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Sustainable Farming Coordinator

Cambridge Heath, London

Posted: 23 May 2023

Deadline: 15 Jun 2023

Compensation: £45,338 full-time pro rata (post offered with option of 1.0 FTE or 0.8 FTE)

Paid Part-time Fixed term / contract


Job description

  • Gross Annual Salary: £45,338 full-time pro rata (post offered with the option of 1.0 FTE or 0.8 FTE). This is a pay level 6 salary. This salary increases annually in April each year according to Sustain’s payscale and progression (see further note on salary and earnings in job description), subject to satisfactory performance. In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.
  • Hours: 1.0 FTE (35 hours / 5 days per week) or 0.8 FTE (28 hours / 4 days per week) 
  • Location: Role is office-based in Cambridge Heath, London. Sustain offers working from home up to half of working hours, on request and subject to agreement after probation.
  • Position type: Permanent contract (funding secured for until end of March 2025)
  • Annual leave: 31 days Annual Leave based on 1.0 FTE (comprises of 20 days Basic Annual Leave + FTE proportion of public holidays + office closures) rising annually by 2 days to a top limit of 36 days. 
  • Equal opportunities: Sustain is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive employer, including recruiting for diversity. Read more about our approach here.
  • Right to Work: Entitlement to work in the UK. Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits.
  • Other details: Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.

The Sustain alliance has a long history of working on farming and supply chains from its original inception (as SAFE Alliance in 1992) through to recent work on key post-Brexit farm policy such as the new Agriculture Act 2020. Sustain and our alliance members have been champions of agroecological farming and sustainable fishing throughout, and have evolved this work into also looking at supply chains and the economics of making sustainable farming attractive to farmers and viable in the longer term. The work we have done has brought about positive change at the system-level and within policy. Despite this, government action continues to encourage food production that damages biodiversity and the climate, often to produce monocultural commodities as inputs to processed food that damages our health. 

All scales of food production systems, from landscape to smaller-scale, can contribute to more sustainable practices when based on agroecology that works with nature to produce diverse, healthy food. 

About this role

The Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator position is a policy advocacy and campaign leadership role for Sustain. The challenges to achieving an agroecological system of farming and food production are numerous and interconnected. The work of the Coordinator will cover a range of established policy and campaign areas, and will be a trusted voice for better farming in the UK. In addition, in this leadership role, the Coordinator will also be able and expected to work with alliance members, other Sustain project coordinators and allies at local and national level to shape and evolve the priority areas over time. The work is both strategic and opportunistic. Currently, the priority aims we have agreed with our sustainable farming working party are to:

  • Make agroecological farming the norm in the UK – more farmers engaging, taking up Environmental Land Management (ELM) and going up ambition levels, with an increase in organic and agroecological systems. This means changing the policy, standards, incentives and finances of farming; attraction of for public and private investment (and research and development funding) directed to better models; as well as ensuring that trade deals and other farming-relevant policies actively support and do not undermine sustainable farming, biodiversity, climate and land-use goals. 
  • Increase shorter, better routes to market – more and diverse supply chains and traders that are farmer-focused, support agroecology and decent payments, contracts and conditions for farmers and farm workers, and are economically and politically attractive, promoted, with a concerted effort to grow the sector (Sustain has a shared aim of 10% of market share by 2025 and 25% by 2030); whilst also ensuring that the problems with the highly concentrated supply chain model are exposed and addressed.  
  • Make more land available for diverse agroecological food growing and new entrants, including for peri-urban farms and horticulture enterprises, as well as engagement on land-use strategy, horticulture strategy and local authority land use – locally and nationally; and opposing biofuels and other damaging land use.  

Tasks and responsibilities

The Coordinator will have a varied and stimulating workload, and will work in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management, parliament and public affairs team, and with project partners. The Coordinator’s principal responsibilities will include: 

  • Working closely with Sustain’s parliament and public affairs team to undertake advocacy with relevant government departments, especially Defra, DLUHC and BEIS on farming and land-use policy, and the Government’s National Food Strategy related areas. This will often be unpredictable, opportunistic and subject to political forces, particularly in the run-up to the next General Election.  
  • Being one of Sustain’s leading spokespeople on Sustainable Farming related matters, for example in the media, in response to enquiries, and at parliamentary Select Committees, well-grounded in the principles and details of alliance priorities developing strong links with the farming community and the organisations that work with them, as well as creating opportunities for alliance specialists to gain traction. 
  • Undertaking media and communications work by creating story opportunities and moments; updating project partners and supporters on the work, news updates, thought-piece blogs and related activities through communication, a regular newsletter and social media, as well as engaging with print, broadcast and online media to promote our Sustainable Farming Campaign activities and agenda. 
  • Developing compelling advocacy tools, data and materials, including – for example – economic models of change, analysis of sustainable farming and the impacts of supply chains, advocacy reports, specialist briefings for policy-makers, and constituency-level data showing the tangible benefits for local economies and the environment for jobs, nature, carbon, health and nutrition security.  
  • Tracking key policy developments, identifying opportunities and ways to influence these, and – where an alliance approach would be helpful – leading the concerted effort to inform and lobby decision-makers. 
  • Coordinating Sustain’s long-standing Sustainable Farming Working Party of alliance members and partners who guide the work and participate in campaigns and advocacy activities coordinated by Sustain. Cultivate productive conversation and excellent working relationships. Lead on development of shared policy positions and advocacy initiatives. Formally, the working party convenes four times a year, and also ad hoc for other partnership work, reports, responses to consultations, and opportunities for advocacy and media work at key influence moments.  
  • Liaising with and contributing to a number of important groupings, sister alliances and advocacy networks whose work may be complementary or may otherwise lack input of food and farming priorities.  
  • Facilitating Sustainable Farming Campaign connections, member voices and specialist expertise in support of closely related initiatives within Sustain, including our parallel work on a Local Food Retail Strategy; Bridging the Gap (a programme of pilots for how public subsidies could be used to make agroecological food affordable to lower-income people); Food for the Planet; and the Good Food Trade for food and farming standards in international trade deals.  
  • Cultivate new ideas, campaign opportunities and partnerships to pursue existing priorities and respond strategically or opportunistically to new ones.  
  • Lead on fundraising activities to secure capacity and resources to extend and enhance this programme. Also to support fundraising efforts at Sustain to enhance, extend campaigns or develop new ones, contributing ideas and expertise to fundraising initiatives that may be of benefit to programme partners. 
  • Oversee, develop and deliver on key elements of the Sustainable Farming Campaign work plan.  
  • Line-manage one or more staff member, paid intern or volunteer working on the project, or on closely related themes, and managing consultants and external partnerships as needed.  

The Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator will also: 

  • Actively identify ways to support diverse groups through their work, in line with Sustain’s policy on improving diversity in the food movement, including supporting racial and socio-economic justice. 
  • Maintain excellent financial and other records, to help with accountability and open to public and funder scrutiny. The Coordinator will work with Sustain’s finance and management team to report to the funder, relevant project working parties and sub-groups, and the Sustain Council of Trustees (who ultimately also report to Sustain alliance members). 
  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, and project participants. 
  • Undertake any other responsibilities in connection with the work that may arise from time to time. 

Personal specification

For this leadership role, Sustain is seeking an experienced, self-motivated and committed individual, who is great at working in a team and developing positive relationships with people and organisations, and who has the following skills and experience.  


  • Background and experience in the farming sector preferably with demonstrable experience and interest in sustainable farming and growing 
  • Experience of running successful national or local campaigns to achieve change, and understanding of a range of campaigns and advocacy methods and how to apply them 
  • Strong experience of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in the formation and delivery of a shared vision, plan or programme 
  • Knowledge and confidence to undertake policy advocacy work with civil servants, ministers, industry bodies and public communications 
  • Experience of project development, developing funding bids and successful fundraising, as well as good funder relationships and stewardship 
  • Experience of establishing and running a governance structure for a multi-stakeholder programme 
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills in fluent spoken and written English 
  • Ability to work independently, with high levels of self-motivation and an ability to think on the spot and respond to a rapidly changing political environment 
  • Good project management, time management and organisational skills and the ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines 
  • Experience of administering a budget, invoices and good financial records. 
  • Willingness and aptitude to line-manage another person (or other people) working on similar areas of work, either as a member of staff, paid intern or volunteer. 
  • Demonstrable commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice.  
  • Energy, enthusiasm, creativity and tenacity 


  • Experience of working effectively to influence policy and/or campaigning for change 
  • Experience of working in, or with, the farming and food retail sector 
  • Experience of establishing metrics to track change and impact over time 
  • Experience of writing a detailed vision or plan which would impact multiple stakeholders 
  • Experience of organising online or in person events and an appreciation of what works well 


The person appointed will contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain (including staff and project participants) in which equality and diversity are not just respected but promoted. Visit our website here for some useful advice if you are applying for a job at Sustain.

Sustain is recruiting for this role as part of our Ethnicity Confident and Disability Confident schemes. Applicants who meet all the essential criteria, and who let us know voluntarily (via our Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form) that you would like to be considered in this way, will be guaranteed a first-stage interview.

Sustain welcomes applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, class, socio-economic background, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and/or belief. We are happy to discuss and consider flexible working at the point of hire. We particularly encourage applications from those from ethnic minority backgrounds, people with diverse sexual and gender identities and people with disabilities. This is because these groups are currently underrepresented at Sustain. Where two or more candidates are judged to be of equal merit, priority may be given to a candidate who belongs to a group less represented at Sustain.

Application information

Download full job description here

To apply for this position, please email the following:

  • a CV (maximum two pages)
  • a Covering Letter telling us about your experience and how this relates to the personal specification (maximum two pages)
  • a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form

As we are recruiting for several positions over this period, please put Sustainable Farming Coordinator in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 10am, Thursday 15 June 2023

First-stage interviews for this position will take place online (via Zoom) on Monday 26 June 2023, with second-stage interviews to take place in-person on Monday 3 July 2023. Please indicate in your application if you are not available on these dates, although we cannot guarantee we will be able to accommodate requests for alternative timings. 

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Sustain

Sustain is a powerful alliance bringing together around 100 organisations nationally – and hundreds more at local and regional level. We believe everyone should have access to healthy and sustainably produced food that protects people, animals and planet. Working together, we run highly effective and creative campaigns, advocacy, networks and demonstration projects, aiming to catalyse permanent changes in policy and practice, and to help equip more people and communities with skills as change-makers.