Cultivate is recruiting! Are you Oxford’s next Green Grocing Guru?

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Recruiting is always a funny feeling, its sad knowing that a member of the team is moving on (this is always tempered by the excitement you share with them knowing they are taking on a new challenge and phase in their own journey), but its also exciting knowing someone new will join the team and add their own energies and viewpoint into the fray.

So with this in mind we’re excited to announce that Cultivate is looking for a new Manager to take the lead in driving our Co-Operative forward and continue to pioneer new ways of feeding Oxford!

The role involves meeting all of the established organic growers within the county and providing a dynamic route to market to help get their fantastic produce into Oxford. You’ll be at the centre of seasonality, with the inside scoop on what is and can be grown locally, when different crops are available, what weather they like and how best to prep and cook this lovely local fare. There are new growers on the scene who will be looking to Cultivate to help connect them to local people and restaurants, as well as larger institutes trying to reduce their carbon footprints by sourcing locally. Cultivate is a key agent in helping make this happen and the network of groups is constantly growing.

We are looking for a talented, energetic and resourceful person to head up the management of our local and organic food enterprise in order to continue to pioneer new ways of feeding the city. Our Co-Operative has a strong board, an active membership, and is offering the right person a varied and dynamic opportunity to help change how Oxford feeds itself.


Job Title: Co-Operative Manager


Salary:                         £20,000 pa

Hours:                         37 hours per week.  With occasional need to perform duties outside these including reporting to and attending                                      Cultivate Board meetings.

Contract term:           1 year

Entitlements:             25 days holiday per calendar year, with the option of taking unused leave as payment in-lieu

Responsible to:         Cultivate Board

Responsible for:        Grocers, Volunteers, tenants

Location:                    Hinksey Heights, Oxford

Start date:                  April 16th 2018



Thought up in 2011 and formally established in 2012, Cultivate has been leading on delivering a sustainable local food system in Oxfordshire since. Our focus is simple – people and the planet. By sourcing local and organic produce on a needs-based system we are reducing waste, food miles, storage, agricultural chemical use and land degradation and providing people with better quality, healthier food. The much shorter food chain is also helping to re-connect people with the things they eat. We highlight the benefits of seasonality and provenance – our customers know that George grows all their potatoes – and we’re completely transparent with our pricing because we are proud of our efforts to support the local economy. We do all of this through our weekly stall at Summertown Farmers’ Market, through our online ordering service and by being an active advocate for change within Oxford’s established networks.


The Role

As the Manager you will be responsible for driving the Co-Operative forward, your role will have 5 core elements. Some of which have a weekly rhythm, others you will have the autonomy to schedule in a way that ensures they fit within your working week and compliment the flow of the Co-op. You will be responsible for delivering profitable sales, developing supply and nurturing the routes to market in and around the city. A newly developed element of the role is the management of 30 acres of land and its leasing to like-minded tenants, you’ll need to liaise with landlord and the tenants, arrange the monthly rental payments, organise any necessary land-based work or activity and support the board on strategic developments.


Sourcing – buy from local growers to: stock a weekly market stall; fulfil online orders; wholesale orders to local restaurants and to seek out new growers to fill any gaps in supply due to seasonality or lack of supply.

Logistics – co-ordinate the week in order to meet all of the customer requirements. This will involve collecting produce from suppliers, delivering to customers (wholesale and retail), organising van hire, and ensuring additional staffing where necessary.

Sales – as the new face of Cultivate you will head up the Sunday market stall, becoming the ‘Green Grocing Guru’ of Oxford, whilst also managing the online ordering service and furthering its growth.

Finances – you will be responsible for keeping the Co-Operatives financial records up-to-date, handling invoices and payments, providing the board with regular financial updates and managing budgets.

Marketing – spreading the word about Cultivate using its strong online presence, designing marketing materials and organising their distribution and collaborating on joint ventures with supportive partners.


Wider activities – Undertake training and development deemed necessary for the pursuance of the post, comply with Cultivate’s policies and procedures and actively engage with local community networks and partnerships and sustain Cultivate’s involvement, influence and support as a member within key local groups. As well as performing any additional tasks set out by the board.


Person Specification

Essential Experience or Character Traits

Loves vegetables and can easily enthuse others about them

A desire to work outdoors in a role that can be physically demanding

Confident in talking to people and able to communicate effectively

Resilient, able to work closely with others and autonomously to deliver to plans

Over 18 with a full and clean driving license

Flexibility and willingness to work outside of normal office hours including Sundays and occasional evenings

Proven experience of building effective working relationships

Ability to plan, organise and manage own workload dealing with competing demands

A good level of computer competency


Desirable Experience or Character Traits

Positive negotiation skills

Experience of monitoring financial and operational performance

Marketing and social media experience

An understanding of retailing and the food market

Creativity, an eye for a good design

A demonstrable commitment to social and environmental justice

A commitment to equal opportunities

An understanding of work place Health & Safety

Experience engaging and managing volunteers 


How to apply

If you would like an informal chat about the role pop by the stall at Summertown Farmers’ Market on a Sunday or send us an email. To apply simply send us your CV and a covering letter stating why you’d like to take on the role and why you think you’d be a good fit for the role to

Deadline for applications:      Midday Monday 26th March 2018

Date for interviews:              Wednesday 28th March 2018

So please ensure that you can be available for this date.