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Grower Support Specialist

Charlottesville, VA Job posted 02/11/2021

Position Summary 

The Grower Support Specialist is responsible for the recruitment, onboarding, and management of new producers to the 4P Foods grower network. This role will also be responsible for staying up to date with food safety and compliance requirements and assisting growers with the necessary resources to be in compliance with outlined requirements. This will involve spending time visiting farms, creating systems to track and report on food safety and sustainability metrics and ensuring that our growers meet institutional customers’ food safety requirements. The Grower Support Specialist is ultimately responsible for successfully preparing new growers to sell into 4P’s retail and wholesale channels. 

This position will work closely with Local Food Hub’s Director of Grower Services and 4P Foods Procurement and Sales team members. To be successful in this role, experience working on a farm or with growers is essential as well as the ability to proactively track and update farm food safety and sustainability info on an ongoing basis. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:

New Grower Recruitment and Management
  • Manage new grower waitlist and onboard new growers as needed
  • Recruit and provide support to new growers for the Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Sourcing Initiative in coordination with Local Food Hub (LFH) Grower Services team
  • Provide assistance to new growers who require wholesale readiness training
  • Coordinate pricing, orders and delivery of product from new growers 
  • Seek out new growers that align with special compliance requirements of institutional customers
  • Farm visits as needed and for new growers during onboarding process
  • Assist the accounting team in troubleshooting payment issues
  • Comply with warehouse safety and food safety procedures
  • Attend meetings and events within and outside of normal work hours as needed
  • Eventual management of the Fresh Farmacy Program in collaboration with Local Food Hub 
Compliance
  • Work closely with LFH Grower Services team to develop system for cross-tracking compliance and food safety information
  • Develop and manage compliance database that can be used by 4P Foods Sales and Procurement teams
  • Responsible for requesting needed documents from growers throughout the year to stay in compliance
  • Work with 4P Sales team to ensure our growers meet institutional customers compliance and food safety needs requirements (Good Agricultural Practices/GAP)

Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

  • Must be 18  years or older.
  • An Associate’s Degree or high school diploma.
  • Excellent listening and problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to read, write, and perform basic math.
  • Excellent multi-tasking abilities.
  • Ability to proactively anticipate and solve problems
  • Exceptional ability to build relationships and work with a diverse group.
  • Strong organization skills with fastidious attention to detail.
  • Must have a good sense of humor.
  • Passionate about building a just and equitable food system in the United States.
  • Can work independently with minimal supervision
  • Familiarity with Virginia food system, the local food economy. Knowledge of systemic barriers facing BIPOC growers in the U.S. a plus
  • Experience with wholesale food purchasing 
  • Experience working on a farm a plus
  • Organized, detail oriented. 
  • Experience tracking and reporting data for various metrics 

Physical Demands and Work Environment 

  • Maintain a positive attitude and focus in a fast-paced and changing environment to meet tight deadlines.
  • Ability to sit, stand and walk for extended periods of time.
  • Flexible work schedule (which may include nights, weekends, holidays, and long hours) and regular attendance is necessary.
  • Ability to lift 30 pounds or more without assistance.

Apply

To apply, submit your resume and cover letter to [email protected]. The company is an Equal Opportunity Employer, drug free workplace, and complies with ADA regulations as applicable.

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We appreciate that you're here reading this! To operate our food hub and help feed those in need, requires many hands. If you are passionate about our mission and interested in volunteering your time, contact us about upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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