Compost Manager - Western Operations

Highline Mushrooms - Langley, BC (30+ days ago)

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Highline Vision and Values:

Passionately nourish people, community and environment, through embracing our core values which include:

We do the right thing, always. We lead the way. We are fanatical about quality.

We are transparent in our relationships. We always consider the human element.

We embrace diversity and inclusion.

Position Summary:

Responsible for overseeing the Composting Operations in Western Canada across all aspects at each of our sites (Phase I, II and III). Focuses on achieving world-class standards in all areas of responsibility starting from our straw bales through to the delivery of our Phase III compost to each growing room. Oversees operations from pre-wetting and blending operations and into our bunkers and tunnel operations and management, with a strong focus on equipment, standard operations and hygiene levels at each site.



  • Ensuring that each of your facilities maintains a safe working environment while attaining the various compost quality and yield requirements, ensuring a clean and hygienic manner is followed at all times
  • Ensuring strong lines of communication between you and your teams
  • Working closely with the General Manager, Western Operations, and the growing teams at your farms to successfully achieve the above goals
  • Ensuring that we achieve the required monthly and annual budget targets allied to assembling and presenting accurate monthly KPI’s and stock usage reporting
  • Responsible for ensuring that your teams meet their various targets through strong planning and communications while providing a safe and positive environment for your teams where continuous improvement initiatives and efficiencies are encouraged and fostered

Hygiene Responsibilities:

  • You are responsible to ensure that your teams know these standards and follow them without fail, at all times.
  • A greater level of detail on the hygiene standards required from your teams is provided in our SOP’s along with a series of videos on how to clean the various pieces of equipment such as the filling cassette, the pulling winches and the various conveyors.
  • The implementation of our “two straw” rule is a key parameter for you to communicate to your teams to ensure that we always dry clean each piece of equipment before we wash it. This process is more effective than washing alone and significantly improves the chances of removing all of the compost from the machine.

Three Pillars: The Trinity of Compost Documents which give you structure:

  • Our compost operations are the key foundation upon which our business is built. This is where we create our value and this is only possible if you are dedicated to following the Three Pillars to ensure that we are always operating at a world-class standard.


  • Our Compost Criteria set out the key deliverables for your teams. Each batch of compost that we produce should always meet the various required parameters.
  • The Non-Negotiables encompass two sets of commitments that we make as a team to the rest of our associates, which set out what we will commit to always provide. The first set of non-negotiables comes from our Phase I teams while the second set come from our Phase II and III tunnel teams. It is critical that you work closely with your teams to ensure that we create a 24/7 culture of adherence to each of these commitments. Both sets of non-negotiables are attached at the back of this document in “Appendix C”
  • Our “Fort Knox” tunnel management and auditing system form the very backbone of how we work at managing each of our tunnel facilities. A significant part of your role is to manage the various sites to ensure that they are at all times “audit ready” and operating to the world-class standards that Highline expects.
  • Aside from the main trinity of structural elements the other key skills that you need to adopt and encourage within your teams are:
  • Accurate and timely sampling of all compost batches
  • Constant communication with our compost quality assurance associates
  • Weekly plate tests necessary to run a modern and hygienic tunnel facility in line with our “Fort Knox” commitments
  • Forecasting amongst your teams is a key skill which is allied to good communications, usually done via WhatsApp
  • Lead the communications within your team, ensuring that you lead by example
  • Closely monitor and communicate with your Phase II and III Managers, ensuring necessary adjustments are made to make sure that we have consistent high-quality compost
  • That you are consistently receiving every ammonia reading across your operations and discussing and communicating any non-conformities or unusual patterns
  • Monitoring our standard SOP’s, ensuring that they are genuine and relevant to our daily operations

Maintenance Programming and Organizing:

  • You need to overview and direct each region’s maintenance program and its preventative maintenance schedule working with your teams and the relevant maintenance manager on all of the required machinery and equipment to minimize downtime while operating in a safe manner at all times by:
  • Working closely with the maintenance managers to ensure that each piece of equipment is properly maintained and weekly and monthly inspections are carried out in line with our SOP’s to minimize breakdowns and lost time
  • Ensuring that you receive weekly and bi-weekly reports from your team’s meetings with their maintenance managers from across your entire region

Stock Management:

  • Manages operations to ensure production efficiency, quality, service and a cost-effective management of resources
  • Provides transparent, factual and timely measurements as requested, and fosters a team that mirrors these behaviours
  • Responsible for assisting with Phase I, II and III performance and reporting requirements, including but not limited to, internal reporting and Board reports, as well as external regulatory reporting required under applicable public statues (i.e. Ministry of Labour, Ministry of the Environment)

Weekly KPI Reporting:

  • A key aspect of your role is to complete all of the agreed KPI metrics from your wharf and tunnel operations in an accurate and in a timely manner. Highline uses and expects you to champion its two guiding principles within your various teams. These are two commitments which are part of our non-negotiables across our compost operations
  • “If we can’t measure it, we cannot manage it”
  • “Go look, see, ask why?”

Continuous Improvement:

  • Responsible for ensuring that your facilities produce a consistent volume and quality of compost that is comparable with the best facilities in the world. To do this you need to lead a Continuous Improvement Process to ensure that each area of your compost and tunnel responsibilities, hygiene, and general housekeeping are and remain at a world-class standard as instructed by the General Manager, Western Operations and the Director of Growing Operations
  • Provides advice and recommendations to the General Manager, Western Operations, and the Director of Growing Operations regarding construction, alterations, maintenance, materials, supplies, equipment and services not provided for in approved plans and/or budgets
  • Assists in the planning, development and implementation of farm strategies for generating resources and/or revenues for the Company

Other Duties:

  • Performs required calibration of computers, probes, thermometers, fans, etc.
  • Works with and provides support to your teams,. your departmental associates and inter-departmental leaders as needed
  • Proactively contributes to the process of identifying opportunities to achieve the Company’s overall strategy to meet and increase volume, quality and food safety requirements
  • Professionally interacts with suppliers, 3rd party auditors, customers and internal auditors, when required
  • As reasonably requested in the aid of operations or culture compliance, performs other duties as may be assigned
  • Provides meaningful continual improvement or innovation recommendations outside scope of responsibility


A combination of professional experiences or equivalent combined education, designation and work experience will be considered;

  • University Degree in Science or Agricultural, with a minimum of five (5) years of experience in a leadership role on a modern mushroom compost facility is required
  • Ten (10+) years of experience in compost and/or growing operations and farm management may be accepted in lieu of a University Degree
  • Must have extensive experience and understanding of mushroom substrate preparation and its importance within the mushroom growing process
  • Skilled in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures
  • Knowledgeable in forming teams allied to some change management experience
  • Experienced in developing and implementing new strategies and procedures
  • Ability to develop financial plans and manage resources including analysis and interpreting financial data
  • Requires professional written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate teams and simultaneously manage several projects
  • Work requires a willingness to work a flexible schedule and the ability for independent travel

Job Type: Full-time