The Leaf Lab
The Leaf Lab, located just outside of Cambridge, is the home of our Innovative R&D activities. At the Leaf Lab we are on a mission to constantly improve how we grow plants for existing customers alongside identifying new varieties that solve genuine customer problems. We look at all elements of the production process, from plant genetics to how we handle our products after they have been packed. We make sure we’re giving our customers the best possible products with the lowest environmental impact.
The Leaf Lab team has the following values:
Explore: Finding the world’s best plants
We believe that the world's best plants hold the key to unlocking a sustainable and vibrant future. We want to find the best way to grow plants that solve real world problems, improve lives and protect our planet.
Innovate: Leading the world in plant science
At the forefront of plant science, our team is dedicated to developing innovative solutions that harness the power of the world's most exceptional plants. Join us as we find innovative and creative ways to lead the way in sustainable agriculture, creating a brighter future for our planet and its inhabitants.
Collaborate: Changing the world through teamwork
To go fast you go alone, to go far you go together. We believe that to do great things you need to work with great people and that at the core of that is great teamwork. We value the ability to work independently but not at the expense of being a team player.
Create: Bringing to life the future of growing
We are committed to delivering innovative solutions. We take ground-breaking ideas and turn them into real-world solutions, revolutionizing the future of growing.
Although this role will be based at Pepperness, our Farm in Kent, you will be a part of the Leaf Lab team based in Cambridge, reporting remotely to our Head of Crop Optimisation. To streamline collaboration and knowledge sharing you will need to spend 4 days/month at the Leaf Lab. This is a 5-day working week. It may include working weekends or parts thereof. You will need to have the flexibility to work these when required.
Are you curious about how crop production works in a real vertical farm? Are you a person who loves to learn from data and applying it to real world problems?
We are looking for an ALL-ROUND superstar with a passion for growing plants and making a difference. This role is focused on organising and implementing trials at our production site (Pepperness) and at our Research Centre (The Leaf Lab), under the guidance of the Head of Crop Optimisation. Both the production site and the research site are high ambiguity, high-change environments, where good judgement, flexibility and open communication are key. This can make for a challenging working environment that will push you professionally and intellectually, but you’ll have the support of a great team.
We know that with our collective efforts, we can solve complex problems, and shape the future of crop production. If you're ready to take on the challenge and work towards growing the best plants better, then we want you on our team!
On a given day, you will spend time organising resources, collecting data, keeping accurate trial records, and reporting on your findings. You will liaise closely with the Growing Manager, Head of Operations, Head of Data, and Agronomy Technicians to organise the delivery of trials. You will be collecting data in our growing chambers – so we hope you are happy at heights and confined spaces!
We’re looking for somebody with exceptional enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, with experience in managing horticultural trials who can help us on our mission to grow the best plants better and more efficiently.
Your areas of knowledge and expertise that matter most for this role:
- You already have experience working in a commercial horticultural or food science R&D team and/or have an PhD in horticulture, agriculture or food science.
- You understand commercial plant and food production environments.
- You can plan, implement, and collect data from trials.
- You have a calm manner, a flexible mindset and can negotiate competing demands.
- You enjoy working in an environment where attention to detail is important and working fast pace
All the responsibilities we will trust you with:
- Organising and taking a lead in implementing proof-of-concept, variety, agronomic and post-harvest trials.
- Managing and coordinating data collection to improve product specifications.
- Using scientific and technical equipment as well as your experience in plant biology to track plant and product performance throughout the plant life cycle.
- Helping with general upkeep, calibration and maintenance of scientific equipment.
- Collecting samples of various system inputs and outputs for internal and external analysis and being a point-of-contact for these analyses.
- Keeping accurate records of work completed.
- Liaising with the Leaf Lab and Data teams to improve data collection and monitoring capabilities at the farm.
Working at the Leaf Lab and Pepperness involves manual handling, food safety and working with chemicals. For instance, working at height and in confined spaces. As you can imagine, you will need to adhere to all health and safety and food safety protocols and contribute towards our good safety culture at each of our sites as this is a core part of the role.
What’s in it for you?
- Be part of a great business – you will be in one of the fastest growing and most exciting businesses in the vertical farming industry.
- Recognised as one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2023.
- Be part of a great team – you will work with and learn from a friendly, smart, growing, and passionate team who care about each other and the business.
- Grow yourself – a chance to develop yourself and make the role your own as the business and team builds, broadening your knowledge and capabilities to push you to the next level.
- Share our passion for driving change for good – sustainable production is at the heart of what we do and we’re on the journey to B Corp certification.
- £30,000 onwards depending on experience
- Annual bonus based on company, team and personal performance.
- Employee incentivisation scheme.
- 25 days holiday.
- Income Protection
- Employee Health Scheme provided by Vitality at Work.
- Enhanced maternity and paternity leave.
- Pension (5% employer contribution)
- Employee benefits programme with Bravo Benefits.
- Cycle to Work Scheme