Brighton Permaculture Trust is looking for a Food Waste Project Manager for our successful food waste project.
Business skills and experience, especially in the food industry, will be essential in taking this project to the next level.
This is currently a freelance, part time role of around 15-25 hours per week, with a requirement for regular weekend working to support production and sales at Stanmer park.
One of our permaculture principles is to create no waste. Our Scrumped in Sussex project is about bringing people together to tackle food waste. Local fruit that might otherwise have gone to waste is made into juices, ciders, jams and chutneys.
This fruit is harvested from:
- small orchards that we manage in Brighton & Hove
- private orchards and gardens
- ‘wonky’ fruit from commercial orchards in Sussex
Our produce is sold on a stall outside our premises at Stanmer, and to some local cafes and shops. We have also successfully raised funds to supply juice to people in need via our partners FareShare in Sussex on a number of occasions in recent years.
We rely on around 90 volunteers per year working in every aspect of the project; coming from a variety of backgrounds they put in around 1,400 hours. This is an opportunity for people to acquire new skills, get exercise, meet people and take home some healthy fruit. A paid coordinator leads volunteers in each activity in the process, and sessional staff work at the weekends in processing and sales. It is anticipated that the team will be expanded to grow the project.
Starting small in 2009 with a modest amount of 3-year lottery funding, the project has grown without further revenue funding, but has benefited from funding for equipment. We crowdfunded in 2015 to convert a barn to a production facility – the ‘Fruit Factory’ at Stanmer Park. In recent years we have processed around 30 tonnes of fruit per year and brought in around £50,000 of income per year from juice and cider sales.
The project is very successful. It has grown slowly but is now paying its own costs. However, our current premises and equipment are now a limit to further growth and we are seeking funding to invest in new equipment and reconfigure our premises. This will enable us to produce more, while reducing our production costs, and thereby enabling us to supply local retailers at a more competitive price.
The Food Waste Project Manager is key to transition the project to the next level. The intention is to double the scale of the project within 2 years. Any surplus income generated from the project will be invested in supporting community orchards and training people on low incomes in fruit and orchard related skills.
How to apply
Please read the job description and background information about the role and the project.
Fill out the application form giving as much detail as you can about how you meet the competencies for the role and email us your completed application form.
If you would like to see the project in action, our stall is at the Fruit Factory in Stanmer Park nearly every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
Closing date for applications: extended to 5pm Monday 31st July 2023
Interviews for the post will be held on 24th July and 14th August
Food waste project manager job description
- Project manage the development and delivery of a successful Scrumped in Sussex project.
Ensure the highest possible standards of Health & Safety and legislative compliance.
- Building, training and developing a ‘Scrumped in Sussex’ team. Recruit, co-ordinate, motivate and manage a team of contractors and volunteers to progress and deliver excellent products from waste food.
- Lead the team with a hands-on approach. Work as a member of the team to deliver the project as required; coaching, training and supporting new workers and volunteers.
- Supervise the day to day fruit processing operations as needed.
- Cover operational rotas as and when required to ensure consistent production.
- Work with the director and trustees, who will have oversight of the projects.
- Work with Brighton Permaculture Trust communications and with external partners to market and promote the project.
- Compile budgets and record finances including compiling data
- Develop financial viability of the Scrumped in Sussex and other food projects
- Write funding bids, secure funding for future projects and continuation of role.
- Develop and expand the business, including exploring reconfiguring existing or new premises.
- Explore other possible food projects for Brighton Permaculture Trust.
Additional work with the project is available, e.g. picking, juicing, pasteurising and making jam. This could complement the ability to manage the project but is not an essential part of the role beyond that described above.
1. Food Business management
A good understanding and practical experience of the operational processes and regulations of a food business, to include food hygiene, stock management, rotas etc. Experience of setting and meeting targets and budgets, keeping accurate records, creating and following project plans and writing reports is essential. Using Microsoft Word, Excel and video conferencing in order to deliver, manage, and communicate effectively
2. Project development and marketing skills
Proven ability to scale up a food project/business to make it financially viable and legally compliant, whilst working from a sustainable, ethical foundation. Experience of marketing and sales to successfully promote the project and ensure the products create a healthy return.
3. Relationship building ability
Evidence of ability to work effectively with people and teams to deliver and develop projects to a high standard. Evidence of excellent people skills in working with stakeholders, team members, volunteers, retail outlets and the public. Competence in building a healthy interpersonal culture amongst everyone involved in the project. Inspires respect and confidence in others. Experience of building and developing a successful team.
4. Creative problem solving
Ability to respond to challenges with creativity, practicality and positivity: identify and assess issues promptly, work with others to facilitate solutions, and follow through on actions. Responsive and flexible as the work demands. Use creative strategies to develop a project as well as be responsive to issues on the ground.
5. Local knowledge and connection
The Scrumped in Sussex project is local to Brighton and Hove, currently based at Stanmer Park, with fruit sourced from around Sussex. The role requires a regular presence at the orchards and fruit factory at Stanmer park, and a knowledge and understanding of local food networks. An understanding of local issues would help develop the project to meet the needs of local people.
1. Juicing, pasteurising and fruit production skills and experience
Knowledge and experience of basic fruit processing, enthusiasm for making products from local fruit, and an appetite to learn. Ability and experience in lifting and manual handling is desirable for some aspects of the fruit production.
2. Supporting volunteers
Experience and passion for working with local communities to build a successful team of volunteers, interns, and apprentices.
Knowledge and experience writing successful funding bids is desirable to enhance the income from sales.
Driving licence and own vehicle
5. Knowledge of permaculture and Brighton Permaculture Trust
- The role is initially self-employed for the 6 month probationary period. We will explore hours and contract options thereafter with the manager.
- It is a part-time freelance post, amounting to 15-25 hours/week. The work can be completed flexibly, but hours worked must be responsive to the requirements of the tasks which currently operates around a long weekend.
- The flexibility to put in additional hours in the first few months and fewer hours in future months would be welcomed.
- The role requires regular visits to the project at Stanmer park including at weekends.
- Office work will be home based, using the applicant’s own office equipment and software.
- The job will be paid at £16/hour, paid monthly in arrears. Invoices should be dated the last day of the month and will be paid within 21 days.
- Local travel costs will not be covered, but essential travel further than 10 miles from the city will be paid at cost or 45p per mile for vehicle use. 60p per mile is paid when vehicles are being used to transport significant weight.
- The peak work period for this project is August-March during harvest season, and so good availability is required (on the phone or on site) from Sat-Mon during this time.
Closing date for applications: extended to 5:00pm Monday 31st July 2023
Interviews for the post will be held on 14th August.