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Roots to Work is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

Sustainable Farming Campaign Officer

Sustain
Cambridge Heath, London

Posted: 23 May 2024

Deadline: 31 May 2024

Compensation: £38,158 full-time pro rata (post offered at 0.8 FTE)

Living Wage employer Ethnicity Confident scheme Disability Confident scheme

Paid Part-time Permanent

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Job description

  • Gross Annual Salary: £38,158 full-time pro rata (post offered at 0.8 FTE). This is a pay level 1 salary. This salary increases annually in April each year according to Sustain’s payscale and progression, subject to satisfactory performance. In addition, Sustain matches pension contributions up to 5% of gross salary.
  • Hours: 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 June 2026)
  • Annual Leave: 25 days Annual Leave based on 0.8 FTE (comprises of 16 days Basic Annual Leave + FTE proportion of public holidays + office closures) rising annually by 2 days to a top limit of 29 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 and cannot employ people living or working outside of the UK.
  • Other details: Cycle to Work scheme available on salary sacrifice basis.

About the Sustainable Farming Campaign

Sustain’s Sustainable Farming campaign is central to the work of the Sustain alliance. In collaboration with our working party of 46 farming, food, environment, animal welfare, public health and academic organisations, we have secured key improvements in national and local farming policy and practice. We contributed to the government’s adoption of the ‘public money for public goods’ policy farm payments; helped win the fair dealing and supply chain transparency obligations in the UK Agriculture Act 2020; were a key player in securing a Trade and Agriculture Commission to scrutinise the impact of post-Brexit international trade deals on standards for animal and plant health, animal welfare and the environment; and have supported work to make the case and win investment for farmer-focused supply chains and retail, local food infrastructure and better food trading.

Working together with farming, environmental and policy experts, our main aims currently 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, agroecological, and ‘whole farm’ approaches. This means changing the policy, standards, incentives and finances of farming; attraction of 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. Finally, ensuring a holistic definition of food security is used by government.
  • Support horticultural production: Policies are enacted to support the upscaling of agroecological production of fruit, vegetables and pulses. Advocacy for and engagement with a future horticulture strategy that favours de-centralised, agroecological horticultural production as well as transition away from lowland peat.
  • Cultivate fairer, more transparent food supply chains: Three main aims here are to:
    • De-mystify supply chain economics and expose inequities.
    • Reform regulation in the food supply chain to share risk and profits more fairly.
    • Increase farmer ability to be a ‘price maker’ rather than a ‘price taker’ through support for co-operative farming and the local food retail ‘bridging the gap’ trading that helps build shorter, more farmer-focused routes to market.
  • Make more land available for diverse agroecological food growing and new entrants - including for peri-urban farms and horticulture enterprises, and local authority land use – locally and nationally; and opposing biofuels and other damaging land use.
  • Support a Sustainable Land Use policy: Securing land-use policy fit for the climate and nature emergency and a just transition. Supporting organisations and processes looking at sustainable land use – for example the Nature Friendly Farming Network and the Soil Association. Political engagement to influence government thinking on how to define food security to encompass farming and farm worker livelihoods; a resilient, nutritious and affordable food supply; from farming systems that support climate change mitigation and adaptation, and restoration of nature.

More information available at: https://www.sustainweb.org/sustainable-farming-campaign/

About this role

This role will provide project and campaign support to our Sustainable Farming Campaign. We are seeking a motivated, creative and well-organised person with great communications and team-working skills, who can work alongside the Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator and other colleagues to help manage campaigns, research, consultation and policy-related activities on sustainable farming, fair supply chains and related issues. The project officer will lead on distinct areas of work, developing and running them to make a significant contribution to the Sustain alliance’s ability to influence policy in order to achieve an agroecological system of farming and food production. The role will also provide administrative and communications support to the campaign.

Tasks and responsibilities

The Officer will have a varied and stimulating workload, and will work closely with the Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator; also in collaboration with Sustain’s senior management, campaign staff, working party members and project partners. The Officer’s responsibilities will include:

  • Taking a lead role in running specific projects, including research, briefings, policy work, engagement with partners and policy-makers, media activities and campaign development to further campaign objectives as part of the campaign strategy.
  • Initiating and managing defined research projects on key themes. This might be, for example, on co-operative farming and/or supply chain economics and fairness.
  • Keeping up to date with national news, the work of relevant organisations, and policy developments on food, farming, climate change and nature loss, and solutions promoted by Sustain and our working party members, to inform our supporters and national campaign activities.
  • Helping to arrange and run engagement activities for public and specialist audiences, such as report launches, webinars, events, speaker opportunities and panel discussions to inform and broaden our supporter base. This will include targeted work to reach new and diverse audiences and people or groups currently under-represented in our work.
  • Contributing to Sustain’s engagement and communication activities that seek to inform and influence parliamentarians and local area decision-makers. This could include helping to compile briefings and consultation responses, and representing Sustain at government and partner meetings, calls for evidence, hearings and in the media.
  • Contributing to public-facing communication work of the Sustainable Farming Campaign, for example helping to consult on, compile, publish, edit and distribute reports; consultation responses; blogs; news items; e-actions; press releases; website and social media content, and regular newsletters.
  • Helping to run our well-established expert working party (involves 46 organisations and quarterly meetings), including supporting the Campaign Coordinator with working party meeting papers and other preparation, taking minutes, producing briefings, managing the database of contacts, supporting contributions and stakeholder relationships, and pursuing follow-up actions in a professional and timely manner.
  • Contributing to initiatives and learning that help Sustain and colleagues meet our ambitions on diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice, both internally and through our out-ward facing and influencing activities.

The Officer will also:

  • Contribute to the mutually supportive culture of Sustain, among the staff team, campaign partners and project participants.
  • Support fundraising activities.
  • Support the maintenance of excellent financial, data and other records and reporting, to help with accountability to funders and stakeholders.
  • The post holder will also undertake any other responsibilities in connection with the work that may arise from time to time.

Personal specification

Sustain is seeking a motivated, creative and well-organised person with great communications and team-working skills, who shares our commitment to improving the farming and food system, and who has the following skills and experience:

Essential:

  • Background, interest and experience in sustainable farming, farming / food policy, or environment.
  • At least one year’s experience of influencing policy, practice and/or campaigning for change.
  • A demonstrable commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice, with the aptitude to support or develop relevant initiatives within the context of the role.
  • A confident and experienced communicator with fluent spoken and written English, exceptional oral and written communication skills, with attention to detail and the ability to translate complex data and policies into accessible language, engaging stories and communication materials.
  • Experience of implementing communication plans and generating media and social media coverage, as well as using communication tools and approaches to influence public opinion and decision-making to achieve campaign goals.
  • Experience of undertaking and managing research projects, preferably those that involve working with the input of a range of stakeholders.
  • Experience of relationship building and team working to achieve shared goals, preferably with experience or understanding of working in networks and/or alliances.
  • Ability to work independently, with high levels of self-motivation.
  • Good project management, time management and organisational skills, including reliable management of data.
  • Entitlement to work in the UK (Sustain is not able to assist with applications for work permits).
  • Availability to commence work promptly following the recruitment process.

Desirable:

  • A demonstrable experience and understanding of ethical and sustainable farming and/or the economics of farming. A good understanding of UK farming policy is a benefit.
  • Skills in digital communications, campaigning and social networking.
  • Experience of working with editorial, design and IT colleagues to generate compelling communication materials.
  • Experience and aptitude in using MS Teams, Zoom, Miro or other online meeting, webinar and facilitation tools, as a participant and as an organiser.
  • Experience of consulting stakeholders and developing and supporting shared positions, objectives and written outputs.
  • Experience of working with parliamentarians or other decision-makers to support policy development.
  • Confidence to put forward a case in meetings with people from diverse roles and backgrounds.
  • Experience in arranging, chairing and/or facilitating meetings and events.
  • Experience of working on a funded project and reporting to funders.
  • Good presentation and public speaking skills and ability to work effectively either in-person or via online platforms.

Diversity

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 have an enhanced chance of gaining a first-stage interview. 

Sustain welcomes applications from everyone 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 Black people and people of colour, 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 a copy of the job description here. To apply for this position, please email recruitment@sustainweb.org 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 Campaign Officer in the subject line of your covering email along with your name.

Deadline: 10am, Friday 31 May 2024

First stage interviews for this position will take place online on 12 and 13 June 2024 with second-stage interviews to take place in-person the week commencing 17 June 2024. Please indicate in your application if you are not available either of these weeks, although we cannot guarantee we can accommodate requests for alternative timings.

This role is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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.

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