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ORGANIC FARMS

Position: Pack House Lead
Farm: Shuswap Organics Inc

Location: Grindrod, North Okanagan, BC
Housing: On-farm accom may be available in a camper trailer (see below)

About Shuswap Organics:

Shuswap Organics grows six acres of certified organic mixed vegetables on a sixteen acre farm on the banks of the Shuswap River in Grindrod, BC. Grindrod is about 15 minutes away from the town of Enderby, 20min from Salmon Arm, and 40min from Vernon. You can find a shady spot by the river to eat your lunch or have a quick dip to cool off at the end of the day. We grow and sell fresh crops (like greens, herbs, beets, carrots, cucumbers, and summer squash) from May to October, and storage crops (potatoes, carrots, cabbage, etc) from October through March.

We use a combination of tractors and person powered tools; our goal is to work lightly on the land and reduce tillage, but also reduce the impact on our bodies. For example, we’ll use basket weeders on a tractor to prepare and manage early weeds in the carrots, but we will also be in there with a wheel hoe and hand weeding at least once in the season.

We have a mix of sales channels, but sell most of our produce to chefs, independent grocery stores, and to our home delivery business - Nature Delivered.

We are certified organic, and believe in growing healthy fresh food for our community that also supports the health of our animals and the environment.

We strive to make every work day as efficient as possible. We’d rather work a full and effective 8 hour day with the afternoon/evenings off, versus a scattered day working 10+ hours. We expect our employees to show up on time and be ready to go. We foster a work environment that thrives on building leadership – we want our employees to learn, and build confidence and independence in the skills and tasks at hand.

PACK HOUSE LEAD DESIRED QUALITIES:

We are looking for one Pack House Lead to join our team in 2024. This position includes both field work and wash/pack responsibilities, but a leadership role in the wash/pack. Our ideal candidate has experience working on a vegetable farm washing and packing vegetables (but we can also train!), is hard working, likes to learn new things, self-motivated, VERY DETAIL ORIENTED, experience working in the food industry, positive, and really likes to double check things. Depending on the season, 2-3 days per week will be spent harvesting, washing, and packing produce. The other days of the week are for field work. On wash/pack days the Pack House Lead typically starts washing and packing while the rest of the team is harvesting. They manage the flow of produce coming into the pack house, and getting vegetables cooled/washed/stored as needed; decision making is required. Once harvest has been completed, the rest of the team will join in washing/packing; delegation and integration of the rest of the team is required. Quality is very important to our customers, so the candidate must have an eye for quality control while also maintaining the efficiency in wash/pack. Whether you have agricultural experience or not, show us why you’re passionate about small scale agriculture and how your skills align with what we’re looking for.

  • Experience in vegetable farming or the food industry (and ideally organic methods) an asset, but not required
  • Strong observation skills, and detail oriented are required
  • Understands the importance of quality and knows/learns industry standards
  • Can multi-task effectively
  • Good time management, record keeping, and organizational skills
  • Hard working
  • Strong and clear communicator, and confidence to ask questions when tasks or expectations are unclear
  • Be able to work in all weather conditions, and must be able to lift 40lbs repeatedly

JOB TASKS

  • All field work: planting, weeding, harvesting, etc.
  • Develop harvest day work plans with Farm Manager
  • Help organize and direct staff in the Pack House during post-harvest activities
  • Watch quality of produce being harvested, and communicate with Farm Manager if items need to be re-harvested/fixed.
  • Learn wash and pack requirements for all our produce, and manage the harvest coming into the Pack House to optimise washing/packing/storage to maintain highest possible quality of all our products
  • Label produce and boxes for delivery, load coolers, load delivery trucks, keep records of packed and stored produce.
  • Maintain records for food safety and organic certifications - relevant to wash/pack.

JOB DETAILS

Term: Early to mid May start date, and finish at the end of October.

If you’re interested in year round work, please let us know as we have winter employment available in the pack house. The nature of winter work is less varied, but it is still a vital part of strengthening the small scale food system!

If you’re only available for part of the season, feel free to contact us to see if we have a shorter term position available - minimum is usually two months.

Hours per week: 24-40 hours per week. We can offer this position as either a 3 days per week (wash/pack only), or as a full time position with approximately two days per week of field work as well. There is the option to work additional hours during peak season July-September, but it is not an expectation. Workdays start at 5:30-7AM depending on time of season and weather (ex. early spring and late fall we start later in the morning, during a heat wave we start as early as possible).

Wage: We offer $19/hour to start with no experience (negotiable if you are coming with experience).

On Farm, accommodation may be available in a camper trailer. It has electricity, a cook stove, small fridge, running water, toilet and shower, no leaks, and is in good shape. The hot water heater and the furnace do not work. Or if you like to camp, there are lots of great spots to pitch a tent.

TO APPLY

Please submit your resume (maximum 2 pages), at least 2 professional references, and a 1 page (MAXIMUM) letter of interest answering the following questions:

  • Why do you want to farm?
  • Explain how you know that you can/like to multi-task, work in physically demanding environments, and are detail oriented.
  • What do you need to thrive in your work environment?
  • What would you bring to our team?
  • Please indicate you saw this posting at FoodWork.

Email to emily.jubenvill@gmail.com by March 15, 2024.

While we thank all those who apply, only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. ONLY applications from Canadian residents (or people with a valid work visa will be considered).


 

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Note: The above is provided on an "As Is" basis and for general informational purposes only. People and Planet (also known as "FoodWork") is not responsible for the content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, legality, reliability, quality or suitability of this posting. We do not screen or endorse the organizations or individuals involved. If you decide to accept an offer of employment, volunteering or any other arrangement, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against injury, abuse, non-payment or any other loss. Please read our full Terms & Conditions.

Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Jan 31 2024    ID: 70063