Horticulture production team leader


Horticulture production team leaders are responsible for leading and working with a team. They organise daily work schedules for the production of horticulture crops and participate in the production.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to horticulture production team leader:

horticultural foreman
horticultural production team leader
horticultural team manager
horticulture production team leaders

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a horticulture production team leader, as well as a previous experience in horticulture.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Horticulture production team leader is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Horticulture production team leader career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to horticulture production team leader.

horticulture worker
horticulture production manager
fruit production team leader
crop production manager
agronomic crop production team leader

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of horticulture production team leader. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of horticulture production team leader with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

viticulture adviser
agricultural inspector
botanical technician
flower and garden shop manager
soil surveying technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of horticulture production team leader.

  • Quality criteria for storage facilities: Quality criteria for storage facilities such as safe locking systems, ventilation, regularly inspected fireproofing systems, etc.
  • Project management principles: Different elements and phases of project management.
  • Environmental legislation in agriculture and forestry: Awareness on environmental legislation, policies, principles relevant for agriculture and forestry. Awareness of the impact on the environment of local agricultural procedures and practices. Means to adjust the production to new environmental regulations and policies.
  • Crop production principles: Principles in growing crops, the natural cycle, nursing of nature, growth conditions and principles of organic and sustainable production. Quality criteria and requirements of seeds, plants and crop.
  • Greenhouse types: Different types of greenhouses (plastic, glass) and other horticultural facilities such as hotbed, seedbed, irrigation systems, storage and protective facilities etc.
  • Soil structure: Diversity of soil elements and types of soil in relation to plant growth.
  • Plant species: The variety of plants, trees and shrubs and their special characteristics.
  • Types of storage facilities: Different types of devices and facilities used to hold information and their quality criteria.
  • Watering principles: Methods, principles and systems for supplying water to land or crops by means of pipes, sprinklers, ditches or streams.
  • Pest control in plants: Types and features of pests in plants and crops. Different kinds of pest control methods, activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the type of plant or crop, environmental and climate conditions and health and safety regulations. Storage and handling of products.
  • Pruning techniques: The techniques of selectively removing parts of trees and plants to foster better growth and regeneration.
  • Fertilisation principles: The study of plant, soil structure, climatic and environmental issues in agronomical production.
  • Plant harvest methods: The various methods, timing and equipment involved in harvesting different crops and plants.
  • Leadership principles: Set of traits and values which guide the actions of a leader with her/his employees and the company and provide direction throughout her/his career. These principles are also an important tool for self-evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses, and seek self-improvement.
  • Horticulture principles: The standard horticultural practices, including but not limited to planting, pruning, corrective pruning, and fertilisation.
  • Health and safety regulations: Necessary health, safety, hygiene and environmental standards and legislation rules in the sector of particular activity.
  • Plant propagation: Types of different propagation methods, materials and seeds and their criteria for health and quality.
  • Plant disease control: Types and features of diseases in plants and crops. Different kinds control methods, activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the type of plant or crop, environmental and climate conditions and health and safety regulations. Storage and handling of products.
  • Pruning types: Different approached to pruning trees, such as thinning, removal, etc.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of horticulture production team leader.

  • Coordinate greenhouse environment: Take care of the heating and cooling of greenhouses. Work together with the Grounds and Buildings Manager in keeping the irrigation systems and the horticultural equipment in good condition.
  • Maintain storage facilities: Maintain or ensure the maintenance of cleaning equipment, heating or air conditioning of storage facilities and the temperature of premises.
  • Harvest crop: Mow, pick or cut agricultural products manually or using appropriate tools and machinery. Take into account the relevant quality criteria of products, hygiene prescriptions and use the appropriate methods.
  • Supervise horticultural crews: Supervise the horticultural crews by planning, assigning and evaluating their daily activities.
  • Supervise hygiene procedures in agricultural settings: Ensure that hygiene procedures in agricultural settings are followed, taking into account the regulations of specific areas of action e.q. livestock, plants, local farm products, etc.
  • Prepare planting area: Prepare planting area and soil for planting by for example fertilising, mulching by hand or using mechanical tools or machinery; prepare seeds and plants for sowing and planting by ensuring the quality of seed and plants.Sow and plant by hand, using mechanical tools or machinery and in accordance with national legislation.
  • Make independent operating decisions: Make immediate operating decisions as necessary without reference to others, taking into account the circumstances and any relevant procedures and legislation. Determine alone which option is the best for a particular situation.
  • Monitor fields: Monitor orchards, fields and production areas to forecast when crops will be fully grown. Estimate how much damage the weather may cause to crops.
  • Optimise production: Analyse and identify the strengths and weaknesses of solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems; formulate and plan alternatives.
  • Nurse plants: Determine the need for nursing activities and carry out nursing by cultivating, maintaining, watering and spraying the plants and trees manually or using appropriate equipment, taking into account the plant species and following safety requirements.
  • Propagate plants: Carry out propagation activities by applying appropriate propagation methods, such as grafted cutting propagation or generative propagation considering the plant type. Carry out propagation control considering the required terms and conditions for specific plant type.
  • Prepare planting area for planting: Prepare planting area and soil for planting by fertilising, mulching and performing weed control. Take the conditions of the area, soil and plant type into account.
  • Manage contracts: Negotiate the terms, conditions, costs and other specifications of a contract while making sure they comply with legal requirements and are legally enforceable. Oversee the execution of the contract, agree on and document any changes.
  • Operate horticulture equipment: Operate horticultural equipment and assist with servicing. Ensure that vehicles are roadworthy before starting the work.
  • Maintain a greenhouse: Perform maintenance work on greenhouses. Clean greenhouse windows, drains and gutters.
  • Create soil and plant improvement programmes: Develop and advise on implementation of soil health and plant nutrition programs.
  • Prune plants: Carry out pruning with relevant tools, related to the different purposes like maintenance pruning, pruning for growth, pruning for fruiting, debudding and volume reduction.
  • Store crops: Store and preserve crops in accordance with standards and regulations to ensure their quality. Ensure that storage facilities are kept according to hygienic standards, regulating temperature, heating and air conditioning of storage facilities.
  • Grow plants: Carry out plant growing activities. Carry out grow control considering the required terms and conditions for specific plant type.
  • Ensure soil fertility: Analyse soil to determine type and quantity of fertiliser required for maximum production.
  • Execute disease and pest control activities: Execute disease and pest control activities using conventional or biological methods taking into account the climate, plant or crop type, health and safety and environmental regulations. Store and handle pesticides in accordance with recommendation and legislation.
  • Store products: Store products to ensure the quality and in accordance with standards and regulations. Ensure the stock facilities are kept according to hygiene standards, regulating temperature, heating and air conditioning of storage facilities.
  • Use agricultural information systems and databases: Use relevant information systems and databases to plan, manage and operate agricultural enterprise and production.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of horticulture production team leader. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Organic farming: Principles, techniques and regulations of organic farming. Organic farming or ecological agriculture is an agricultural production method, which places a strong emphasis on environmental protection and ecological balance.
  • Food safety principles: Scientific background of food safety which includes preparation, handling, and storage of food to minimise the risk of foodborne illness and other health hazards.
  • Agricultural business management: Understand business principles behind agricultural production and the marketing of its products.
  • Agronomical production principles: The techniques, methods and principles of conventional agronomical production.
  • Food legislation: Legislation related to the food and feed industry including food manufacturing, hygiene, safety, raw materials, additives, GMOs, labelling, environmental and trade regulations.
  • Budgetary principles: Principles of estimating and planning of forecasts for business activity, compile regular budget and reports.
  • Ecology: The study of how organisms interact and their relation to the ambient environment.
  • Agronomy: The study of combining agriculture production and protection and regeneration of natural environment. Includes the principles and methods of critical selection and adequate application methods for sustainability in agriculture.
  • Customer relationship management: The customer-oriented management approach and basic principles of successful customer relations that focus on interactions with customers such as technical support, customer services, after-sales support and direct communication with the customer.
  • Agritourism: Aspects of agritourism involving agriculturally based activities to bring visitors to a farm.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of horticulture production team leader. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Food plant design: Contribute to food plant design by assessing the processes, facilities and equipment needs, including monitoring activities and control.
  • Develop agricultural production plans: Develop plans for planting, calculate crop input requirements for all stages of the growth.
  • Promote farm products: Explain the characteristics of a product and the way it was produced.
  • Create flower arrangements: Select suitable flora and foliage to create floral arrangements and match arrangements with decorative accessories such as pieces of ceramic and vases.
  • Manage agricultural staff: Recruit and manage staff. This includes defining the job needs of the organisation, defining the criteria and process for recruitment. Develop the competences of the staff according current and future needs of the company and individuals. Ensure health and safety of the staff, including the implementation of all relevant health and safety procedures and relations with regular follow-up procedures.
  • Prepare flower arrangements: Prepare and arrange flower compositions according to design by applying necessary techniques and using necessary materials.
  • Pick orders of agricultural products: Assemble and prepare customer orders based on agricultural product knowledge.
  • Provide fertilizer recommendation for flowers: Discuss and recommend different types of fertilisers, and explain when and how they should be prepared and applied.
  • Manage production enterprise: Organise and instruct staff, plan production strategies and programmes including sales. Carry out input purchase orders, materials, equipment and manage stocks etc. Awareness of demands of the businesses customers and adjustments accordingly to plans and strategies. Estimate resources and control budget of enterprise applying business economics, production development and project management principles.
  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Prune hedges and trees: Cut and prune trees and hedges in ornamental forms, considering botanical and esthetical aspects.
  • Ensure quality control in packaging: Implement and monitor activities so that all requirements of packing procedures and packing standards are met at all times.
  • Recruit personnel: Carry out assessment and recruitment of personnel for the production.
  • Negotiate sales contracts: Come to an agreement between commercial partners with a focus on terms and conditions, specifications, delivery time, price etc.
  • Execute fertilisation: Carry out fertilisation tasks by hand or using appropriate equipment according to fertilisation instructions taking into account the environmental, health and safety regulations and procedures.
  • Assist equipment operation: Assist with snow removal. Operate snow equipment such as plough trucks, brush skid steers, front loaders, snow blowers and shovels.
  • Place orders for flower products: Communicate with wholesale suppliers and place orders for flowers, plants, fertilisers and seeds.
  • Provide agri-touristic services: Provide services for agri-tourism activities on the farm. This may include providing Bed and Breakfast services, small scale catering, supporting agri-tourism activities and leisure such as riding, locally guided tours, giving information on farm production and history and selling of small-scale local farm products.
  • Present the farm facilities: Perform customer adapted presentations of the farm organization and farm processes taking under consideration the farm sustainability and local environment.
  • Use gardening equipment: Use gardening equipment such as clippers, sprayers, mowers, chainsaws, complying to health and safety regulations.
  • Direct the preparation of food: Oversee the preparation of a variety of dishes such as soups, salads, fish, meats, vegetables or desserts. Participate in and direct food preparation either on a day-to-day basis, or for special guests or events.
  • Advise customers on types of flowers: Provide customers with advice on types and varieties of plants and flowers, floral arrangements and decorations for specific occasions.
  • Perform on-farm product processing: Transform the primary farm product by tools and/or machinery into elaborated food products, respecting the quality objectives, hygiene and security legislation or rules.
  • Maintain gardening equipment: Perform daily maintenance on tools and equipment and report major faults to a superior.
  • Manage agri-tourism activites: Manage staff for agri-tourism activities on the farm such as planning and promoting products and services, B & B services, small scale catering, agri-tourism activities and leisure or selling of small-scale local farm products. Train staff to carry out the different services according to the plan.
  • Carry out work related calculations in agriculture: Calculate different kinds of on-site requirements in the agricultural, fishery and forestry sector by taking care of marketing and budgets.
  • Handle veterinary emergencies: Handle unforeseen incidents concerning animals and circumstances which call for urgent action in an appropriate professional manner.
  • Assist landscape projects: Identify potential sites for landscape improvements. Read and interpret landscape plans. Implement soft and hard landscaping works such as paving, retainer walls, pathways, irrigation systems and street furnishings.
  • Sell flowers: Sell natural and artificial flowers, potted plants, soil, floral accessories, fertilisers and seeds.
  • Select adequate packaging for food products: Choose the appropriate packages for food products taking into account attractiveness and suitability of the package. Use proper packaging for sending it safely and at a reasonable cost. Have awareness that packaging can also influence the product characteristics such as shape, weight or solidity. Balance out various aspects such as cost, attractivity and compliance with regulations and environment protection.
  • Maintain technical equipment: Maintain an inventory of cultivation equipment and supplies. Order additional materials as needed.

ISCO group and title

6113 – Gardeners, horticultural and nursery growers

  1. Horticulture production team leader – ESCO
Last updated on October 27, 2022

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