Substrate Manager

Full Time
Fraser Valley Regional District, BC
Posted Today
Job description

Highline Core Values 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:

Working closely with the Director of Composting Operations on all aspects related to Phase I, Phase II and Phase III at our BC sites with a strong focus on wharf operations, tunnel filling, tunnel management, equipment operations, production planning and in particular, our hygiene levels. A key metric is to ensure that your teams all follow Highline’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) and our standards, which are set out in the in-house terminology, which we refer to as our “Compost Criteria” our “Non-Negotiables” and our “Fort Knox” auditing structure, each of which is an appendix to this document. Taken together, these three items provide the framework and structure within which you and your team will operate to ensure that you are leading a world-class team with the resultant compost quality and consistency.

Your role includes production planning and maintaining proper staffing levels, attaining the various compost quality and yield requirements while always meeting and exceeding our hygiene goals, all of which must always be backed up by excellent communication. These goals will be achieved while working closely with the Director of Compost Operations, and the headfilling team and the growing team. You are responsible for ensuring that your team meets their targets through strong planning and communications, managing your costs and stock usages, together with a driven focus on continuous improvement initiatives and efficiencies.

Expected Outcomes:

Leadership & Code of Conduct:

  • Embraces and supports the Highline culture and values, acting as a brand ambassador at all times
  • Interacts with others in a manner that promotes respect, confidentiality and dignity


  • All staff must adhere to our Safety Policies, including use of proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety equipment
  • Responsible for reporting all incidents, injuries or near misses immediately to Direct Report or Safety Advocate

Phase I Management (Wharf and Bunkers)

  • Oversees daily operation of the bunkers, including raw materials, inventory check sheets, work schedules, maintenance and preventative maintenance checklists
  • Participates in and maintains accurate knowledge of changes to compost scheduled decisions allied to at times assisting in the operation of equipment as and when needed
  • Conducts an extensive array of accurate sampling as required for testing in our laboratory including, but not limited to, moisture tests, pH tests, Nitrogen tests and the physical testing of the compost as set out in the compost meetings
  • Maintains a full awareness and record of the required check sheet information, ensuring full completion on an individual basis and on a team basis
  • Liaises with the Director of Composting Operations, concerning compost quality and highlighting any variances related to any equipment concerns
  • May operate any of the equipment on the site as and when required
  • Coordinates and logs in writing any and all required repairs to equipment or buildings
  • Attends weekly production meetings taking written notes, and providing reports and feedback on the productivity and the work conditions within the compost wharf department
  • Assists the Technical team and/or Quality Assurance Substrate Technologist in the development of new or modified Standard Operating Practices (SOP’s) allied to working within the wider compost team
  • Monitors the making of compost for proper quality composition
  • Ensures that all of the equipment is operational and that the spigot floors are cleaned after each use and that this process is properly monitored and managed
  • Ensures the highest level of sanitation is maintained in and around the wharf

Tunnel Management:

  • The production of high quality consistent compost is the engine that drives our business and it creates the value within our whole business.

Preventative Maintenance:

  • Ensure that preventative maintenance is carried out on all of the equipment and that it is always left in a safe and working order at all times by:
  • Working closely with the maintenance manager to ensure that each piece of equipment is properly maintained and that weekly and monthly inspections are carried out in line with our SOP’s to minimise breakdowns and lost time.
  • Host and take minutes for weekly and bi-weekly meetings with the maintenance manager to have strong and robust communications around the preventative maintenance across your whole facility.

Employee Relations:

  • Provides a working environment which promotes safety, well-being, dignity and honesty with a strong level of feedback to your team
  • Ensures completion of recording and submission of daily attendance (including corrections and reconciliations) in electronic time management system
  • Responsible for scheduling all associates in accordance with changing production volumes, ensuring proper allocation of work hours and monitoring overtime hours, in accordance with Company policies
  • Ensures staff are properly utilized to minimize overtime and ensure the fair and equitable assignment of hours of work amongst associates
  • Issues corrective action and/or discipline when warranted with the assistance of Human Resources
  • Completes administrative paperwork for department staff (i.e. time off requests, switched days, etc.).

Other Duties:

  • Provides meaningful continual improvement or innovation recommendations outside scope of responsibility
  • as assigned

Education & Past Experiences:

  • 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 making / substrate making and a minimum of five (5) years in a senior position will be accepted in lieu of a University Degree
  • Ideally we would like prior experience in organic substrate making experience
  • 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 including production planning
  • Experience in working with teams of 10-15 people within a substrate facility
  • Experienced in developing and implementing new strategies and procedures
  • 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

Personal Attributes:

  • Demonstrable strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize with an aptitude to effectively handle competing deadlines
  • Attention to detail and accuracy, appropriately balanced with the need to complete tasks
  • Above average analytical skills, the ability to problem solve a range of complex problems
  • Capable of independent and self guided work and accepts and adapts to change
  • Excellent interpersonal communications skills and professional behaviours, specifically maintaining confidentiality and sensitive information


  • Eligible to work in Canada.
  • Fluent in written and verbal English, other languages are an asset.

Highline encourages applications from all qualified candidates. When requested Highline will accommodate people with disabilities at all stages of the recruitment, assessment and hiring process.


Job Types: Full-time, Permanent


  • Dental care
  • Employee assistance program
  • Extended health care
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Vision care

Flexible Language Requirement:

  • French not required


  • 10 hour shift
  • Day shift
  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekend availability

Work Location: One location

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