Soil Association - Business Development Manager (Organic Food and Drink)

Soil Association - Business Development Manager (Organic Food and Drink)

Employer Soil Association

Posted August 26th 2016

Hours Full Time

Salary £30,995

Industry Nutrition & Fitness, Wellness

Function Management

Location Bristol

Contract Contract

Get the Gloss Reference: 7867


Soil Association Certification is the UK’s largest organic and ethical certification body. We deliver practical, accreditation and verification services across a variety of sectors. We work with over 3500 licensee clients to help grow their businesses and with the Organic market showing sustained growth; it’s an exciting time.

This is a unique, exciting and innovative role to support our ambitions for growth of the organic food and drink market. In this role you will develop and deliver business and marketing solutions to support the growth of Organic Food and Drink Certification. You will be central to growing both the schemes that we offer and the Organic Market for our Clients. Our Clients are the brands and businesses that produce and sell Organic products to the multiples, the independents, into Food Service and into Wholesale. You will be working closely this client base to support their businesses with market and business support as well as developing routes to market and providing marketing platforms to them. You will also be responsible for actively acquiring new business.


Purpose of the role

  • Develop and grow the organic food and drink business sector with particular focus on growing demand for, and customers of SA Certification’s products and services
  • Working with the Business Development Manager, lead the delivery of the Food Business Plan
  • Lead on defining the acquisition and marketing strategy for the Organic Food and Drink sector to increase Licensee numbers certifying ensuring that Soil Association Certification is seen as a first choice certifier
  • Lead on the account management of key ambient (Grocery) accounts focusing on providing a value added service and supporting their business development
  • Working with the Marketing Manager and Communications team, lead on the development and delivery of a trade marketing strategy to support the communication of Organic Food to consumers; thereby growing demand. Develop specific sector campaigns within this in particular Independent Retailers.
  • Ensure meaningful and effective communications to current and potential trade customers
  • Ensure high profile for Organic Food and Drink and Soil Association Certification through regular speaking and press slots
  • Support the certification team in technical and strategic issues that arise in the relevant sectors acting as a key liaison point with Accounts

Strategy, representation and advocacy

  • Play the lead role in developing and implementing the Organic Food and Drink sector strategy
  • Working with the Marketing Manager and Communications team, lead the development of communications and marketing strategy and delivery plan, with a specific focus on developing new routes to market for Organic (specifically Independents)
  • Become a key advocate for Soil Association Organic Food Certification and the Organic food market representing Soil Association Certification in a public speaking capacity, including events and conferences

Income generation

  • Responsible for delivery of the Organic Food Business plan acquisition targets ensuring strategies are in place to achieve targets and reporting against such

Account management

  • Personally manage key accounts both commercially and strategically and implement an account management programme

Actively review and manage accounts

  • For these accounts, take personal responsibility for establishing and developing and managing all aspects of the relationship, including linking them with the Soil Association’s strategic and programmatic work
  • Act as the key commercial contact for accounts providing a liaison point for technical and certification issues that will affect the Licensees business
  • Effectively manage relationships with the relevant industries and other relevant stakeholders to help generate scheme growth
  • Develop relationships with external partners who, through their endorsements, can help the demand and schemes grow. Work with these partners to promote the importance of organic food and drink to new audiences
  • Act as an industry and market specialist for licensees, Soil Association staff and the sector team
  • Play a leading role ensuring the benefits and value of the Soil Association are effectively communicated to external stakeholders
  • Work with the Marketing Manager to build and deliver a trade communications programme

Reporting and delivery

  • Report against the Organic Food Business Plan for senior management
  • Report against KPI’s on market growth and Licensee numbers
  • Ensure that the organisation’s CRM is kept up to date with all relevant business and contact activity


Knowledge & experience

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent
  • Relevant professional qualification a distinct advantage
  • Sound understanding of the principles of organic production is essential
  • Substantial experience of customer relationship management and of building strong stakeholder relationships is essential
  • Experience within a Brand Manager / Account Manager role is essential
  • Knowledge of the Food and Drink Market is essential
  • Consumer and market knowledge and understanding is essential
  • Marketing and communications / PR experience including development of multi-channel campaigns is essential
  • Substantial contacts within the sectors (ideally Ambient / Grocery) is desirable
  • Experience of public speaking and media relations is desirable
  • An understanding of budgets and achieving targets

Personal qualities & skills

  • Strong track record of project management and of achieving income targets
  • Highly commercial
  • Good relationship builder
  • Creative thinker
  • Diplomatic but authoritative
  • Able to prioritise and work under pressure
  • Able to work on own initiative and as part of a team
  • Empathy with aims and objectives of Soil Association
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Strong customer care skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Good listening skills
  • Computer literate


We offer a range of financial and lifestyle benefits to all our employees, including:

  • 27 days annual holiday plus bank holidays increasing to 30 days
  • Pension scheme with ethical investment options and employer contribution
  • Free membership of the Soil Association and discounts on organic produce
  • Volunteer days to give back to the local community or support green initiatives
  • Family friendly policies, flexible working and childcare vouchers
  • Cycle to work, Bristol Pound scheme
  • Sociable and engaging workplace of professionals that share a passion for healthy, sustainable lifestyle and produce

Closing date for applications is 9am Monday 12 September with interviews expected to take place during the week commencing 26 September.

To apply, visit the Soil Association website, remembering to mention 'Get The Job' on application.

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