin/varietal offerings that meet buyer specifications, marketing coffee to premium-quality roaster-retailers around the world. The position will also master the operations of a well-run coffee production businesses in order to ultimately transfer innovations, systems and expertise to other LWR and IMA investees and grantees throughout the world
- Review existing investee or grantee coffee quality, brand and marketing strategy
- Develop and implement coffee quality protocols for field operations (sourcing, processing) and warehousing
- Train investee or grantee staff in evaluating/grading coffee, creating blends and single origin/varietal offerings that meet buyer specifications.
- Cup coffee inventory to ensure high quality and consistency
- Design and develop a branding and marketing strategy that will enable investees and grantees to establish trading relationships with roaster-retailers willing to pay higher prices for micro-lots of coffee
- Market coffee to roaster-retailers and build brand awareness and positioning for coffee produced by investees and grantees. Direct, plan and coordinate marketing efforts, including social media and content marketing.
- Manage and mentor investee and grantee quality control/management staff.
INTERNAL CONTROLS & POLICY COMPLIANCE
- Deep commitment to LWR and IMA core values and ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners.
- Must love coffee.
- Excellent cupper.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, particularly when sharing tasting notes and stories about the farmers producing the coffee that roaster-retailers can relate to/find appealing.
- An entrepreneurial mind-set with excellent organizational and leadership skills.
- At least three to five years of progressive coffee experience, preferably in green coffee sourcing or buying role.
- Bachelor’s degree in business or relevant field. Q Grader accreditation preferred.
- Strong understanding of the specialty coffee market.
- Existing relationships with roaster-retailers around the world and ability to develop new ones that lead to tangible partnerships with investees or grantees.
- Strong knowledge of green coffee buying as well as sophisticated knowledge of the green coffee evaluation and purchasing processes.
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Proficiency in using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook) and web browser software
- Fluency in English, with excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Ability to travel regularly to promote coffee sales and spend extended periods in the field to support increased quality in production and monitor progress of improved operational management (50% to 70% of the time).