From its headquarters in Salinas, Markon Cooperative, Inc. provides fresh produce purchasing, logistics, information and marketing services exclusively to its five member distributors (Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Service, Gordon Food Service Canada, Nicholas & Company, and Shamrock Foods Company) and their foodservice customers. A leader in food safety, quality control and innovation, Markon is also mindful of the produce industry's impact on people – from field workers to consumers. At Markon, we put people first, and we offer a culture that values teamwork, loyalty, and a commitment to excellence. Learn more about Markon at Markon.com.
We are seeking an experienced, passionate Food Safety Director to lead Markon’s Food Safety Department and Program, which includes directing department staff and managing a high volume of customer, member and supplier interactions. This critical role performs regular consultation with, and provides technical assistance to Markon departments, members, and suppliers. The Food Safety Director proactively oversees supplier approval program, customer/product complaints, regulatory requests, recalls and a variety of other food safety issues.
Responsibilities include, and are not limited to, the following:
- Develops and continuously improves existing programs that enhance Markon goals; to deliver safe, nutritious, quality product
- Directs and supports food safety department staff on essential responsibilities related to suppliers, members and customers, including prioritization of department workload and activities
Research and Industry Involvement
- Establishes strong relationships with scientific leaders in the food safety and regulatory compliance arena to maintain proactive and effective channels of communication
- Develops and distributes accurate food safety information and decisions and acts as Markon’s food safety subject matter expert
- Engages with, and participates in Industry Organizations and working groups including the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh, Western Growers, Leafy Green Marketing Agreement and Center for Produce Safety
- Attend trade shows and food safety functions to demonstrate leadership roles in the industry and bring new ideas/opportunities to Markon to ensure company stays relevant
- Directs and manages company supplier approval program to assure high levels of integrity and visibility into Markon’s supply chain
- Effectively communicates to relevant Markon staff, Markon members, and suppliers the approval or dis-approval status of Suppliers
- Determine/Conducts/Manages Brand Supplier Onsite Audits
- Identifies and coordinates key improvement areas within supplier’s food safety programs and work with supplier to develop and execute against an action plans that are in alignment with Markon’s Food Safety Standards
- Collaborates with Markon’s Quality Assurance on overlapping initiatives related to supplier food safety and quality
- Monitors produce related food safety alerts on an ongoing basis to proactively communicate such events (recalls, outbreaks, investigations, etc.) to members, customers, etc.
- Works closely with Multi-Unit Account departments on customer food safety inquires or initiatives
- Manages the execution of food safety related requests from end customers, including multi-unit accounts and/or regulatory agencies to maintain Markon’s compliance with customer requirements
- Adequately and proactively informs Members about food safety initiatives affecting them
- Develops a good working relationship with Member’s Food Safety personnel
- Communicates changes, improvements, and relevant information regarding Markon’s Food Safety Program to Markon Action Committee (MAC) and works with MAC on relevant projects/initiatives
- Manages initiatives including agendas and conference calls with Markon’s Food Safety Committee and related events
Crisis Management and Communication
- Maintains and manages Markon Crisis Plan including updating plan and coordinating mock crisis exercises
- In conjunction with Vice President of Operations leads Markon’s Crisis team, when necessary, to complete product recall activities and crisis management
- Any combination of education and experience that provide the skills needed to successfully complete the essential functions; typically, through a Bachelors or Associates degree in Food Science/Food Technology, Microbiology or Biology Science or related field, and 2+ years of food safety work experience, preferably in produce processing.
- HACCP certificate, food microbiology, food safety, and/or Good Agricultural/ Manufacturing Practice coursework strongly preferred.
- Strong computer skills, including database, Excel, Outlook and ability to learn new programs quickly
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Ability to provide exceptional leadership and customer service, both internal and external
- Ability to identify and resolve complex problems independently and with sound judgment
- Ability to consistently demonstrate accuracy, thoroughness, dependability, initiative, flexibility, enthusiasm and teamwork in a fast paced environment
- Ability to be on-call, after hours, for crisis management and communication
Salary & Benefits
Competitive salary and benefits package. This is a full-time, salaried exempt position. Employer subsidized health, vision and dental insurance effective on the first of the month following hire. 401K contribution and profit sharing after one year of employment. PTO accrual and paid holidays from date of hire.