SOIL ASSOCIATION
4.0 out of 5 stars.
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SOIL ASSOCIATION Employee Reviews

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Walking into reception for my interview I was instantly put at ease, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. My team have been amazing; they've been so accommodating in terms of working patterns, I've been given a really great induction into the business (even though my role isn't permanent) and I felt really valued right from day one. My role has real flexibility and I'm listened to when I have ideas or feedback. I'm given the opportunity to also work on projects that not only benefit the Soil Association but also my own development. My development in this role has been a real focus from management which I'm really grateful for. Everyone works really hard here and there is a real passion for the what the organisation stands for. I didn't know anything about the Soil Association before I started and I feel grateful for having the opportunity of working here and to be part of what the organisation stands for.
Pros
Casual attire, lovely kitchen area with microwave and oven, good work/life balance
Cons
can't think of any
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I've loved working at the Soil Association, it's more like a family than a workplace. The people are the organisations greatest asset, which sounds like a cliche, but for the SA it's entirely true. Everyone that I have worked with has been incredibly supportive of others, kind and knowledgeable - it creates a lovely work environment to be a part of. If I were to be critical I feel the organisation may need to look at how it can do better in terms of training and developing staff, and I suspect many charities may find this a challenge. But for me the Soil Association has been a very exciting, engaging place to work and I have loved the opportunity to work with such passionate, interesting colleagues that really live their values.
Pros
People, collaborative working culture, holiday, flexible-working, location
Cons
Lack of greater investment in training and development
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Let's start with the positives, this organisation is full to brim with great people, primarily at the junior levels who are passionate and hard working but are let down by hopeless management. Ah, the Managers, they are there but you rarely see them, conspicuous by their absence they drift in and request information or suggest new ideas. The "new" computer system (it only took 10 years) is dreadful it has increased workloads, doesn't perform and who picks up the problem? The Inspectors and Certification staff. I have never seen people treated so badly in 20 years of working! Leadership, that wonderful almost intangible skill, well you won't find it here! Those at the top of the organisation seemingly are unaware of how bad things are or choose to look the other way and fill their time with more and more Non-Exec positions, books and other business interests. Unfortunately, the organisation doesn't know where it wants to go or what it wants to deliver, the Food and Farming Certification sector is uber competitive and once a leader SA is now trailing in others wake.
Pros
Great People
Cons
Long Hours, poor managment
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Will discriminate against those who are not from farming background and bully staff out of the organisation who dare to challenge management mistakes. Refuse to admit poor decisions are made and blame the ‘workers’ before looking at themselves removing realists in a systematic and targeted way. The group assume Organic is the only answer to the problems of over consumption and animal welfare and that ‘inspection’ (widely acknowledged to be the poorest method of identifying fraud and bad practice in the food industry) is paramount i.e. they can’t see or adapt beyond this business model - too many retired/retiring farmers in place to allow that. With clean meat/milk on the way, (i. e. no need to farm animals for meat and milk) this inherently protectionist front for British landowners and animal farmers that exploits caring people’s concerns is thankfully on the decline. There are some lovely people there but don’t go in thinking a caring and responsive employer is with you. Will regularly allow/ turn blind eye to 60-70 hour weeks.
Pros
Well meaning
Cons
Disfunctional; discriminatory
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• Standards - Assist in the organisation and running of the Standards Board and Standards Committees. Maintain the published Standards: tracking standards amendments; ensuring version control; helping to develop a Standards IT system. Keep Standards web pages up to date – posting consultations, updating committee details. Support the Standards team to run Standards consultations: collating responses, organising events; compiling stakeholder lists. • Producer Support - Assist the Producer Support team with the organisation of events - dealing with bookings; liaising with venues; handling enquiries. Keep events listings and organic market place web pages up to date; communicate with licensees. Assist with invoicing and tracking of our producer members.
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