VP of Food Safety & Quality

Job Title
VP of Food Safety & Quality
Job ID
Sr. Director of Quality                                                          

We are working with a fast-growing food company that is at the forefront of transforming the way leafy greens are grown and distributed in the United States. This company currently operates 16 acres of production at 6 greenhouse farms in the Northeast and Midwest and is in the process of building 5 new regional hubs that will increase production by 60 acres over the next 2 years. Their long-range plan includes building over 200 acres and expanding into additional product lines.

We are seeking a Senior Director of Quality. This individual will help guide the enterprise through the scaling of two major functional areas: food safety (operations, regulatory affairs, industrial hygiene) and quality (quality assurance operations, quality assurance measuring, reporting). The Director’s focus is to help the organization plan, design, innovate, orchestrate, facilitate, navigate and operationalize food safety and quality programs.

Location: anywhere Eastern Standard Time or Central Time

*Please note: Our client requires this individual to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Effectively represent, advocate, and/or build collaborations with government agencies, industry groups, non-profits, and academia. Ensure constant 100% compliance with all state and federal regulations regarding food safety and quality, staying current on all changes to regulation that affect our processes and implementing the required process changes to remain compliant
  • Ensure training and documentation for all food safety and quality programs are developed, deployed, and assessed across all sites
  • Review and manage all internal control documents to ensure they are being completed accurately and consistently. Partner with technology teams to deploy automated systems, sensors, and analytics to ensure that company food safety and quality programs are effectively executed across all sites
  • Lead FSQ and Operations team members through all quality and food safety audits from preparation (scheduling and coordination with auditing bodies, managing mock audits, self-auditing documentation, creating and managing punch lists for maintenance and operational improvements, training teammate culture and practice), to audit (managing the auditor at all times and their process of gathering necessary materials), to corrective action and response (identifying appropriate corrective actions, managing implementation with maintenance and operations, and documenting and reporting corrective actions in a timely fashion). Ensure certifications are maintained consistently and third-party suppliers maintain all audits and certifications we require of them as well
  • Administer the company’s microbe test, hold and release program, as the authority on interpreting microbe results, gatekeeping product release, and implementing any corrective actions to address any flaws suggested by test results
  • Act as the leader and authority figure in any food safety incident, including but not limited to suspected contamination, food-borne illness, product adulteration, or recall of any kind; maintain control over and documentation of all affected products until a final determination is made and it is used or properly disposed of
  • Ensure customer expectations are maintained and communicated in clear spec sheets and any other QA-related documentation requested by the customer; respond to all customer complaints and manage and communicate corrective actions for any non-compliant products; study trends in customer satisfaction and use the data to inform a process of continuous improvement or to mitigate the potential issue
  • Collaborate with team members conducting R&D or preparing to launch new products, helping navigate safety, quality, or regulatory obstacles, developing and testing processes and materials, allergen declarations and nutrition panels, and onboarding new products and new suppliers that meet our standard.
  • Manage our supplier approval process and work with our suppliers and co-packers to ensure that they consistently meet our food safety and quality standards and provide all appropriate documentation; work with smaller suppliers to teach and bring them to our standard.

Required Skills/Qualifications:  
  • Master’s Degree required Ph.D. preferred in chemistry, biology, microbiology, food science, or a related field
  • 10+ years of QA and food safety work experience, some at a senior level. Experience with produce is a must.
  • Strong leadership, influencing, and teamwork skills, and ability to clearly communicate QA standards and action items to a diverse team.
  • Proficiency in complex food safety regulatory and scientific publications, and ability to translate such technical content to help the team understand what it means for them.
  • Experience planning, goal setting, driving a team toward results and measuring the achievement of continuous improvement goals.
  • Ability to prioritize and conduct in-the-moment risk assessments, and interpret statistical data and trends.
  • Competency with recall plans and performing mock recalls.
  • Ability to see quality and safety within the company’s strategic framework and make long-term decisions for the benefit of the Company and its stakeholders.
  • Bilingual (English and Spanish) preferred
  • Must be fully vaccinated with a US-approved Covid-19 vaccine by their start date


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