Sales Representative (Multiple Locations) | Equal Exchange
Accessibility help

Sales Representative (Multiple Locations)

Equal Exchange is a Fair Trade organization and coffee roaster headquartered in West Bridgewater, MA, founded in 1986. Our mission is to create more authentic Fair Trade relationships between farmers and consumers. We bypass the conventional marketing system by cutting out middlemen and buying directly from farmer co-operatives. Due to the complex level of training involved with a worker-owner co-operative, Equal Exchange asks for a two-year commitment to employment.

The preferred locations for the open position are below, although we will consider other locations as well:

  • West Bridgewater, MA
  • West Springfield, MA
  • Cleveland, OH
  • St. Paul/ Minneapolis, MN
  • Madison, WI

Job Description

  • Employment Status: Full time, exempt position on the worker-owner track.
  • Hours: 40-45
  • Benefits: Health/dental/vision insurance coverage, paid vacations, paid holidays, paid sick days, eligibility for worker ownership
  • Department: Sales
  • Report to: Sales Manager
  • Responsible for: Meeting annual new sales and growth goals as determined by supervisor, participation in strategy and team development, order taking and customer service as needed


  • Ability to communicate well and problem solve with customers, team members and staff
  • Ability to effectively manage time and responsibilities
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Ability to rebound from rejection
  • Ability to work independently and within a team
  • Previous sales experience preferred
  • Previous Natural Foods or Food Service experience preferred
  • Previous experience with progressive business preferred
  • Ability & willingness to travel
  • Valid driver's license
  • Flexible, and willing to continuously learn by experience


Sales and Account Management

  • Accountable for individual sales goals as determined by Sales Manager
  • Maintain and deepen relationships with current customers in a defined region
  • Understand customers' needs and problem solve
  • New Sales development: prospecting, evaluating, negotiating, proposing and closing new accounts
  • Desire to work in the community to deepen customers' understanding of authentic fair trade, Equal Exchange's mission via demos, social media and events participation
  • Communicate the characteristics of Equal Exchange coffee, tea, cocoa and other products
  • Communicate, understand and work comfortably with equipment
  • Maintain quality standards throughout supply chain to consumers
  • Travel 4 to 6 days per month (as determined with supervisor)
  • Work with and support regional team
  • Communicate with customer service team and effectively maintain account database CRM
  • Work with other team members, including brokers, to best serve accounts in region
  • Order Taking and Customer Service: Answering calls, taking accurate orders, problem solving and responding to customer inquiries and other tasks as needed/determined with supervisor

Team Participation and Development

  • Continual learning and analysis about the market, Equal Exchange's relation to it, and how to market our authentic difference.
  • Participate in design, implementation and evaluation of promotional strategies
  • Help develop, implement and refine team strategy and systems
  • Some program work as determined by the Sales Manager
  • Provide back-up to DSD delivery drivers when needed, including driving, delivering, stocking and merchandising at stores.

Personnel and Fair Trade Development (4 hours)

  • Participate in staff, team, departmental and educational (Exchange Time) meetings
  • Develop an understanding of Equal Exchange's producer partners and trading model
  • Understand and participate effectively in our worker cooperative model
  • Flexibility to engage in other tasks as needed by the organization


To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and answers to the following to:

Application Questions

1. You have been handed a relatively underdeveloped territory as your first sales area. You talk to three Equal Exchange sales veterans about the territory. Sales veteran number one informs you that the key to your new territory is to show up often and be very available for tastings and events and work with the small/medium accounts to build long term success. Sales veteran number two tells you the territory is very troubled and the only real hope is to work with the two large accounts that buy a lot and continue to grow them. Sales veteran number three tells you that success for your territory is to do not a tremendous amount for existing accounts but to work on getting one of three regional chains into the Equal Exchange system. What is your six month plan to build your territory?

2. A new Sales Representative's goal is to sell an additional $120,000 worth of products – or about 17,000 pounds of coffee – in a year. This goal includes sales growth in current customers' coffee programs as well as sales to new customers that the Sales Representative secures. How would you go about reaching this goal? Why should Equal Exchange feel confident that you can reach this goal?

3. What would you do as a Sales Representative in the following situation? You are approaching a Food Co-op that sells and brews coffee from their local roaster. While the buyer believes in Fair Trade, they think that their commitment to a local roaster better serves their community and provides a great avenue to discuss sustainability. How would you convince them to consider Equal Exchange's coffee program?