Plant Manager

Aspire Canada London, ON

At ASPIRE we are pioneers in the field of precision insect farming, optimizing the growth and harvesting of an underutilized natural resource in order to meet global demand for sustainable ingredients and materials. Our vision is A WORLD TRANSFORMED BY INSECT TECHNOLOGY.

Plant Manager

Aspire has built the world’s smartest and densest cricket protein and frass production facility in London, Ontario. Aspire has designed a novel biological protein production process. The new 137000 sq. ft. facility combines robotics, IoT sensors, data science and automated storage and retrieval (ASRS) to fully automate the production. 

With significant global demand for quality alternative proteins for pet food and organic soil enhancers, Aspire expects to expand their production footprint across the globe, rolling out additional facilities throughout the next decade.

As a first-of-kind facility with state-of-the-art technology, the position will provide the successful candidate with unique opportunities in the planning, commissioning, and operation of a novel protein manufacturing process.

We are currently seeking an experienced and dedicated Plant Manager. This senior leader role will provide the successful candidate with a host of unique opportunities in the commissioning and operation of a novel protein manufacturing process. This role reports to the Chief Operating Officer.


This role will primarily work Monday to Friday, day shift, however, work outside of standard working hours is required as needed, to effectively support the location's 24/7 operation. 


  • Oversee the definition and implementation of robust processes and SOPs in the plant to ensure effective operations and to foster a culture that focuses on health and safety, continuous improvement, lean manufacturing, preventative maintenance, and process innovation

  • Liaise on discussions with external stakeholders of the plant - Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Labour, local Mayor, Regional Director, and local community groups

  • Oversee the hiring and training of all employees needed to commission, start-up and operate the facility, including operators, supervisors and engineers, maintenance staff, lab technicians, supply chain and logistics, quality control

  • Oversee the selection of a production ERP, in coordination with the company’s CFO, COO, and other key internal stakeholders, ensuring compatibility with accounting, CMMS, and CRM tools

  • Oversee the preparation and resolution of the punch list at the completion of construction and assume leadership during the handoff from the EPC firm

  • Lead the commissioning and start-up process for the facility and track progress using pre-established key performance indicators, acting as the primary liaison with Corporate Engineering and R&D to address issues, make equipment improvements, and debottlenecking

  • Prepare the annual plant budget using assumptions (production volumes, raw material costs, prices, and working capital needs) provided by the CFO and submit to the Leadership team for review and approval, using aggressive goals for yields, throughput, fixed capital efficiency, working capital needs, labor productivity and product quality

  • Manage and track plant performance against the budget and key performance metrics established by the leadership team and board (financial, operational, quality, safety, and people)

  • Provide strategic input to the COO on a long-term plan for the plant, including capital improvements, capacity increases, alternative feedstocks, and alternative co-products

  • Ensure the plant is in compliance with all permits and regulations and report any events that require disclosure and oversee all corrective measures required

  • Provide input to corporate engineering on the design and implementation of future manufacturing facilities with the potential of being a key stakeholder in the construction management of future facilities

  • Drives operational margins, customer satisfaction, safety, cost of quality, inventory, productivity, organizational development, and other operational metrics of the facility.

  • Review, maintain, control, implement corrective action and regularly report on the financial progress of the plant to maintain profit plan expectations and ensure incremental/ decremental performance.

  • Serves as a key business partner and decision-maker

  • Willing to travel as the need arises 


  • Engineering degree

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in a lean manufacturing environment, including 5 as a senior manager with experience across multiple manufacturing disciplines

  • Proven track record of recruiting, training, developing and leading manufacturing personnel 

  • Experience in commissioning and starting up a new plant or manufacturing line

  • A hands-on professional who leads by example, with a deep understanding of production planning and scheduling, control systems and logic, troubleshooting automated processes and implementing preventative maintenance and operating in a strong safety culture

  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, communication, negotiation, and project management skills with strong financial acumen

  • A business or management degree/diploma from an accredited institution is an asset

  • Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt certification is an asset


  • Aspire has assembled the largest body of research on cricket biology and production in the world.

  • We are pioneering the industry by customizing, synthesizing, and integrating cutting-edge technologies, including an Advanced Automation ASRS, IoT-Enabled Data Accumulation, Artificial Intelligence, and Selective Breeding and Biological Optimization processes.

  • We offer a competitive compensation package that includes paid time off, medical benefits, Maternity/Parental leave top-up, STD/LTD, RRSP and Stock Option plans.

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