Brighton Permaculture Trust has successfully built a scrumping project from scratch over the past decade, harvesting unused fruit from in and around the city. We manage several small orchards at Stanmer and Racehill which supply fruit, we collect from private orchards and gardens with the help of volunteers and we use ‘wonky’ fruit from local commercial orchards.
Since 2009, our scrumping project has grown organically. Last season we processed 34 tonnes of fruit that might otherwise have gone to waste, turning it into juices, ciders, jams and chutneys. The project has great potential, and plans to double in scale in the next 2 years.
We are now creating a freelance Project Development role to lead a significant expansion of our scrumping and food projects. The role is currently funded through sales. Fundraising is an option to diversify income streams to the project and for capital investment, but maximising sales is expected to be the most likely avenue for increasing income.
The role requires excellent people skills to work effectively with an existing scrump team, as well as volunteers, key stakeholders, and the general public in sales.
Business skills and experience, especially in the food industry, are also important in taking this project to the next level.
The post will be available initially for 12 months, but it is expected that increased sales and successful funding bids will extend the work indefinitely.
A knowledge and understanding of juicing and pasteurising and the demands of food processing is desirable, but not essential and the role will include opportunities to develop more specialist skills in these areas.
How to apply
If you would like to see the project in action our stall is at the Fruit Factory in Stanmer Park every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. We will be juicing apples outside on the 2nd, 3rd ,9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th April.
Closing date for applications: 9:00am Tuesday 19th April 2022.
Interviews for the post will be held on Friday 29th April 2022
1. Business management 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 setting and meeting targets and budgets, keeping accurate records, creating and following project plans and writing reports. Using Microsoft Word, Excel and video conferencing in order to deliver, manage, and communicate effectively. Marketing and sales to successfully promote the project and ensure the products create a healthy return.
2. 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 and the public. Competence in building a healthy interpersonal culture amongst everyone involved in the project. Inspires respect and confidence in others.
3. 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.
4. Local knowledge and connection
The scrump 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 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 but not essential 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
• Project managing the development and delivery of a successful scrump project
• Develop and expand the business, including exploring new premises
• Identify and address health & safety and legal issues
• Recruit, co-ordinate, motivate and manage a team of contractors and volunteers
• Work with BPT comms and external partners to market and promote the project
• Explore other possible food projects for Brighton Permaculture Trust
• Develop financial viability of the scrump and other food projects
• Budgeting and financial info including compiling data
• Write funding bids, securing funding for future projects and continuation of role
• Work with the director and trustees, who will have oversight of the projects
Additional work with the project is available, eg picking, juicing, pasteurising and making jam. This could complement the ability to manage the project but is not an essential part of the role.
- The role is initially funded for 12 months, but it is expected that successful increased revenue will allow for work to be extended indefinitely.
- It is a part-time freelance post, amounting to 10 hours/week. The work can be completed flexibly, but hours worked must be responsive to the requirements of the tasks and include an openness to some evening and weekend work as needed. The ability 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.
- Office work will be home based, using the applicant’s own office equipment and software. A willingness to connect with other members of the Brighton Permaculture Trust team on a Wednesday either at the Fruit Factory (Stanmer Park), or online, is desirable.
- The job is paid at £15/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 35p per mile for vehicle use.
- Additional practical work for the project will be paid at £11.20/hour. 50p per mile is paid when vehicles are being used to transport significant weight.
The Scrumping Project
This 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.
Scrumping team staff and volunteers pick fruit from gardens and small orchards around the city – where the fruit would not be used and take ‘wonky fruit’ from commercial orchards in Sussex.
In response to the pandemic in 2020 we supplied 8,300 bottles of juice to people in need via our partners FareShare in Sussex. Otherwise our produce is sold on a stall outside our premises at Stanmer, and to some local cafes and shops.
The project relies on 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, but has benefited from funding for equipment. All other income is from sales. We crowdfunded in 2015 to convert a barn to a production facility – the ‘Fruit Factory’ at Stanmer Park. Last year, 2021, we processed 34 tonnes of fruit and brought in £46,000 of income.
The project has been very successful but has only just managed to pay its own costs and grow slowly. Our current premises and equipment are now a limit to further growth and we are seeking funding to invest in new equipment and premises. This will enable us to produce more while reducing our production costs, enabling us to supply local retailers at a more competitive price.
The Project Development Worker 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.