position available to manage FoE Australia's organic grocery store

Position Description: Manager, South Melbourne Commons Organic Grocery Store – The Pantry.

Based at FoE Australia’s South Melbourne Commons, Cnr Montague & Bank Sts, Sth Melbourne.

South Melbourne Commons is an exciting new community hub developed by Friends of the Earth (FoE) in partnership with the Father Bob Maguire Foundation. Launched in December 2011, The Commons is a world class environmental hub, restoring a unique heritage site for the community’s enjoyment and showcasing best practices in sustainable building, food and lifestyle.

The Commons features a kitchen / garden café; an organic grocery store -The Pantry; a large entertainment and event space; a city farm scale permaculture garden; a children’s facility and playgrounds.

Job Summary: The Manager of the The Pantry is responsible for the overall operation and viability of our store. Opening hours are from Thursday to Sunday 9am-4pm

Commencement: Early - mid September 2012

Salary: 27 hours spread in 3 or 4 days at $28.38/h


• The position is subject to a probationary period of six months. The position will have a 6 month probationary period with formal reviews at the end of the 1st, 3rd and 6th month.
• The position’s continuation, in all instances, is dependent on the financial viability of The Pantry

Position Objectives: To run a viable organic grocery store within the South Melbourne Commons project, delivering fresh produce and grocery lines with a focus on organic and sustainable products to all members of the community, including the disadvantaged in the area.


Support and Supervision:

The Manager’s role will report on a fortnightly basis to the FoEA Eco Market Committee charged with responsibilities to oversee the Commons, and also develop and implement broader food based campaigns, particularly in the production and retailing of food and groceries.
The position requires good personal organisation and flexibility, with the successful applicant expected to develop their own work plan.


·    Dealing with sales, as and when required.
·    Managing a POS device and cash register
·    Supervision of staff and volunteers.
·    Responding to members and customer complaints and comments;
·    Recruiting Commons’ members & promoting the organisation locally by liaising with local schools, newspapers and the community in general;
·    Managing and motivating a team to increase sales and ensure efficiency;
·    Managing stock levels and making key decisions about stock control;
·    Ensure stocked items and suppliers meet the environmental, social and ethical standards documented in the South Melbourne Commons product policy guidelines.
·    Analysing sales figures and forecasting future sales volumes to maximise profits; analysing and interpreting trends to facilitate planning;
·    Using information technology to record sales figures, for data analysis and forward planning;
·    Dealing with staffing issues such as interviewing potential staff, conducting appraisals and performance reviews, as well as providing or organising training and development;
·    Ensuring standards for quality, customer service and health and safety are met;
·    Resolving health and safety, legal and security issues;
·    Organising special promotions, in store promotions, displays and events;
·    Updating colleagues on business performance, new initiatives and other pertinent issues;
·    Talking to colleagues and customers, and identifying or resolving urgent issues; maintaining
·    Awareness of market trends in the retail industry, understanding forthcoming customer initiatives and monitoring what local competitors are doing;
·    Initiating changes to improve the business, e.g. revising opening hours to ensure the store can compete effectively in the local market;
·    Compliance with workplace policies and procedures for risk identification, risk assessment and risk control


• Experience in the retail sector with a preference for experience in trade in fresh produce or grocery lines.
• Experience managing inventory and an understanding of budgets and basic financial literacy
• Experience supervising staff
• Strong networking skills and a demonstrated ability to initiate and maintain complex projects
• Clear and concise verbal communication and promotion/ presentation skills
• Excellent computer skills including use of Microsoft Office, and proven experience in managing contact lists and databases
• Demonstrated commitment to environmental and social justice
• Demonstrated capacity for lateral thought and self-initiative
• Excellent organisational skills, including the ability to work unsupervised and meet deadlines
• Demonstrated ability to work in a team with an understanding of, and willingness to adhere to, a consensus decision making process and collective structure

• Experience in working with and co-ordinating volunteers
• NGO sector particularly in the areas of fundraising and / or promotional activities
• Experience in promotions and public relations
• Demonstrated ability to negotiate financially beneficial relationships with a range of individuals and groups, including success securing partnership s and completing funding applications
• Book-Keeping Skills


Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) is the linking body between Friends of the Earth’s 12 community based branches across Australia. It has been active on environmental and social justice campaigns for more than 30 years. FoEA is a non‐hierarchical, collective‐based organisation which operates on the understanding that environmental issues need to be addressed in their full human rights and political context.

FoEA is the national member of FoE International, which is active in of over 70 countries and today is one of the largest environment groups in the world.

FoEA works primarily on making strong connections between social justice and environmental issues in that the conservation, restoration, and rational use of the environment can only come about through a just and democratic society. As part of this social action, FoE Melbourne operates a bookshop, vegetarian café and food cooperative businesses that provide information, open dialogue and resources to the community about social justice and environmental issues.


Please forward your resume and a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0403 921 032

Applications close on  23/08.

For more info on South Melbourne Commons you can go to: www.commons.org.au