W.P. Griffin Inc in Elmsdale is a family owned and operated potato farming and packaging business rich in tradition.
W.P. Griffin was founded in 1947 by Wilfred Griffin, and now sons John and Peter Griffin are proud of their growth in the potato industry. Spuds are produced, processed, packaged and shipped to various retail and food service companies such as Sobeys, Foodland, Co-op, Keg Restaurants, and Gordon Food Services.
There are 35 to 50 staff members, depending on the season. The farm and packaging labour positions are seasonal, with 30 to 40 weeks of full-time employment. Office staff and management positions are full-time permanent.
The processing and grading facility is state-of-the-art. The grading warehouse operation’s peak season is during the fall, winter, and spring months. There is a minimum level of staff packaging specialty potato products year round. Positions include entry-level potato graders, potato bagging, machine operators, and forklift operators.
The farm operation’s peak season is during spring planting and fall harvest. In spring, they hire Labourers to cut potato seed and plant. In fall, they hire Truck Drivers, Equipment Operators, Mechanics, and Labourers. Staff also include a few summer students.
The Griffin brothers share business management responsibilities. John, President and General Manager, takes care of office duties such as strategic business planning and marketing, while Peter oversees the field and packing warehouse operations.
“Working for this company is like being a member of the family,” says a staff member. Many have worked as a part of this family’s team for 25 plus years.
W.P. Griffin Inc., Elmsdale
Jobs: Five Grader and Operation Technicians – seasonal full-time, day and night shifts
W.P. Griffin Inc. is a family-owned and operated potato farming and packaging business. During the peak season, they employ about 50 people. Training is provided. They look for staff who are versatile and willing to be trained to operate a variety of machinery.
To apply, submit a resumé with references, or fill out an application form on location.
Over the years, the Griffin farm has seen many changes and upgrades, and recently expanded to include a large cold storage shipping/receiving warehouse used to store a variety of products until shipment.
The processing area
In the large processing work area, staff work alongside large conveyer machines, which separate the various sizes of potatoes. Other staff members grade the spuds, eliminating any that are not high quality. Others are busy packing the products, and fork lift operators store the packaged goods.
Products include large restaurant-style potatoes, mini gourmet potatoes, and BBQ-ready individually foil-wrapped spuds. “We are always trying to raise the bar to provide new and better products,” says John.
Another addition to the processing work area is the new metal detector, which was installed to ensure safety of the products.
Wages & benefits
Wages for entry-level applicants begin at $11.25 per hour and can vary depending on the individual’s experience.
All employees are covered by Workers Compensation, and health benefits and RRSP plans are offered to staff after they achieve a minimum number of weeks per year.
Education and training requirements vary with each position. Truck Drivers are required to have a valid Class 3A license. For entry-level and Labourers, there are no education requirements. For office staff, post-secondary training is an asset. Mechanics would require experience in the field.
W.P. Griffin Farms prides themselves in being a good employer, promoting quality training for their staff, and workplace safety. In-house safety training is provided to employees.
Strong hand and eye coordination is important, as is the ability to lift up to 50 pounds for some jobs, and the ability to stand for long periods of time.
Working conditions can be dusty, noisy, physically demanding, repetitive upper body movement, and long work hours. Staff are required to purchase and wear safety boots. Safety vests are supplied.
Hiring is on-going, mainly entry-level processing and grading positions during the winter months. In the past, experienced truck drivers have been more difficult to find.
Jobs are posted on the Job Bank and at local employment centres.
How to stand out during the hiring process
Show an eagerness to work and learn, and follow up by dropping in and asking if there are any developments or upcoming job openings.
“Sometimes, when an individual applies there may be no openings, so we suggest contacting the office monthly.
“Individuals who indicate in their application and interview that they are seeking long-term employment are more likely to be hired.”
For more information or to apply, visit the office at 1007 Dock Road, Elmsdale.
Submit a resumé with references, or fill out an application form.