VP of Food Safety & Quality Assurance
- Bachelor of Science required with a Master’s preferred in Food Science, Microbiological, Quality, or related field.
- Minimum of 15 years of progressive experience in Food Safety, Quality Assurance or R&D across multiple food industry categories.
- Ideally experience with juices, juice drinks and beverage products in various package forms in large complex international supply chain networks.
- Three to five years’ experience in GMP, FSMA, HACCP, Allergen Control, Gluten Free (and other ‘free claims’) and other food safety and quality system requirements. Specific knowledge and experience working with FDA, USDA and international regulatory agencies.
- Experience developing and evolving formal quality systems is required
- Be highly skilled in leading crisis and/or recall situations.
- Strong ability to inspire and motivate self and others at all levels of the organization.
- Must be comfortable with ambiguity while still creating clear expectations and rationale to team members, cross-functional partners, leadership and external partners.
- Possess strong interpersonal and influence management skills along with supporting verbal and written communication.
- Balance of strategic thinking and strong quantitative and analytical skills with ability to make sound judgments and execute decisions.
- Experience in fast-paced innovation and new product development is highly preferred.
- Experience with SQF certification and compliance.
- Experience in organic certification is preferred.
- Some production management experience, Six Sigma and or Lean credentials are preferred.
- 20-40% travel required.
This position will be responsible for the Food Safety, Quality Assurance (FSQA) and food compliance functions of the enterprise, including headquarters, owned and operated production sites, co-manufacturers, ingredient and packaging vendors and warehousing and distribution sites. The VP of FSQA will provide strategic vision and leadership to the organization while taking a proactive approach to the navigation of all food compliance regulations within the business both domestically and internationally, including oversight of all accredited quality systems. This position will also lead the interaction of these food safety and quality functions with regulatory bodies, vendors and our customers.
- As a key leader at the company, fully internalize and activate the advancement of the Company’s mission, culture and strategies.
- Collaborate with other functional leaders to develop both short and long range business and service delivery plans for specific global food safety and quality assurance, consistent with the company’s business objectives and strategies.
- Lead the establishment and team of Food Safety and QA professionals in the field to ensure that they are actively engaged in the business plans and fostering a behavior-based culture of quality.
- Lead the process of cross functional engagement and collaboration with internal and external customers. Ensure that goals, processes and methods within FSQA are appropriately communicated.
- Lead the company’s regulatory compliance efforts with a focus on ensuring products are labeled appropriately for the locations in which they are distributed.
- Monitor beverage industry trends, opportunities and risks to the business, and maintain plans to mitigate risks.
- Establish productive relationships with senior leaders of partner companies in the supply chain to ensure alignment of expectations and methods around food safety and quality assurance. Execute and evolve the necessary processes needed for vendor and contract manufacturer audits to ensure compliance to Company and Regulatory standards and expectations.
- Direct our interpretation, alternative approaches and recommended course of action regarding Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in accordance with business needs.
- Monitor and control the establishment and accomplishment of project milestones, timelines, budgets and other performance standards ensuring the appropriate balance of costs vs. quality.
- Define FSQA objectives and ensure alignment across owned and operated facilities with a unified approach to food safety and quality assurance programs, systems and metrics. Support and serve the innovation processes with appropriate food-safe processes around product development, testing protocols (e.g., composite testing, metals, etc.) approvals and risk assessments.
- Lead all food safety and non-compliance crisis situations and develop or approve sanitary design proposals for capital improvements to ensure future equipment and infrastructure is developed to maintain strict adherence to food safety and quality. Identify and utilize existing and new sources of quality data such as consumer feedback, finished product data, and process data, to guide the organization in making necessary product and/or process improvements.
- Recommend policy, process and metrics creation and continuous improvement which will optimize performance within areas of food safety and quality assurance. Develop and maintain working relationships with relevant regulatory agencies (Federal, State and Local), serving as a highly-regarded counterpart on all safety, quality and regulatory matters.
- Understand and anticipate needs of key customers to ensure food safety and quality systems meet or exceed their standards and expectations. Assure appropriate qualified individuals and training programs are established and conducted in all areas of Food Safety and Quality Assurance. Active member and participant on the Food Supply and Company Leadership teams.