Posted On: Mon Sep 12, 2016

Location: Morinville, Alberta Canada

Shift: Day

Careers at Champion Petfoods

Manager, Fresh & Dried Fruits and Veggie/Pulses & Fibres Innovation


Champion Petfoods is looking for an experienced, organized, and interpersonal individual to fill the new position of Innovation Manager for Fresh & Dried Fruits and Veggie/Pulses and Fibres.

The Manager, Fresh & Dried Fruits and Veggie/Pulses & Fibres Innovation is responsible for sourcing ingredients, establishing relationships, and maintaining relationships of regional producers and vendors for fresh and dried fruits and veggie/pulses and fibres.   Focus for this position is to source and secure all new regional producers/vendors for fresh and dried fruits and veggie/pulses and fibres, according to the BAFRINO mandate.  The Manager, Fresh & Dried Fruits and Veggie/Pulses & Fibres Innovation is based out of our Morinville Research & Innovation centre, with expectations to travel approximately 50% of the time, and reports to the Director, Ingredient Innovation & Supplier Relationships.

Duties and Responsibilities:

This position performs the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Source and secure all new regional producers/vendors for fresh and dried fruits and veggie/pulses and fibres, according to the BAFRINO mandate.
  • Build prosperous long term relationships with produce growers through education of the BAFRINO model, careful product specification conversations and expectation management
  • Establish and maintain strong supplier relationships while continuously researching new or alternative sources of supply.
  • Monitor produce market conditions to avoid sharp market increases and availability issues. Communicate favorable purchasing opportunities to management.
  • Ensure all regional vendors are certified for use as BAFRINO partners in the creation of fresh regional ingredients for the U.S. and Canada markets.
  • Identify, secure, and nurture all key, strategic regional stakeholder relationships, according to the Champion Vision, Mission, & Values.
  • Effectively analyze and resolve issues related to the design & development of regionally specific ingredients according to Champion Vision.
  • Act as the BAFRINO champion in relation to all regional ingredient profiles.
  • Determine the approach and processes on corporate ingredient development processes.
  • Uphold the BAFRINO Mission by thorough understanding of what’s important, measuring how we are doing, and driving priorities to improve the U.S. and Canada ingredient development process.
  • Source and create ingredients for use in making our BAFRINO foods and treats.
  • Identify potential ingredient partners for target ingredients.
  • Identify opportunities for new ingredient development.
  • Effectively tell our brand story, building excitement around supplier partnership engagement.
  • Build the marketing story portfolio for ingredients including pictures and background story of name-source supply.
  • Partner with suppliers to build new processes for enabling a more consistent ingredient supply with a more favorable specification.
  • Develop effective profiles for each ingredient, including technical composition, story, production method, environmental sustainability, logistical capability, and costing.
  • Ensure nutrition and palatability matches R&I requirements.
  • Control contaminants of fresh vegetables to finished product, ensuring certain ingredients are not harmful to pets in any particular stage (i.e., raw vs. cooked).
  • Ensure carbohydrates of ingredients adhere to our Biologically Appropriate mandate.
  • Ensure sourced ingredients match Kitchen technology capabilities.

Education and Requirements:

Knowledge, skills, and education requirements for this position are as follows:

  • 3+ years of food buying or sourcing experience. Working knowledge of industry trends, regulations and requirements.
  • Monitor produce market conditions to avoid sharp market increases and availability issues. Communicate favorable purchasing opportunities to management.
  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, agribusiness, or related field.
  • Food processing/production background preferred.
  • Strong understanding of animal husbandry methodologies.
  • Understanding of different meat processing protocols.
  • Knowledge of or willingness to learn about different production practices per location, worldwide.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to self-motivate and problem solve in a fast paced setting, filled with tight deadlines. Must work well independently and on teams.  High level cross team coordination necessary.
  • Proven relationship management skills with vendors. Strong and outgoing personality with high level of integrity and professionalism.
  • Experience in forecasting volumes. Analytical mindset with a keen ability to process numbers in a quick fashion.
  • Willingness to learn and grow to meet the changing requirements of the job.
  • Fluent in English, both written and spoken.
  • Excellent teamwork and leadership skills.
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills with the ability to multi-task and set priorities.
  • Uses discretion and judgment in handling confidential, proprietary, or sensitive information.
  • Able to accurately and efficiently plan and manage resources to meet schedules and deadlines.
  • Politically and culturally sensitive, with a well-defined sense of diplomacy.
  • Strong conflict resolution, people management, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work successfully both independently and within a team environment.
  • Accomplished relationship builder.
  • Strong understanding of HACCP, ISO, or other food safety processes & systems.
  • Uses a collaborative approach to problem solving.
  • Builds effective and inclusive relationships with stakeholders at various levels inside and outside the organization.

Working Conditions:

Working environment encompasses both office and production environments, with exposure to dust, noise, odours, and fluctuating temperatures.  Production environments included different types of facilities, such as pet food production facilities, farms, and orchards.  Travel is required approximately 50% of the time.  Intermittent physical activity includes walking, standing, and sitting for extended periods of time; manual dexterity is required to use desktop computer and peripherals.  Some extended house of work will be required.

Benefits Offered:

Champion Petfoods LP offers a comprehensive compensation program, including:

  • Competitive salary.
  • Group benefits after a three-month waiting period, offering a Health Care Spending Account, Drug Card, and Lifestyle Account after one year of continuous employment.
  • Employee Assistance Program, offered to employees right from their date of hire at no cost to the employee.
  • RRSP/DPSP, eligible to employees after three months of continuous employment; Champion Petfoods will match 3% on an annual basis, up to a maximum of $4,000.
  • Annual bonus incentive program, based on performance, target percentage fluctuate on an annual basis.
  • Accrual of three weeks’ vacation after one year of continuous employment.
  • Forty-eight hours of discretionary time, for employees who need to take a sick day or have an appointment scheduled.
  • Half-price pet food for employees’ own pets, and one free bag of cat or dog food per month once the employee completes three months of continuous employment.

Additional Information:

Makers of Biologically Appropriate dog and cat food, made from Fresh Regional Ingredients, and Never Outsourced! Our BA.FRI.NO Mission is our way of life.  Champion Petfoods is a world-renowned company known for making a quality product, shipping to over 70 countries around the world.  We offer a stable and dynamic work environment, with excellent opportunities for career advancement for employees who have what it takes.

Champion Petfoods started as a family run organization in 1985, and to this day we retain many of those family-oriented values. We are a team, working together to enhance the lives of dogs and cats everywhere.

To apply for this position, please send your resume to

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