This exciting new role will establish a Low Carbon Food steering group, liaising with the group and key stakeholders to identify research topics to support the transition to a low carbon food economy in Cumbria. The successful candidate will appoint and manage contractors and the £10k research budget, and disseminate the findings of the research as widely as possible.

The post holder will work with stakeholders to promote low carbon food through their networks, and collaborate with the Cumberland Food Partnership to develop a sustainable food and drink charter for Cumbrian organisations/businesses. The role will oversee the on-going development of the low carbon food toolkit, covering low carbon menus and recipes, case studies, reducing food waste and details of other useful resources which inspire and encourage businesses to reduce emissions. The Low Carbon Food Project Manager will liaise with a wide variety of CAfS staff and teams to promote low carbon food, including events, podcasts and the on-going development of the low carbon food section of the Zero Carbon Cumbria website. They will support implementation of the food-related actions identified in Zero Carbon Cumbria’s Emission Reduction Action Plans and encourage community led-activities relating to low carbon food.

In addition to collating regular activity and output reports and monitoring and evaluating the Low Carbon Food programme and the Place to Plate project, the post holder will share best practice relating to low carbon food across the county and in other parts of the UK, explore opportunities to secure funding and/or develop income generation relating to low carbon food, and maintain the database of low carbon food stakeholders and resources.

To apply, please email your completed application form to us by 9am on Wednesday 12th June 2024.

Interviews will be on Zoom on Wednesday 19th June. If you would be unavailable on this date, we will seek to arrange an alternative.

Purpose of role

  • Widen engagement of businesses and other stakeholders throughout Cumbria with the concept of low carbon food through events, toolkits and other resources.
  • Establish and commission relevant research to help remove barriers to the decarbonising of systems associated with locally produced food and drink.
  • Coordinate action on low carbon food with other aspects of Zero Carbon Cumbria and the Rural Net Zero project and with other food-related initiatives in Cumbria.
  • Monitor, evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the two projects.

This role integrates and delivers two related projects:

  1. The Low Carbon Food Programme, which is part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria (ZCC) project funded by the National Lottery and led by CAfS. The ZCC project supports a partnership of around 80 organisations in tackling some of the main sources of carbon emissions in Cumbria, with a particular focus on food, energy generation, transport and the goods we buy.
  2. Rural Net Zero: Westmorland and Furness – Place to Plate project, funded by Innovate UK Pathfinder Places which will build on the ZCC low carbon food programme by working with more farmers, food businesses and restaurants to reduce emissions across the food chain, commissioning relevant research and testing out what local low carbon food means.

Essential skills

  • At least three years’ experience of planning, supporting and/or managing projects.
  • Experience of managing or delivering research projects.
  • Proven ability to develop effective working relations with colleagues, external partners and contractors.
  • Detailed knowledge of food and drink, from food/drink production to consumption including the associated environmental aspects and impacts.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Good negotiation skills.
  • Ability to manage a wide range of tasks, prioritise these effectively and work to tight timeframes.
  • Ability to use initiative and make effective decisions.
  • Strong IT skills with the ability to use a comprehensive range of software (Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint and MS Teams).
  • Understanding of and commitment to CAfS’ aims, values and objectives.
  • Ability to travel independently around the county.

Desirable skills

  • Knowledge/experience of food systems and/or stakeholders in Cumbria.
  • Experience of organising and delivering events.
  • Budget setting/management skills and experience.
  • Experience of fund raising/income-generation.
  • Knowledge of low carbon solutions required to become a net zero carbon society.
  • Procurement/contract management skills and experience.
  • Experience of data gathering, analysis and reporting.

The important stuff

  • SALARY SCALE: £27,000 – £35,000 (FTE)

  • LOCATION: Flexible working patterns with blended home, site and office (Penrith) work.

  • HOURS: 22.5 – 30 hours per week.

  • START DATE AND DURATION: Start as soon as possible with a fixed term contract until end December 2025

You’ll love working at CAfS

Working at CAfS comes with great benefits. You’ll be joining a friendly and supportive organisation, and your wellbeing and work:life balance are hugely important to us. As well as flexibility around your working hours and location, you’ll have 22 days of paid annual leave pro rata, plus bank/public holidays. We pay an employer pension contribution of 6% from day one of employment.

What a job at CAfS offers you…

  • The opportunity to be on the frontline driving action on climate change as part of a respected organisation that is making a difference.

  • Collaboration with dedicated colleagues, communities, local authorities and other organisations who are striving towards the same goal.

  • A dynamic working environment in which we continually innovate to achieve the best outcomes for employees, communities and planet.

  • A consultative working culture where staff are encouraged to contribute to new developments.

Our work culture and benefits…

  • We are a friendly and supportive team of colleagues and board of trustees

  • We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in all that we do.

  • We will provide the equipment you need to do your job.

  • Employee wellbeing is very important to us. We do what we can to help colleagues achieve a great work/life balance.

  • We have a flexible working policy and we use it. Most staff work part time so we are accustomed to managing different work patterns. Staff can also work at home where possible.

  • We invest in learning and development and encourage people to develop their skills and commit time and resources to development.