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Position: Small Farms Coordinator
Organization: Mama Earth Organics
Location: East York, Toronto, Ontario

Small Farms Coordinator

The “Small Farms Coordinator” oversees our relationships with local farming partners. The goal of the position is to build a stronger local food system - developing and deepening our farm relationships in a way that also benefits our members and Mama Earth.

The Small Farms Coordinator position goes to the heart of our entire organization. Since much of the success of this position depends on the long term relationships developed, understanding of our processes and continual improvement of our processes, it’s vital that the applicant chosen has a very long term interest in the position and our organization.

We’re building a new type of food system that we’d like to be an example for other large cities throughout the world. There’s no blue-print and we’re developing it as we go. The reason that it hasn’t been developed before to this extent is because it’s not the most profitable system (much more profitable, and less complex, to buy from large conventional farms with monocultures – despite this being the wrong direction for the environment, freshness, diversity and overall taste). The only way we can compete, is by putting processes in place that minimize error/waste/cost, creating a system that’s financially sustainable for all parties involved. The system needs to be sustainable for Mama Earth in order for us to continue to grow it, and put more resources into it.

Skills Required:

  • Excellent understanding of the Mama Earth customer (ie. “our members”), what they want and what they care about
  • Deep understanding, respect and genuine passion for farming and local food; the ideal applicant will have had past experience farming so please highlight this in your application if you have it
  • Great communication skills, especially the ability to write in an engaging, fun way
  • Unusually high emotional intelligence
  • Leadership, someone who regularly demonstrates Mama Earth core values
  • Excellent critical thinking skills
  • High degree of common sense and good judgment (not actually so common)
  • Highly organized and capable of multitasking
  • Ability to balance competing interests and come up with solutions where everyone wins
  • Ability to strategize and make long term plans while also being able to pivot and adapt quickly
  • Growth mindset, someone who seeks out feedback and is constantly looking to improve/learn
  • Bonus points for: photography/video skills and/or other visual graphics capabilities (e.g. being able to create infographics)

Responsibilities

Farm relationships

  • Manage and improve relationships with all local farms we work with, and develop relationships with new farms
  • Build relationships based on honesty and transparency, and an honest passion to help build our partner’s farm business (while making sure the terms also work for us internally)
  • Set terms, both long term and short term, for the different partner farms
  • Set out balance in relationships (so that it works well for us and works well for them and is long term and sustainable on all sides – the farms, MEO and our members)
  • Source and push for increased heirloom/diversified produce
  • Maintain and build out our small farm loan program
  • Identify/implement other ways we can support local farm partners

Logistics/Purchasing:

  • Plan out the local season with each farm – how much we’ll buy, when, etc.
  • Maintain organized plans, updated daily, regarding farm purchases
  • Be proactive (don’t leave things to chance) – for our members, our purchasing team and our partner farms
  • Improve and make present logistics systems more efficient - work out automated efficient systems and processes
  • Improve and correct things that go wrong each week. Don’t allow mistakes to happen twice – this position must be continuously improving the logistics/communications

Communication

  • Bring the work with our farm partners to life, allowing our members and our team to feel more closely connected to our farms (and vice versa). This includes written and visual communication
  • All content needs to be real, honest, interesting – not boring. It can’t come from the perspective of trying to prove that we work with farms

Reporting/KPI’s

  • Develop reporting systems with clear goals to track progress on how small farms work is impacting our farms, our members, and Mama Earth. Send weekly and monthly reports to Michael/Allison/Alex/Tabatha updating on KPI’s and progress made.

Off-Season Work
During the non-local season (roughly December to April), the small farms coordinator will likely have up to half their week available for other work. The exact responsibilities of the Small Farms Coordinator during the off-season will depend on the successful candidate’s skill set, as well as the needs of the customer experience team and/or the organization as a whole.

One possible off-season role for the Small Farms Coordinator would be leading the curation of our non-farm offerings. This means working to improve the dried goods offering in our catalogue, by focusing on exciting, small-scale and local items that complement our farm-fresh selection. If the Small Farms Coordinator has a passion for food and a strong understanding of the local artisanal food scene, this could be a good fit.

Hours and Location:

This is a full-time position (though see the note above about off-season work) that will be based in our Toronto warehouse/office at 19 Waterman Avenue in East York. It will also include regular travel to visit our farming partners.

Reporting:

This person will work very closely with our purchasing, customer experience and marketing teams, though they will also interact regularly with many other members of our team. The Small Farms Coordinator will report to our Chief Marketing and Branding Officer and be considered an integral part of our customer experience team.

About Mama Earth:

Our mission is to build a full sustainable local food system, by delivering health and happiness to our customers, our farms, our team and the planet. We deliver organic produce and other healthy items directly to our members’ homes, throughout the greater GTA, on a weekly basis.

Our intergalactic headquarters are located in East Toronto, and we have an office in Peterborough too. We’re a progressive organization and we’re genuinely focused on the overall happiness, health and balance/mindfulness of our staff.

We’re also growing quickly (we’re consistently named one of the fastest growing companies in Canada each year). At this stage in our growth, we’re focused on building the strongest, smartest team and creating the best possible environment for us to work in. We’re passionate and believe greatly in what we’re trying to accomplish.

To Apply:

If you’re interested, please include a cover letter with your resume setting out why you’d be a good fit for this position - including any experience working on or with farms - and also your favorite band or musician to heather(at)mamaearthteam.ca. Only those considered for an interview will be contacted (no phone calls please).

We’ll interview as we receive applications, so please apply ASAP to give yourself the best chance (if this ad is still up then we’re still taking applications). Thanks, and good luck!

When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at FoodWork.ca.
 

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FoodWork ID: 37358       Date posted to FoodWork.ca: Jan 4 2017