JOB DESCRIPTION | Director of Production | GreenPath Food | Ethiopia
GreenPath Food is currently seeking a professional, high-performance individual to serve as Director of Production.
This individual will have the unique opportunity to help shape the future of a young, environmentally and socially-conscious agriculture business in Ethiopia, one of Africa’s most promising economies. Ideal candidates have a passion for East Africa, a dedication to environmental sustainability, and the ability to successfully lead the company’s horticulture production efforts as the company scales over the next 5 years to produce more than 500 tons of produce annually with several hundred partner farmers.
GreenPath Food is a socially-oriented agribusiness that produces organic produce in an environmentally-sustainable, organic manner in conjunction with a network of smallholder farmers.
The company currently operates from its Butajira Production Area with a team of 15 staff and 58 Partner Farmers. GreenPath maintains a facility (the Farmer Service Center) with a cold store, nursery, and packhouse in Butajira, SNNPR. In the past 12 months, the company has (a) undergone successful organic certification, (b) begun exporting produce to Dubai, UAE, and (c) diversified its crop portfolio from 10 crops to 25.
As a young, but growing company, GreenPath will expand to new production areas in the months and years to come with a vision to become East Africa’s largest organic fruit and vegetable company.
The Senior Staff at the organization are a group of highly talented professionals with experience in Ethiopian export horticulture, and agricultural development sectors, as well as direct experience in the Ethiopian start-up context. Each member of the team has a passion for improving the lives of smallholder farmers and increasing access to organically and sustainably grown, high-nutritious foods, and is committed to seeing GreenPath realize its core objectives.
MISSION OF ROLE
The primary objective of the Director of Production is to maximize production of a diverse portfolio of organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs across GreenPath’s network of smallholder partner farms. The Director of Production will be responsible for designing and developing the company’s permaculture-based production strategy, training and materials; leading experimentation and trials of crops, pest and disease controls and growing conditions; overseeing the company’s organic certification; and maintaining internal farm management records.
RESPONSIBILITIES & OUTCOMES
• Each GreenPath Production Area produces 30 tons of organic-certified produce in its first 12 months of operations
• Each GreenPath Production Area produces 100 tons of organic-certified produce in its second 12 months of operations
• Each GreenPath Production Area produces 150 tons of organic-certified produce every year thereafter
Crop Management & Planting Decisions
• A list of the agronomically optimal crops for each Production Area and its sub-locations is generated 90 days prior to the start of each planting period, establishing which crops are best suited to growing on which farms
• All existing EU-Organic certified Partner Farms continue to meet requirements and maintain their certification
• All new Partner Farms are certified EU-Organic within 4 months of joining GreenPath
• All Partner Farms are certified with additional certifications (such as Global GAP) within 4 months of the company’s decision to pursue the certification
Field Production Training
• A complete production manual for the Farm Production and FSC teams is created within 2 months of starting, and updated on a monthly basis
• Complete crop resources for Partner Farms are created within 2 months of starting and updated on a monthly basis
• A complete set of Farm Production Team onboarding materials is designed and developed within 6 months of starting, and updated on an annual basis. This should include training and resources on:
■ General permaculture and agronomic practices for all GreenPath crops
■ Crop-specific best practices for GreenPath’s top 5 crops
■ Value proposition for GreenPath Partner Farms
■ Value proposition of organic production for smallholders
■ Top 5 “sales strategies” to be a persuasive FPO
■ Top 5 “training strategies” to promote adoption
■ Farm Production reporting systems and how to use them
■ Individual and Farm Production Team responsibilities
• Within 1 month of hire of new Farm Production Officers being hired, all new Farm Production teams are trained and able to communicate and apply onboarding content
• Regular refresher training and offered to Farm Production Officers, Partner Farmers and FSC staff, and each group retains all key targeted knowledge and competencies
Rapid Problem Solving/Troubleshooting
• When an FPO reports an agronomic challenge (pest, disease, etc.) that does not yet have a strategy recorded in the production manuals, a strategy is created and distributed to the FPOs, FPM, and FSC Site Sr. Manager with 72 hours
• A broader approach to assess the effectiveness of the strategy is created and implemented within 2 weeks, and a monthly troubleshooting and success report is generated to follow
• Strategies proven effective are added to the production manuals at the end of each month
Research and Experimentation
• Study designs are developed and implemented on demonstration and experimentation areas during each planting season
• Practical findings from demonstration and experimentation areas are documented and used to determine ideal crop selection, planting, spacing, and intercropping
Farmer Data Management
• Internal systems that track farmer performance tracking system (planting, adoption of practices, production, non-compliances, finances, etc.) and FPO engagements with farmers are regularly updated and maintained
• Report on FPO and farmer performance is generated and submitted to Production Area Manager(s) each month. The report should include, (but not be limited to): date since last FPO visit to each farmer, farmer yields to date vs. projected, list of any identified non-compliances, quantity of seedlings planted
• Annual summary reports are generated to report on: farmer numbers, profitability, crop success, adoption rates, and productivity across farms and geographic production areas
COMPETENCIES & CHARACTERISTICS
• Honest and direct when sharing both positive and negative information
• Enthusiastic, energetic, and driven in challenging situations
• Strong communicator and motivator
• Comfortable with analyzing quantitative and qualitative data in order to make decisions
• Optimizes use of limited resources for maximum outcomes
• Comfortable with taking responsibility for various workstreams
• Passionate about food
• An undergraduate degree in a related field from a top-tier university with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA/or equivalent
• Experience working on the primary production of fruit, vegetable and herb products in East Africa, ideally on large commercial farms that focus on export markets
• At least 5 years of professional experience working in primary production of crops within a commercial agri-business context
• Experience with organic production of fruits, vegetables, herbs or other crops
• Experience leading projects, managing and owning responsibility for all aspects, from conception to execution
• Experience working in an international context, interacting with stakeholders across various countries and cultures
• Experience engaging with professional individuals across levels, from junior team members to senior executives
• Fluency in English required
• A graduate degree in a related field from a top-tier university with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA/or equivalent
• Experience working at an early-stage organisation
• Experience working with smallholder farmers on fruit, vegetable and herb production
• Experience with or exposure to permaculture-based production methods
• Experience with or exposure to organic certification processes
• Experience working in Ethiopia
• Fluency in Amharic and English preferred
The Director of Production must commit to a minimum 36 month term, signing an initial 12 month contract. As a senior director in a young company, the opportunities for growth will be significant.
The Director of Production will report directly to GreenPath’s Managing Director and work closely alongside the Director of Operations.
This position is based full time in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The position will require weekly travel to GreenPath’s Production Areas.