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General Manager, Farm Operations



compton, ca, usa
Posted on Monday, October 16, 2023

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

Are you ready to take charge of an indoor, vertical farming operation? Plenty is seeking a results-oriented, customer focused, people leader to scale our Compton Farm Operations team. As the General Manager of Farm Operations, you'll be at the forefront of transforming the future of farming and leading our Compton, CA Plenty Farm to new heights.

The General Manager of Farm Operations is a dynamic, hands-on leadership opportunity responsible for farm operations, overseeing production, sanitation, maintenance, scheduling, and warehousing. Your responsibilities extend beyond just ensuring daily tasks are accomplished - you will establish, refine, and maintain standard operating procedures that are rigorous, consistent, and innovative and help our people perform at a high level.. You'll foster a culture of ingenuity and growth, while prioritizing the well-being of our team and the safety of our products year-round.

What you'll do

  • Inspire and Lead: Effectively manage a 24/7 operations (our plants don’t sleep) with a hands-on commitment to motivate a diverse workforce, ensuring production goals are met.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: Build strong relationships with the Commercial, Engineering, Software, and Plant Science key stakeholders to effectively manage the farm output capabilities.
  • Efficient Resource Management: Coordinate equipment uptime, processing tools, training, and resource balancing to meet daily packaging and shipment schedules.
  • Champion Food and Human Safety: Ensure safety is a top priority for both our products and our people. Establish and maintain a food-safe environment to meet regulatory and EH&S compliance in and around the facility.
  • Financial Stewardship: Take ownership of the budget and P&L; understanding pricing structures and cost-to-produce (COGS) relationships and activity based cost in the farm at the SKU level while collaborating closely with the sales team. Implement strict budgetary controls to manage costs effectively.
  • Operational Excellence: Establish time commitments for task completion to drive efficiency and productivity. Develop and continuously improve the “Plenty Operating Systems” based on LEAN/Six Sigma principles, backed by regular metrics-driven evaluations and KPIs. Achieve operational success and drive results that make a difference.
  • Customer Focus: Maintain a customer service mindset/culture in a fast-paced environment with just-in-time delivery demands, emphasizing urgency and continuous improvement while ensuring daily order fulfillment to customers.
  • Materials Management: Responsible for direct materials procurement including: total spend, incoming quality/reliability, supplier technical support/innovation, surety of supply, and cost saving initiatives.
  • Lead High-Volume Packaging and Shipping: Oversee the farm packaging and shipping operation, ensuring that fresh, high quality of product reaches regional retailers.

What you'll bring to the table

  • 10+ years experience in a leadership role: Accountable for the successful operations of a manual/automated production facility, meeting and exceeding performance metrics.
  • BS/BA degree in business administration, engineering, management, industrial technology, food science, or related and/or equivalent years of relevant work experience.
  • Operational Experience: Must have experience leading, managing, and staffing an operation that runs 24 hours, 7 days a week in a U.S. based facility. Experience with inventory management, warehouse operations, customer shipments, product quality, and on-time deliveries in a regulated work environment.
  • Scaling and Automation Expertise: Deep experience scaling and operating a production/manufacturing facility that leverages a high degree of automation.
  • Culture of Excellence: 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 and servant leadership.
  • 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.
  • Food Processing Knowledge: Preferred experience in food processing environments and with the machinery, systems, sanitation, cleaning routines, and operations necessary to process and package fresh wholesome produce.
  • Food Safety: Deep understanding of processes, tools, cleaning techniques, worker clothing (PPE) and behavior to meet and exceed food safety and regulatory requirements.
  • Worker Health & Safety: Demonstrated experience as a leader in safe work practices, caring about employees and leading by example.

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 with no vesting period.
  • Health & well-being; we’ll invest in your physical and mental well-being with comprehensive medical, dental, & vision benefits 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 Federal and State OSHA, EPA, FDA, HACCP, and SQF requirements
  • 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 systems.

Plenty’s target compensation range for this role is $180,000 to $200,000 for this location. Actual compensation is commensurate with experience and alignment with role requirements.