Programme Manager Job- Seed Sovereignty – UK & Ireland.

Jan 12, 2017

The Gaia Foundation have a full-time vacancy for a Programme Manager covering the UK and Ireland.

The Gaia Foundation is working with key seed and food actors across UK and Ireland to develop a biodiverse and resilient seed system, supporting farmers and growers, increasing supplies of organic seed and establishing a more food secure future. 

This exciting role will provide the strategic leadership and co-ordination as well as creative input into the design and development of the programme itself. It is a collaborative programme, involving organisations such as the Soil Association, The Landworkers Alliance, The Seed Co-op and the Irish Seed-Savers Network. 

Based on the highly successful Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, the Seed Sovereignty UK & Ireland programme will be looking to achieve similar results over an initial three year period. 

The UK programme manager will be responsible for:

  • Developing and maintaining a network of regional hubs in connection with other organisations
  • Developing a legal working group to review regulatory requirements
  • Developing a public awareness campaign in support of local seed
  • Developing a plant database in conjunction with other organisations
  • Identifying potential for variety trials and a participatory plant breeding programme
  • Organising a national conference
  • Developing a Programme evaluation plan
  • Overseeing development of information materials
  • Establishing and overseeing the Programme’s online presence
  • Developing plans for the Programme beyond the initial three-year phase
  • Leading on fundraising and reporting to donors


Programme management:

  • Recruitment and management of Regional Co-ordinators
  • On-going liaison with team of advisers and regional hubs
  • Identifying suitable trainers for workshops
  • Overseeing provision of on-farm training workshops
  • Overseeing the Seed Facilitation Fund
  • On-going liaison with public and private seed-related institutions
  • Publicising the Programme at wider events and in publications


Programme administration:

  • In conjunction with Gaia Finance Manager, administering the Programme budget
  • Organising annual exchange visits to allies in other countries
  • Identifying potential funders and leading on funding applications



  • Working with other Gaia staff, to find and approach potential funders who may be interested in supporting the programme.


Qualifications and experience:

  • A minimum of five years’ experience in programme development and management
  • Educational training, or equivalent experience, in a field related to the food system and small scale farming (from production to consumption)
  • Excellent networking and programme development and co-ordination skills;
  • Strong oral and written skills in English


About the Gaia Foundation

For over 30 years, the Gaia Foundation has worked with local communities, activists and civil society organisations in the UK and around the world to protect the environment and build resilience to climate change. 

Seed and Food Sovereignty is a key focus area. Since the 1990s Gaia has been active in raising awareness and challenging the use of genetically-engineered crops, harmful agri-chemicals and fossil fuels. 

We have produced informative materials and films, including Seeds of Freedom, for policy-makers, development agencies and the general public, that expose the dangers of corporate-control over food production. In 2014 we held the UK’s first ever seed festival, bringing together over 30 different groups to celebrate the vast diversity and abundance of seed types from around the world and the UK, and raised the alarm over the potential loss of seed diversity that will affect our food and farming. 

Salary: £35,000 – 38,000 per annum dependent on experience
Contract: Three years (dependent on funding). Initial 6-month probation period.
Location: London-based though location flexible.

How to Apply:

For an informal discussion about the post telephone Communications Director, Francesca Price on 07766838761

Please respond by email to with a covering letter explaining why you think you are suited for the role, your CV and two references. 

Closing date for applications: 16th January 2017, 5pm

Interview date: Initial interviews by Skype the week beginning the 23rd January.

Final interviews in person in Birmingham 2/3rd February.

For more information on Gaia Foundation you can visit their website:

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