Walking into the produce department is always beautiful. All of the bright colors of the produce and the clean and clever displays are hard to ignore. The job duties of a produce buyer include creating that beautiful setting. Selecting, purchasing, pricing and displaying the fresh produce are all some of the job duties of a produce buyer.
Find and Negotiate With Suppliers
One of the most important duties of a produce buyer is finding and negotiating a price with suppliers. Favorable prices, quality, delivery and terms all need to be negotiated. Any opportunities for purchasing that are favorable must be communicated to management. A produce buyer must know and follow the store's polices (such as buying organic or giving priority to local growers) when purchasing produce. Recording the produce she buys from suppliers into a data system or book for proper government evaluation is another duty of a produce buyer.
Planning attractive produce displays is key to drawing in customers. This includes providing consistent, readable and clear signs. The produce buyer needs to cull, replenish and rotate produce throughout the day. Another duty is to assist customers with questions and special orders. A produce buyer is responsible for pricing the produce to meet sales and margin goals while staying competitive with other stores. Another duty is to mark down produce that is not selling to reduce losses. Regularly visiting other stores to compare prices and product displays is also a duty of a produce buyer. Another is to attend store and buyers meetings to coordinate promotions.
Maintenance is another duty of a produce buyer. He ensures that the produce displays, storage areas and preparation areas are clean and orderly. These areas must meet health department standards for the state and county. A produce buyer also has to get credit for damaged, spoiled or returned produce, when applicable. Another duty is to ensure that any unsalable produce is disposed of properly. A produce buyer must advise management of equipment or display repairs or if a replacement is needed.
Qualifications of a Produce Buyer
Qualifications of a produce buyer vary depending on the company. Most companies require a bachelor's degree or five-plus years of experience buying produce. Also, strong communications skills and negotiating skills are required. Buyers must be able to lift 60 pounds, stand for long periods and work in cold conditions. They must be able to learn constantly to meet the changing requirements of the job. Other qualifications may include knowing organic certification regulations and commercial and organic growing practices.