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Director of Farm Operations

Role: Full-time

About Plenty

Plenty is on a mission to make fresh, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables more accessible to everyone.  Our cutting-edge indoor, vertical farms produce extraordinary yields using a fraction of the land and water outdoor farms need.  Nutrient-rich, mouth-watering and locally grown, our crops help people, communities and our planet to be healthier and more resilient.

The people and teams who make up Plenty are at the core of how we do this.  We are a collaborative and innovative bunch.  We are passionate about our contributions to Plenty, the communities around us and our planet, but never take ourselves too seriously.  We’re down to Earth, we grow together, and we always find a way.  Most importantly, we’re here to improve the lives of plants, people and our planet.  

About the role

Plenty is looking for a Director of Farm Operations to join our Compton, CA team. The Director of Farm Operations will lead operations for the Compton Plenty farm with functional responsibility encompassing farm operations, production scheduling, warehouse and maintenance.  The Director of Farm Operations will be responsible for setting up, running and continuously improving standard operating procedures that ensure rigor and consistency while at the same time creating and nurturing a culture of ingenuity and growth for the people who work within the indoor, vertical farm. The Director of Farm Operations is expected to ensure that the farm operates reliably 365 days per year and produces the highest quality produce while keeping people safe.

What you'll do

  • This will be a hands-on role where you will be leading high volume packaging and shipping of high quality produce to local retailers and distributors
  • Establish guidelines for process completion time commitments
  • Coordinate equipment uptime, processing tools, training and resource balancing to meet daily packaging and shipment schedules
  • Define and continuously improve a Plenty “Operating System” based on LEAN / Six-Sigma with a regular metrics-driven cadence and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Recruit, train and grow a world-class farm operations team including ongoing development, detailed job definitions and career paths.
  • Define requirements for and implement appropriate processes and supporting IT tools for effective farm operations.
  • Ensure effective regulatory / EH&S compliance in each facility.
  • Develop and manage deep partnerships with functions across Plenty, including R&D, Business Operations, Marketing, Sales, and EH&S.
  • Establish and maintain a food safe environment and processes including daily cleaning with staff and farm associates
  • Conduct and plan for multiple shifts as required to meet morning and afternoon deliveries
  • Implement strict budgetary controls
  • Manage Daily Order Fulfillment to customers across the state of California
  • Perform other related duties as required

What you'll bring to the table

  • BS/BA in business administration, engineering, management, industrial technology or equivalent experience.
  • 7+ years prior relevant experience in a leadership role: accountable for the successful operations of a manual/automated production facility and meeting performance metrics.
  • 5+ years of experience leading, managing, and staffing an operation that runs 24 hours, 7 days a week in a U.S. based facility.
  • Scaling, and high automation: Deep experience scaling and operating a manufacturing facility that leverages a high degree of automation.
  • Relentless excellence and improvement: Reputation for creating and nurturing a culture of continuous improvement that values and provides ongoing growth opportunities for people at all levels in the organization.
  • Influence for outcomes: Exceptional influencing skills across functions of a company; ability to influence and lead individuals and teams including and outside of one’s direct reports.
  • Build people, grow people, stretch people: People-first hands-on leader who practices active listening.
  • Mission Driven; Deep passion aligned with the Plenty mission, vision and values.
  • The ability to create and articulate an inspiring vision for the organization, not only for the areas s/he is directly responsible for, but the enterprise as a whole.
  • Experience with inventory management, warehouse operations, customer shipments, product quality, on-time deliveries and attention to cleanliness.
  • Preferred experience in post-harvest food processing environments: the machinery, systems, cleaning routines etc. to process fresh produce.
  • Food Safety – understanding of processes, tools, cleaning techniques, worker clothing and behavior to meet and exceeds food safety requirements for the proper work zone
  • Worker Health & Safety – demonstrated experience as a leader in safe work practices, caring about employees and leading by example

Type of role

Full-Time 

What we can offer 

  • Compensation; we’ll pay you a competitive salary, give you a stake in the company via equity and contribute toward your 401K 
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits, in-office gyms, and an Employee Assistance Program to help with mental health, financial & legal matters 
  • Food; in-office lunches, snacks and access to our leafy greens & new produce in development -- are you up for a side gig as a taste tester?
  • Grow together; learning & development opportunities including unlimited access to our Upstart University platform, LinkedIn Learning, lunch & learns, training certifications, and more
  • Equipment; we’ll provide you with the equipment you need to be successful, including $75/month toward your phone bill and $250 every 2 years to upgrade your phone
  • Paid time off; we know you’ll do your best if you’re taking time to recharge, so we don’t cap the amount of days you can take off per year in addition to the paid holidays we observe
  • Parental leave; 12 weeks off for all new parents - fully paid so you can focus your energy on your newest addition 

Food & Safety Requirements

  • Comply with all Plant, State and Federal OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF regulations
  • All employees must show proof of COVID vaccination before starting work, other than in limited circumstances where the law requires an exception
  • All applicants must be 18 years or older to apply
  • Comply with GMP/GAPS in the Facility
  • Conduct monitoring activities to assure finished product complies with food safety and quality specifications
  • Assist in the maintenance of Food Safety and Quality system