VP of Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Job Reference Code: 0205

Location: Northern CA

Salary: $200K-$230K+30%Bonus & LTI

Last Updated: 01/13/2017


We are looking for a leader who can handle end to end Food Safety and Quality Assurance for a dynamic, fast growing food company!  This is an exciting opportunity with an industry leader who offers an excellent work environment as well as great compensation and benefits packages.


  • 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 grain-based foods, snacks and nutrition foods in large complex supply chain networks.
  • Balance of strategic thinking and strong analytical skills with ability to execute.
  • Extensive experience developing and evolving formal quality systems is required
  • Demonstrated track record of sound judgement and decision-making.
  • Extensive experience in GMP, 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.
  • Be highly skilled in leading crisis and/or recall situations. 
  • Strong ability to inspire and motivate self and others.
  • Be a confident, humble, and servant leader, with demonstrated ability to connect with people from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and organization levels, who can explain technical concepts to non-technical people, drive results, and be adaptive in a fast-paced, high-change environment. 
  • Must be comfortable with ambiguity while still creating crystal 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. 
  • Experience in fast-paced innovation and new product development is highly preferred.
  • International experience is preferred.
  • Experience with SQF is preferred.
  • Highly developed quantitative and analytical skills. Six sigma credentials are preferred.
  • Experience in organic certification is a plus.
  • Some production management experience preferred.
  • 20-40% travel required.

Position Description:
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 Food Safety & Quality Assurance (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 and organic compliance. This position will also lead the interaction of these food safety and quality functions with regulatory bodies 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 at headquarters and 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. 
  • Monitor food industry trends, opportunities and risks to the business, and maintain plans to mitigate risks.
  • Act as a leader in the food safety community to advance technical and regulatory knowledge, incorporate best practices, and advance the interests of the Company.
  • 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.
  • Provide 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, 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.
  • Utilize 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, serving as a highly-regarded counterpart on all safety, quality and regulatory matters. 
  • Understand and anticipate needs of key customers to ensure quality systems meet or exceed their standards and expectations.
  • Assure appropriate 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.



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