Production Technician – Plant Scientist

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at Superb Herb Co Ltd (view profile)
Location Auckland, New Zealand
Date Posted 1 September 2020
Category Science
Job Type Full-time


The Production Technician/Plant Scientist role will assist the GM Technical Development and Production Operations Manager to achieve optimal production management through monitoring and delivery of technical crop research, plant quality, food safety, growing environment and regulatory compliance information.

This is an exciting role in an established and growing company located 45 minutes drive North West from the Auckland CBD.

Key Responsibilities:

Crop Production

  • Monitor irrigation systems.
    • Communicate to managers if issues or opportunities are identified.
  • Monitor plant nutrition systems and levels.
    • Microbiological, pH and EC levels. Advise managers of adjustments and actions required.
  • Monitor environment data. Advises issues or improvements if not performing optimally.
  • Monitor production processes: rotation, layout spacing, house selection, facilitate SOP changes when improvements are identified.
  • Plant and variety testing / research.
  • Monitor germination testing and liaise with managers regarding required actions.
  • New product / variety testing reporting results and recommendations to production and sales and marketing

Finished Product

  • Quality assurance
    • Monitor shelf life and customer complaint data and advise managers of issues or opportunities for improvements.
    • Monitor crop production data and provide input into Production planning and forecasting tools.

Pest and Disease Control

  • Monitor pest status and management systems.

Advise managers of changes required to maintain effective control.

  • Consider risks when setting up new trials to avoid introduction of new pests and make sure controls are in place.


  • Run / supervise all trial work done in the business or externally.
  • Set up trial protocols prior to starting any trial work with clear objective.
  • Capture and communicate trial results.
  • Keep up to date with latest global trends and technology.
  • Research existing literature prior to setting up research work.
  • Manage test equipment and test areas professionally ensuring safety at all times (food safety and occupational health and safety).

Communication / Planning

  • Agree R&D plans annually with the GM Technical Development.
  • Agree compliance targets and audit programmes annually.
  • Communication of progress and results on a monthly basis.
  • Use of meetings for forward planning of activities and making sure all stake holders are consulted and aware of activity.


  • Monitoring crop data collection, incident & non-conformance reporting with follow up on corrective actions when required.
  • Ensure that testing and measuring equipment is well maintained and calibrated.
  • Assist production operations manager with root cause analysis of major issues and advise on corrective actions.

Food safety

  • Monitor sanitation controls, compliance testing and advise managers of issues and improvements required.
  • Ensure all staff are using agreed processes and that they are appropriate and effective.
  • Care should be taken during R&D work to avoid risk of contamination of our commercial growing systems and if necessary trials may need to be carried out off site.

Health and Safety

  • Ensure that all staff are aware of the Health & Safety system, manual and follow Health & Safety processes at all times
  • Ensure hazard inspections are carried out in line with the Health & Safety Manual and take action to manage identified hazards to ensure no harm occurs
  • Ensure that your actions or inaction do not put yourself or any other person in danger at any times
  • Wear Personal Protection Equipment as required and report any damage to PPE immediately
  • Report any incidents, accidents or hazards using the correct procedures
  • Solely responsible for ensuring that all incidents, accidents or hazards are immediately followed up using the correct procedures and are compliant with legislation.

Qualifications required:

  • A tertiary degree in horticultural science or relevant applied science is required.

Experience and Knowledge Required:

  • Compliance and R&D experience would be an advantage.
  • Data analysis experience.
  • Experience working cross-functionally with other teams including production, operations and sales to achieve results.
  • Advanced Excel and database skills with a high level of IT literacy.


  • Ability to influence at senior levels and develop effective working relationships both internally and externally
  • Ability to work under pressure, manage conflicting demands and meet tight deadlines.
  • Excellent problem solving abilities
  • Initiative with a focus on achievement
  • Ability to be hands-on, flexible and willing to assist across the team to ensure its success
  • A continuous improvement focus with ability to improve processes and practices.
  • Ability to coach and develop staff to deliver results.

Special Job Requirements:

  • The job will require the incumbent to work from both company sites depending on job requirements but mostly be based at our Parakai site.
  • Ability to work outside normal hours if required.

If you would like to discuss this position confidentially, please feel free to call our HR Manager, Alexandra on 021 460680

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