Green coffee buyer


Green coffee buyers purchase green coffee beans from producers all around the world commissioned by coffee roasters. They have a deep knowledge of the process of coffee from the fruit to the cup.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to green coffee buyer:

green coffee acquisition specialist
green coffee purchaser
coffee buyer
green coffee procurement specialist

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as green coffee buyer. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Green coffee buyer is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Green coffee buyer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to green coffee buyer.

green coffee coordinator
malt house supervisor
animal feed supervisor
distillery supervisor
food safety inspector

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of green coffee buyer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of green coffee buyer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

botanicals specialist
animal feed nutritionist
cider master
food production manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of green coffee buyer.

Types of coffee beans: Most known coffee types, Arabica and Robusta, and the cultivars under each one of those types.
Coffee grinding levels: The known levels are coarse grind, medium grind, medium/fine grind, fine grind, super fine grind, and turkish grind. Indication of machinery to achieve product specification. 
Effects of pesticides in food raw materials: Different types of pesticides used for food raw materials to control proper use of those substances preserving main characteristics of products.
Food and beverage industry: The respective industry and the processes involved in the food and beverage industry, such as raw material selection, processing, packaging, and storage.
Coffee characteristics: The origins and types of coffee and the processes of coffee preparation, production and trade.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of green coffee buyer.

Examine green coffee beans: Examine green coffee beans ensuring that they are all approximately the same colour, shape and size. Beans of the same size will roast more evenly, whereas smaller beans may roast quicker and affect the overall taste.
Apply haccp: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
Conduct extensive international travel: Conducting extensive travelling around the world to performing business related tasks.
Analyse consumer buying trends: Analyse buying habits or currently prevalent customer behaviour.
Negotiate price: Arrange an agreement on price of products or services provided or offered.
Evaluate coffee characteristics: Analyse and evaluate coffee taste sensations including the coffee’s body, aroma, acidity, bitterness, sweetness, and finish.
Maintain updated professional knowledge: Regularly attend educational workshops, read professional publications, actively participate in professional societies.
Educate customers on coffee varieties: Instruct customers about origins, characteristics, differences in flavours and blends of coffee products.
Apply requirements concerning manufacturing of food and beverages: Apply and follow national, international, and internal requirements quoted in standards, regulations and other specifications related with manufacturing of food and beverages.
Apply gmp: Apply regulations regarding manufacture of food and food safety compliance. Employ food safety procedures based on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Carry out active selling: Deliver thoughts and ideas in impactful and influencing manner to persuade customers to become interested in new products and promotions. Persuade clients that a product or service will satisfy their needs.
Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
Match coffee grind to coffee type: Use different coffee grinding procedures and preparation methods.
Grade coffee beans: Grade coffee beans based on their characteristics, defects, size, colour, moisture content, taste, acidity, body, or aroma.
Negotiate buying conditions: Negotiate terms such as price, quantity, quality, and delivery terms with vendors and suppliers in order to ensure the most beneficial buying conditions.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of green coffee buyer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Customer service: Processes and principles related to the customer, client, service user and to personal services; these may include procedures to evaluate customer’s or service user’s satisfaction.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of green coffee buyer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Maintain working relationships: Ensure effective working relationships with colleagues and others. Maintain them over long periods of time.
Maintain relationship with customers: Build a lasting and meaningful relationship with customers in order to ensure satisfaction and fidelity by providing accurate and friendly advice and support, by delivering quality products and services and by supplying after-sales information and service.
Perform coffee tastings: Perform coffee tastings and coffee demonstrations whether for improving the product in the production process or for showcasing the final product. Taste coffee to objectively evaluate its quality.
Show confidence: Demonstrate degrees of maturity by fully understanding one’s own qualities and abilities which can serve as sources of confidence in different situations.
Apply foreign language for international trade: Communicate in foreign languages to facilitate international trade operations such as the importation of food and beverages.
Support local economies: Support struggling local economies through humanitarian fair-trade projects.
Perform public relations: Perform public relations (PR) by managing the spread of information between an individual or an organisation and the public.
Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
Work in a food processing team: Collaborate in a team with other food processing professionals in service of the food and beverages industry.
Analyse characteristics of food products at reception: Analyse characteristics, composition, and other properties of food products at reception.
Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.
Label samples: Label raw material/ product samples for laboratory checks, according to implemented quality system.

ISCO group and title

3323 – Buyers





  1. Green coffee buyer – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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