Job Title: Manager, Post-Harvest Physiology

Reporting to: Head, Product Development

Location: Santa Maria or Arroyo Grande Areas, CA (or Remote for right candidate)

About Pairwise:

Pairwise is a mission-driven, food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Pairwise was founded in 2017 by scientists at Harvard University, MIT, and Broad Institute who are eminent in the field of gene editing, as well as biotechnology industry pioneers. Our team is tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. We are primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in late 2023. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, with a growing presence in Arroyo Grande, California.

About This Role:

At Pairwise, our growing Product Development Team is looking for a motivated, collaborative, engaging individual to fill the key role of leading our Post-Harvest Physiology function. This role is responsible for taking edited and unedited plant material through post-harvest testing, validation and optimization to create products that customers love. Responsibilities include working with agronomy to optimize growth and harvest procedures to ensure the best finished goods; optimizing respiration rates, post-harvest processing, and handling; and conducting post-harvest research to inform the packaging development. This role will play a key function throughout the product development process, across multiple crops and products. The ideal candidate will have a strong post-harvest physiology background in the area of fresh produce, ideally with leafy greens or berries. This role will serve as a subject matter expert ensuring post-harvest methodologies are consistent upstream and downstream of product development. The individual who takes this role will not be taking all of this on alone, this role does have a small team working with them to support data collection and analysis, so effective leadership, management and communication skills are critical.

Essential Functions:

• Develop framework for post-harvest methodologies, protocol and best practices across the company to ensure consistency in data collection and analysis

• Responsible for the development and optimization of our post-harvest handling and processing, cold chain, packaging, and shelf-life practices, including requisite and timely experimental design and execution.

• Manage internal and externally contracted research activities to deliver data that leads to fresh, long shelf-life products.

• Work closely with the product development team to understand and achieve product and packaging specifications.

• Communicate clearly with external commercial partners to train and help them understand best practices and protocols for our products.

• Facilitate the development and refinement of raw product specs and be a key stakeholder in finished goods specs.

• Managing resolution of consumer complaints related to post-harvest activities.

• Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, matrix organization.

• Manage, lead and develop their team.

• Work as a member of the Product Development leadership team to effectively manage the organization.

Required Education & Experience:

• Bachelors plus equivalent experience in a relevant technical field, Masters preferred.

• 3-5 years’ experience managing shelf-life testing and analysis (will accept less experience if the experience has been in the leafy greens or berry industries)

• At least 1+ years managing a team (and/or researchers)

• Strong track record of delivering research outcomes supporting business objectives and product launch.

• Demonstrated ability to lead others through influence and build relationships both internally and externally.

• Experience with leafy greens or berries is a plus.


• Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!

• Flexible PTO (use what you need, when you need it), in addition to company holidays.

• Casual work environment.

• Mission-driven organization focused on creating healthier fruits and veggies.

• A cutting-edge, driven community looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition.

EEO Statement:

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Pairwise we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

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