Dracut, MA - Produce Packing and Distribution Supervisor

Produce Packing and Distribution Supervisor
Farmer Dave’s is seeking a hardworking, highly organized, motivating individual with a sense of humor to manage the planning, operations, packing and distribution of our produce.  We are a 100 acre diversified vegetable and fruit farm in Dracut, including satellite fields, greenhouses and an orchard in Tewksbury and Westford, Ma.  We offer our produce through our 3 farm stands, our CSA, which has grown to over 1200 members and serves fourteen communities in the Greater Boston area, several farmer’s markets and we offer produce to limited wholesale markets and restaurants.  Although we are a small farm, a “go big, or go home” attitude will serve you well.  We are not certified organic, but use organic methods. If you have a “duck on water” work ethic, enjoy the challenge of many moving pieces, and geek out a bit about feeding people only the most nutritious vegetables and fruits, you may be just who we are looking for. 

Position Description:
The Produce Packing and Distribution Supervisor will oversee the quality, handling, washing, packing, distribution, and overall care of our produce.  This position requires the ability to lead, train and motivate and hold a team accountable. S (he) will assist in the responsibility of some member service aspects of the CSA, including e-mail and phone communication, member registration, and billing. The position involves time on the computer, answering e-mails and entering data. It also involves some face-to-face time with members and prospective members. The position includes work in the packing and distribution facility, the office, with the public, and on the farm. Specific responsibilities vary depending on the time of year.  While we are a farm, this position is NOT a farming position – it involves leading a team, coaching and training, operations management, membership (customer) service, some marketing and publicity, some event planning, and more. The position will also involve assisting the Farmer Dave’s team as business needs present themselves.

·         Oversee all post-harvest handling, fulfillment and movement of produce to outlets (CSA, Farmer’s Markets, Farm Stands, wholesale and restaurants.) 
·         Assessing produce quality before and during packing, and implement system of feedback and education to farm staff to address quality issues.
·         Develop system for produce quality assessment, documentation and feedback to the packing team to ensure customer satisfaction.
·         15-30% of this position will be spent leading a team in the packing area while packing and distribution activities are going on.
·         Provide leadership to the packing area team in managing daily operations, including maintaining a brand new 4,800 sq. ft. geothermal packing and distribution facility.
·         Assist in packing produce in proper volumes for each destination. 
·         Create, manage and troubleshoot the truck and drivers schedule. 
·         Ensure CSA shares and other produce orders are transported to locations as needed.  This is NOT a driving position but may need to fill in, in a pinch.
·         Monitor operational needs of delivery vehicle (gas, oil, windshield-wiper fluid)
·         Maintain on-going inventory management
·         Conducting periodic staff performance evaluations
·         Work with staff and CSA location partners at various Pick-up Locations to trouble shoot delivery or pickup concerns
·         Communication of any special direction or “extras” to the CSA location partners
·         Provide customer service to CSA shareholders at Pick-up Locations
·         Weekly share design
·         Analyze and adjust crop production plan to maximize sales needs;
·         Partner with the Farmer Dave’s team in analyzing, evaluating and interpreting customer preferences and trends in the community.  Continuously implement changes where needed to meet the needs of our shareholders

SPRING: In the spring work includes organizing and coordinating the spring share and add-ons, managing and fulfilling the produce needs of the farm stands and any spring farmers markets, it may include some of the following: marketing & outreach, assisting with registration, and communication with members.

SUMMER: When the main season begins in June, the amount of work increases and responsibilities become communicating daily packing, add-on, and delivery needs to the packing team and drivers, preparation of produce and packing of CSA shares, preparation of produce to farm stands and farmers markets, documentation of weekly share contents, continued communication with members and CSA site coordinators (CSA location partners).  It will also involve ensuring the delivery of CSA shares to the pick-up locations, ensuring staffing of CSA distributions and/or farmers markets and/or farm stands.

FALL: When the main season finishes at the end of October, the focus is shifted to evaluating the past season and planning for the coming year and coordinating the late fall share through mid-December.  It may also involve ensuring the staffing of CSA distributions and/or farmers markets and/or farm stands.
Additional Responsibilities:
The successful candidate will assume additional responsibilities depending on his/her skills and the staffing needs at the farm. Examples of these responsibilities may include writing newsletter content, or maintaining and updating website content.  Contribute to the maintenance and evolution of a crop plan, seed inventory, and annual seed order.

The ideal candidate for the Operations and Distribution Manager position must love working with people and  produce, have a desire to grow within Farmer Dave’s, and be enthusiastic about being part of a growing business.  We are looking for this candidate to be friendly, reliable, and positive and be comfortable with multi-tasking and managing many moving pieces.  (S) He must be a strong planner, communicator, and leader and is able to hold a team accountable. The ideal candidate can jump in and lead by example when needed but is ultimately a motivating delegator.   (S) He must be capable of managing a high stress environment, while still keeping a sense of humor. (S) He must have strong professional written and verbal communication skills and a strong “customer service” ethic.  (S) He must have strong computer/internet skills and be very comfortable with web-based database software, Microsoft Excel and Word.  S (he) will also have a great enthusiasm for and knowledge of fresh vegetables & fruit and sustainable agriculture.
(S) He must have a strong understanding of the CSA model. (S) He must have the ability to work efficiently, both independently and as part of a team. (S) He must be comfortable and willing to work in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.  (S) He must have the ability to perform varied and repetitive warehouse tasks, including manual lifting of boxes at least 50 pounds unassisted in conditions that vary from hot and humid to cold and wet.  Ability to drive and safely maneuver a 14’ commercial box truck in urban traffic and congested city streets (no special license required).

Additional preferred skills:

Knowledge of handling and cooking produce with care and passion
Working knowledge of Spanish - preferred but not needed
At least one season of experience working on a farm or produce department (or similar transferable experience)

This position is a full-time/seasonal hourly position. The Produce Packing and Distribution Supervisor will be expected to work on average 40 hours per week for the 41 weeks (March –December) that the packing area is active. 
Based on performance and ability, there is opportunity for this position to become full-time/year round.

How to Apply
Use your cover letter as your one and only opportunity to tell us why we should read your resume! Please emphasize how your background and skills are an excellent fit for the responsibilities and qualifications in this job description.  As Farmer Dave’s is a small operation and every person holds many responsibilities, please feel free to also highlight other skills you possess that would be valuable to a small business.

E-mail your cover letter, resume and salary requirements to jobs@farmerdaves.net  (The subject line should read: Produce Operations and Distribution Supervisor) OR mail your cover letter and resume to: Farmer Dave’s, Attn: Denise Lee, 437 Parker Road, Dracut, MA 01826. No phone calls, please.

Farmer Dave's Farm in Dracut, MA