Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance


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Job Description: 

The Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance will oversee programs for Quality, Food Safety / Security, and Sustainability. 

This position is responsible for providing the technical expertise and management skills to administer the corporate strategy for: Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and other FDA/EPA regulations that pertain to the farming, harvesting, cooling and transportation of our crops in Castroville and all satellite locations.

This position oversees the implementation of our internal quality specifications, development & enforcement including leading all efforts associated with conservation of resources on our farms and facilities. This role will supervise and mentor others, provide employee feedback, disciplinary communication, performance reviews and training.

Responsibilities & Duties: 
  • Oversee and ensure adherence to policies and programs that meet corporate goals and provide education on quality, food safety, and product security;
  • Collaborate with various departments to ensure best-in-class practices in the areas of food and quality program management, inspection coordination and testing requirements are adhered to;
  • Oversee and ensure adherence to current GAP as minimum standards for farming operations;
  • Oversee and ensure adherence to a scientific and risk based approaches to solving food safety and quality issues;
  • Implement and oversee internal and third-party audits which includes inspections of fields and facilities;
  • Develop facility and field Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) according to GAP, GMP, HACCP, and other international standards and customer requirements;
  • Oversee the coordination of all chemical testing of crops as required by customers or Ocean Mist Farms’ standards;
  • Champion Ocean Mist Farms’ programs by educating customers and employees on trends and changes affecting food safety and quality standards;
  • Conduct research and report on new technologies and processes and present to senior management with solid recommendations;
  • Active member of various committees;
  • Oversee, address, and resolve customer and consumer complaints;
  • Serve as a guide for facility and field tours when requested;
  • Provide customers and other interested parties with best-in-class presentation of Ocean Mist Farms’ programs when requested;
  • Work with contracted third parties to ensure the goals of the program are met;
  • Annual departmental budget preparation and expense control.
  • Champion and oversee the Sustainability program to meet the Environmental Stewardship goals of the organization;
  • Direct and manage the technical expertise provided to growers and others regarding co-management;
  • Oversee data collection to generate a baseline of Ocean Mist Farms’ conservation efforts and utilize information to set goals and measure progress; oversee future data collection and updates;
  • Raise awareness about the program within the organization and encourage employees to participate;
  • Provide details about the program to customers and other interested parties;
  • Review and submit annual departmental budget; oversee expense control.
  • Hire, train, mentor and develop direct reports and conduct annual performance evaluations;
  • Champion and lead departments to ensure a cohesive and positive team environment;
  • Oversee the quality assurance, food safety and sustainability departments;
  • Other projects as assigned.
Requirements: 
  • A minimum of 7 - 10 years of proven leadership skills; superior management, consulting, and training skills are required;
  • A minimum of 7 – 10 years of solid understanding of food science principles, post-harvest physiology, and statistical experimental design is required;
  • Working knowledge of analytical instrumentation and ability to trouble-shoot potential issues or concerns;
  • Bilingual English-Spanish at a proficient level is strongly preferred;
  • At least four years of experience in the fresh processing industry in food safety and/or quality with understanding of general principles in microbiology, sanitation, pest management, and equipment design is required;
  • At least two years of experience in the agriculture industry, directly involved in field audits and policy implementation is required;
  • A minimum of two years knowledge of GAP, GMP’s, HACCP and USDA/FDA guidelines as they relate to the fresh produce industry is required;
  • General proficiency in computer use, with familiarity with Windows operating system, Famous, Word, Excel, Power Point and Access software is required; ability to operate various office equipment, including (not inclusive list): telephone, computer keyboard, photocopy machine, fax, 10-key calculator by touch, and other clerical and office equipment; excellent typing and writing skills a must (correct spelling, punctuation and grammar);
  • Must maintain a current valid California driver’s license (class C) and be insurable;
  • Take initiative in all projects; ability to keep projects on schedule; and ability to coordinate work flow effectively, efficiently, and neatly;
  • A self-starter and self-driven, ensure delegated tasks are completed with minimal supervisor follow up; proactively communicate task and project updates to supervisor; ability to work independently with minimal supervision; ability to communicate verbally and comprehend verbal instructions; strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to learn and absorb new duties with minimal repetition or re-training from supervisor;
  • Discreet handling of all business matters (maintaining confidentiality at all levels is a must);
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well and maintain professional relationships with all levels of internal management, staff, clients, and vendors; able to work well under pressure and meet various deadlines; must be extremely well organized and able to multitask.

    PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

    The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    • Majority of time spent working in an Office/Cooler often standing, walking, kneeling, turning, reaching, climbing stairs, and operating computers for long periods of time; Ability to lift 35 pounds without undue physical exertion, usually produce cartons; ability to work in environments with a wide range of temperatures (Cold room average 34F; Fields from 40F – 110F);
    • Ability to lead 6 – 12 hour audits of both field and various facilities;
    • Ability to carry out defined procedures with specific instructions; ability to manage a project from its initiation to completion with minimal supervision;
    • Requires sufficient sight and hearing to perform all duties.
Education: 
  • Masters of Science degree in Food Science, Microbiology, or Biological Sciences strongly preferred with related experience, or Bachelors of Science degree with at least four years of relevant work experience is preferred; Bachelor’s degree in related field required.


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Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.


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