Operations Manager (Maternity Cover)

Sustainable Fibre Alliance

£32,000 - £37,000 pa (negotiable and dependent on experience)

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

sustainablefibre.org [email protected]

Sectors: sustainability, carbon, climate & energy, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Job context:

The Sustainable Fibre Alliance (SFA) is a non-profit international organisation working with the extended cashmere supply chain, from herders to retailers, to promote a global sustainability standard for cashmere. Our vision is a future where cashmere is produced in a way that minimises environmental impact, safeguards herder livelihoods and meets high welfare standards.

Founded in 2015, we are a standard holding and capacity building organisation with offices in both the UK and Mongolia. Our SFA Cashmere Standard represents the world’s first holistic, evidence-based sustainability standard for cashmere that is both global in focus and locally adaptable.

A unique opportunity has arisen in our UK team for a fixed-term post in the role of Operations Manager. This post is funded for 10 months to cover maternity leave and is available as soon as possible.


  • The Operations Manager will work closely with the SFA’s CEO in the management and development of our work programme and delivery of SFA objectives and goals.
  • They will be responsible for managing UK operations and providing operational support to our team in Mongolia and in-country partners in China.
  • For 2021, a key focus of the role will be the management and ongoing development of our chain of custody programme, in which we will trace SFA certified cashmere fibre from producers in Mongolia and China through to final product using a customised Salesforce database
  • Another key focus will be assisting with the revision of the SFA Cashmere Standard and overseeing its expansion into China, which will involve supporting our in-country partners and member companies that are participating in the programme


The Operations Manager will report to and be supported by the SFA CEO (his/her line manager). You will be joining our close-knit and remote-based UK team, which is comprised of a Standards and Compliance Manager, Membership Officer, Marketing and Communications Officer and a few contract workers.

Key responsibilities:

The duties of the Operations Manager include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Coordinate, manage and monitor the workings of SFA UK
  • Utilise and improve processes and policies in support of the SFA’s goals by working with SFA UK and SFA Mongolia to maximise organisational effectiveness
  • In partnership with the CEO, oversee the human resources within the UK and provide HR support, as required, to SFA Mongolia
  • Oversee the SFA annual workplan, establish work schedules and supervise staff and external contractors in the delivery of the annual workplan.
  • Ensure effective delegation of tasks and responsibilities and monitor and evaluate performance through personal development reviews.
  • Facilitate regular team meetings with SFA UK and SFA Mongolia
  • Liaise regularly with the Mongolia Country Director and the CEO in the development of strategic plans for operational activity
  • Support CEO in managing the SFA’s operational budget and the writing of project and grant proposals
  • Support the Standards and Compliance manager with the maintenance and development of the SFA Cashmere Standard System
  • Support the Marketing and Communications Officer with the delivery of the SFA Communications Strategy
  • Support the Membership Officer with responses to member enquiries
  • Engage with stakeholders through meetings, written correspondence and attendance at webinars; represent the SFA and present at stakeholder meetings as required.
  • Prepare quarterly and annual operations reports for the SFA CEO and SFA Board.
  • Assist the CEO in preparation of reports and materials for the SFA Board, as required.

Skills and experience:


  • Demonstratable experience in a senior project management or operations role
  • Knowledge of sustainable supply chain management
  • A strong track record of effectively managing teams and complex projects, and helping bridge diverse programs
  • Excellent written and verbal communication; ability to communicate to a wide range of audiences
  • An understanding of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) systems and producing impact reports for funders, members and stakeholders
  • Confident in representing the organisation at external events and building strong relationships with partners and stakeholders
  • Fluency in English


Experience working with project management tools, including SmartSheet and Lucidcharts - Experience working with chain of custody / traceability systems - Prior knowledge and/or technical experience of Salesforce or other similar digital traceability systems - Experience working with voluntary certification schemes, ideally in the fashion and textiles sector - Previous experience working in a non-profit organisation - Knowledge of Mongolian culture and nomadic way of life - Knowledge of sustainability challenges related to the production of cashmere (or other preferred fibres) - Established relationships with other leading standard setters, technical experts and practitioners


  • Be educated to post-graduate degree standard or equivalent qualification or experience
  • At least 5 years of work experience, ideally at managerial level

Personal attributes:

We are seeking candidates who excel at strategic thinking, project and team management and ensuring the delivery of core operational outcomes. You’ll enjoy working in a small, fast-paced team environment, where the nature of the work requires dynamic and flexible working. This role will suit candidates who can think on their feet and have the confidence to communicate our work to our members and stakeholders. Being a small NGO with limited resources, we’re looking for people with excellent people management skills who remain calm under pressure, can oversee a busy work programme and keep an eye on the big picture. You’ll be passionate about ensuring smooth operations and delivering real impact on the ground for cashmere producers and the rangelands that support them.

To apply:

To apply for this role, please send your CV and a cover letter to Sarah Krueger (SFA Communications Manager) at [email protected]. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. We thank all applicants for their interest; however only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Hours: Full time – 35 hours per week
Contract length 10 - 12 months, with potential for extension
Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer
Location: UK (remote based)
Date Issued: 19 May 2021
Start date: ASAP

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