Job Title: Senior Manager, Grower Relations
Reporting to: Leafy Supply Chain Lead
Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in early 2023. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.
About This Role:
This new position will report to the Leafy Supply Chain Lead and will work closely with internal stakeholders (R&D, Business Development, Quality, Finance) and external stakeholders (growers, seed suppliers, nursery operators, leafy green processors, etc.) to develop commercial agronomic understanding of our materials to maximize production and quality.
Pairwise will launch a new category of leafy greens with compelling consumer benefits in 2023. This position will oversee leafy grower management and support and utilize keen communication skills to establish and build relationships with growers, contractors, and vendors. Strategic thinking and analysis are critical as responsibilities include yield and seed forecasting, acreage planning, grower education and resource allocation for field activities. The impact of this role on the organization is significant, managing all growing areas across North America and influencing product costs, working capital and collaborations.
This candidate will also be comfortable understanding internally generated data and technical capabilities and how to best leverage externally. They should be motivated to provide feedback on the technical discovery and development processes, working with many internal stakeholders. The candidate must be excited to contribute and lead in a fast-pacedp environment where ownership and action is encouraged.
• Manage existing grower network and assist in the identification/ qualification of new growers.
• Manage raw product forecasting.
• Develop and build on-going relationships with grower partners’ field management staff.
• Develop proprietary technical data sheets on new varieties and execute collaborative grower. strip tests prior to commercialization.
• Keep current on and report out growing area problems, future problems, etc. (pests, ground disease, etc.).
• Represent Pairwise in agricultural industry events to cultivate relationships with current and prospective growers.
• Maintain a professional relationship with external business partners including growers, packer-shippers, retailers, and/or food service operators.
• Partner with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that partners comply with contract provisions.
• Build operational and execution-oriented plans to deliver on key priorities, including revenue goals, growing/ processing strategies, margin attainment and commercial reporting.
• Support the development of grower marketing materials.
• Determine ESG/ sustainability properties of our materials vs. other mainstream leafy greens.
• Follow/network with university extension and trade associations.
Required Education & Experience:
• Bachelor’s degree in crop/ plant science or agronomy; master’s degree preferred.
• Experience working with vegetable seed suppliers, produce growers and other direct partners.
• Demonstrated excellence in communication and stakeholder management.
• A track record of leading business-driving programs with external collaborators.
• 5+ years in the seed, produce or food industry working in a combination of technical sales, supply chain or business roles.
• Versatile team player that is comfortable under pressure and able to solve problems.
• Solid analytical skills and ability to translate data into fact-based decision making to support strategic planning and program implementation.
• Effective in data gathering, able to work in an unstructured environment, persuasive communication skills and able to build partnerships internally and externally.
• Public speaking skills and ability to articulate complex concepts to cross-function audience.
• Demonstrated ability to engage and influence C-level executives.
• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to set clear priorities in a fast-paced environment.
• High emotional intelligence and conflict resolution; able to effectively maintain relationships via flexibility, collaboration and negotiation.
• Ability to build strong working relationships with clients and colleagues across departments, geographic locations, and time zones.
• Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!
• Flexible PTO (use what you need, when you need it), in addition to company holidays
• Casual work environment.
• Mission-driven organization focused on creating healthier fruits and veggies.
• A cutting-edge, driven community looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition.
We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.