Job Description


🐶 A bit about the role

This is an exciting opportunity to join a high growth manufacturing business, Butternut Box, we're on a mission to put the food back into dog food! We believe that our furry friends deserve the healthiest, tastiest, and most natural meals, delivered straight to their wagging tails. Cooked like you would at home, our freshly prepared dog food is packed with goodness. And now, we're looking for a talented Category Manager to be responsible for a portfolio of high value and complex categories including meat protein, you will be managing spend of c£15m but this number is growing rapidly! You will act as the lead for Raw Materials primarily in Rudie's Kitchen (our production facility) and Ace's Pantry (our fulfilment and warehouse facility)

You will report to our Head of Core Foods and work with a highly skilled and collaborative team. Working cross-functionally with Production, Product Development, Technical, Fulfillment, Brand and International Supply Chain teams.  You will focus on building and delivering a long-term plan within the categories you own and supporting your team to deliver their goals and KPIs. You will have significant input in the development of the procurement function including the creation and refinement of processes, as we scale.

In this role, you will be responsible for an International & rapidly growing supply base and you will be part of a high energy team who are committed to the development of all of our procurement practices, systems and processes. The role is based at our production site  in Blyth (S81 8HG), some international travel & overnight stays will be required on an ad hoc basis to our suppliers, trade shows and our ‘box office’ in London.

🔎 Who we are looking for

You are dynamic, a self-starter who works proactively, and are excited about the opportunity to work in a rapidly scaling business! We are looking for someone, with previous strong experience working within an FMCG environment. You will bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the procurement team, can support the development of more junior members and can work at pace.

👋 A bit about you

We are looking for someone who is both passionate about providing the best possible quality for our dogs and their humans whilst knowing how to negotiate the best options and develop strong supplier partnerships. You will establish great foundations for the team to grow in, great working relationships with suppliers, internal stakeholders and the broader Procurement team and a keen eye for detail, external market awareness and ability to adapt based on the evolving needs of the business.

Key responsibilities:

Goals & KPI’s

  • Accountable for forecasting, reporting and delivering your category budget
  • Leading weekly cross functional meetings to co-ordinate with internal teams to ensure that category activities and new product launches are delivered against programme and budget
  • Working cross-functionally & externally with suppliers to identify and deliver continuous efficiency and/or cost improvement opportunities
  • Deliver on our sustainability and environmental agenda
  • Challenge and manage suppliers to deliver the required standards and measure their performance against agreed objectives, putting in place corrective actions where necessary
  • Scaling the supply base to keep up with demand, whilst minimising risk and building strategic supplier relationships


  • Leading project teams to deliver long-term strategies to ensure value, quality & minimise risk
  • Defining category plans and using strategic tools to analyse market risk and opportunities. 
  • Translating data into clear insights and recommendations
  • Helping to drive the growth of the procurement function through implementing excellent procurement practices, building procurement templates, frameworks, ways of working and processes
  • Being an advocate for the procurement function and best practice

Supplier Relationships

  • Leading and undertaking the full supplier sourcing & onboarding process through to contract award, including pre-qualification, evaluation of 'best value', co-ordination of both commercial and qualitative assessments 
  • Accountable for drafting, negotiating and delivery of robust and appropriate supplier contracts for your categories as well as providing support for the team
  • Manage complex supplier relationships and own regular commercial meetings, to ensure engagement, alignment and clear communication.
  • Responsible for tracking, assessing and driving performance improvements, acting as a contact point for escalations and issues, through to resolution
  • There may also be a requirement for you to resolve supply and quality issues and act as a support function for the operation if required

Essential Criteria

  • An experienced senior-level procurement expert, used to managing multiple categories
  • Exceptional stakeholder management and communication skills
  • Resilient, able to work at pace
  • Experience working in FMGC or manufacturing
  • Experience sourcing food raw materials and commodities
  • Organised with a very keen eye for detail and the ability to work under pressure
  • Great project management skills
  • Commercial awareness; you should be comfortable in leading supplier negotiations and able to take a holistic view of the impact of your role in the business
  • Passion for procurement

Desirable Criteria

  • Meat protein buying experience
  • European sourcing experience
  • E-commerce (direct to consumer) experience
  • CIPS qualified level 4+
  • Have managed small teams and can develop others


🥳What's In It For You?🥳

  • Enjoy 257.5 hours of holiday per year, plus an extra day for each year of service (up to 5 days).*
  • 39 hours of pre-booked paws days to support good wellbeing and self care.*
  • Unlock a £500 annual budget for personal learning and development.
  • Get discounted Private Medical Insurance with Vitality Healthcare.
  • Satisfy your taste buds with subsidised food from a variety of street food vans, and of course, pay day pizza!
  • Treat your furry friend with an employee discount on Butternut Box.
  • Say goodbye to parking woes with free parking and electric car charging.
  • Prepare for adorable office dog overload—meet Cleo, Paxo, Cali, Ronnie, Harvey, Milo, and many more!


🐶 A bit about Butternut & The Role

At Butternut, we put the food back into dog food. We believe dogs deserve to eat the healthiest, most natural and tastiest food with none of the nasties. That’s why we make freshly prepared dog food. Cooked like you would at home. Delivered in perfect portions.

We want to change the pet food industry for the better helping dogs live healthier, happier and longer lives whilst leaving humans smiling after every interaction.

We have come a long way since our co-founders (Kevin & David) hand-delivered the first Butternut Box. We are on a mission to feed even more pets in the UK and our operations team and creating a robust and scalable supply chain have a vital part to play in this. That’s where you come in.

‼A few things to note:

  • We aim to respond to all applicants personally. Our recruitment team is small so do bear with us.
  • Butternut Box is an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity and inclusion. We welcome people of different nationalities, backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives.
  • We're not afraid of putting extra weight on candidates from underrepresented groups. We want strong, diverse teams built from different backgrounds, experiences, and identities. We're ready for the ongoing work that goes into building an inclusive, supportive place for you to do the best work of your career.
  • There is no specific date this role will go down but we normally experience a high volume of applications so if you are interested we suggest applying as soon as possible.


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