General Manager – Banana Production Operations  

Job Brief

Reports to: Managing Director  

Reporting staff: Field Operations Managers, Packhouse Operations Managers, Development Manager, Facilities Manager, Finance Manager.

Works with: QA Manager, Sales Managers, HR team, Technical Services.

Background & job purpose: We are a leading producer and distributor of bananas and other fruit in Zimbabwe and South Africa, we have exciting plans for the continued growth of our production and distribution business.

This position oversees the effective and first-class development of our banana expansion programs, and the continuous performance improvement and development of existing operations.

Responsibilities

Major Functions and Accountabilities:

  • General farm operations management – drive quality KPI’s, unit volumes and unit costs,
  • Drive development of all supporting infrastructure (cableways, irrigation & fertigation, packhouses, electrical, housing, and other infrastructure)
  • Drive ongoing continuous improvement, focusing on detail around quality, volumes, and yields: –
      • Production planning
      • Nutrition
      • Orchard management
      • Irrigation and water management
      • Bunch care
      • Pest, weed and disease control
      • Harvesting operations
      • Packing operations
      • Recruiting, leading, planning and developing a first-class operational team at all levels throughout the operations,
  • Attention to detailed operations systems and SOPs; – to drive productivity and quality; and crop planning from field through to packhouse and delivery to customers,
  • Forecasting expected production levels for marketing & logistics planning,
  • Drive adoption of global best practices and benchmarks with local innovation,
  • Implement Global GAP throughout all operations,
  • Manage & ensure that all assets are accounted for, and are in good working condition,
  • Plan all new development, determine ROI’s, implement on time and to pre-determined budgets.
  • Manage financials against budgets and cashflow forecasts,
  • Manage farming operations business accounts through monthly finance reporting and corresponding financial KPI’s,
  • Plan & manage interaction with the procurement function to ensure quality, timely & adequate supplies, to support operations,
  • Effective stakeholder management through team leadership & cohesiveness in all farm activities,
  • Drive adoption and use of new and changing technologies throughout the operation,
  • Work with sales & marketing teams to develop and build premium end market channels,
  • Closely guard reputation and integrity of the business.

    Requirements

    Skills and competencies:

    • Banana technical expertise and high interest in driving technical progress,
    • Confident and open team player,
    • Strong leadership capacity, with high impact and influence with the ability to develop and maintain a high potential team,
    • Strong attention to detail,
    • High degree of accuracy,
    • Proactive and entrepreneurial bent, with proven high agency and ability to make things happen,
    • Curious and demanding of new technical knowledge and its adoption and transfer,
    • Proven ability to build and mentor outstanding and growing individuals.

    Computer proficiencies:

    Excellent computer skills, particularly Microsoft Excel, Word, Power Point, QGIS, and any applications specific to agriculture.

    Experience:

    • Management level in high-end banana or other orchard or horticultural production,
    • Demonstrated strategic, hands–on experience in transforming operations to world class standards.

    Education:

    • A strong university degree from a reputable organization, in a relevant subject.
    • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in a relevant context, including at management level.

    How performance is measured:

    KPIMeasure
    Financial Performance

    Revenue growth

    Profitability

    Cash generation

    Man-day/hectare

    Mature Costs (Budget vs Actual)

    Direct Overheads (Budget vs Actual)

    Indirect Overheads (Budget vs Actual)

    Operations ExcellenceCompletion of operations on time, and per unit cost targets.
    Quality

    Proportion of Class 1 fruit – 90% of sales,

    XL – 50% of total proportion,

    Waste ratios – 9% of total production,

    Marketing complains – zero complains

    Realised Price Premiums.

    100% promised loads

    Volume

     

    Production – Budget vs Actual

    Total production / ha yields,

    Average bunch weight – 32 kgs

    Load fulfilment (budget vs Actual)

    100% loads ready for loading

    Zero load diversion

    Planning to meet scheduling and market SKU requirements,

    Costs

    Productivity metrics vs benchmarks,

    Unit costs/kg

    New Development

    Execution to target quality standards,

    Timing & milestones

    Cost targets per hectare

    Effective Human Capital Management

    PIP- SIC Implementation

    Team Development

    Performance Management

    Execution to target quality standards

    Job Category: Production: Bananas & Avocados
    Job Location: Burma Valley - Zimbabwe

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