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Operations - Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory Senior Manager

AeroFarms is transforming agriculture and redefining the industry's supply chain. Our state-of-the-art technology uses aeroponics and LEDs to create a totally protected growing environment that is close to the end user, thereby minimizing transportation miles. We grow a variety of baby greens that are harvested at their peak for optimal flavor and nutritional value. Fully traceable from farm to fork, our leafy greens are grown from non-GMO seeds. 

AeroFarms recently completed a state-of-the-art facility in Newark, NJ, perfectly poised to serve the NY Metro area. The facility is the world's largest indoor vertical farm for leafy greens. To support substantial interest from national retailers, AeroFarms also plans a significant scaling of our business, including facilities in other cities and countries in the near future. The company is dedicated to enabling local production at a commercial scale in markets throughout the world. 
Job Description: 

The ideal candidate has 10-15 years of experience in regulatory compliance for food safety and quality assurance and is comfortable providing leadership to distributed teams of FSQA professionals. Experience in the perishable products (growing, packaging and shipping) industry is a plus. You will report directly to the Chief Operations Officer and will have a close working relationship with the Director of Research & Development. 

The position requires an individual who is very adept at focusing both externally (e.g. how is the regulatory market evolving) as well as internally (e.g. driving the company to meet evolving expectations in a comprehensive & efficient manner) to ensure full compliance with requirements. 


Responsibilities:

  • Drive all Strategic and Operational aspects of Food Safety, Quality Management, and Regulatory Affairs for the company.
  • Continuously monitor the regulatory environment (e.g. USDA, FDA, FSMA, etc.) and third party certification requirements (e.g., GFSI) to identify existing or potential gaps, and spearhead the identification and implementation of corrective actions.
  • Lead the Food Safety Committee activities and directives.
  • Direct the execution of studies and make recommendations for product shelf life.
  • Develop Quality Plan and Quality Control Points.
  • Develop and implement Environmental Monitoring Programs for human pathogens.
  • Champion the establishment and ongoing maintenance of a world class Food Safety and Quality culture across the company.
  • Ensure that Food Safety and Quality Assurance metrics are incorporated in all corporate plans.
  • Develop and direct internal audit programs.
  • Organize corrective action preventive action (CAPA) programs.
  • Provide overall direction to the implementation of a robust traceability plan; lead mock recalls.
  • Serve as corporate recall/crisis coordinator if, and when, required.
  • Develop / lead comprehensive training programs and associated tracking / reporting systems.
  • Direct day-to-day activities of FSQA personnel at all locations.
  • Manage and develop a highly talented team of FSQA professionals.
  • Ensure all aspects of operations (e.g. incoming packaging/supplies, growing, packaging, and shipping operations) are in full compliance with internal guidelines / regulatory requirements.
  • Establish and lead in-process, packaging, and shipping Quality control activities.
  • Lead the development and approval of relevant SOPs.
  • Provide direction to all farm personnel (both FSQA and others) for sanitation and maintenance of a hygienic work environment.
  • Provide weekly FSQA updates for management reports.
  • Lead the development / execution of plant equipment cleaning / sanitation (including specialized farm equipment) and environmental monitoring programs.
  • Coordinate internal sampling programs, relationships with external laboratories, interpretation/tracking of lab results, and implement corrective actions if/when required.
  • Partner with Engineering team to optimize design for cleanability & sanitization.
  • Sign off on equipment and process designs and validation documents (IQ, OQ and PQ).
  • Effectively manage FS & QA and Sanitation costs and budget forecasts.
  • Provide direction to all farm personnel (both FSQA and others) in providing a safe work environment.
  • Develop, implement, train to and monitor employee safety protocols; develop / track metrics.

 

Requirements:

  • 10+ years' experience leading Food Safety, Regulatory and Quality organizations in the Food Industry.
  • Experienced in providing leadership to distributed teams of FSQA professionals.
  • Possess all food safety certifications required by USDA, FDA, FSMA and GFSI.
  • Extensive knowledge of Food Safety and Quality systems, including:
  • Food Hygiene, HACCP, Food Safety Plans, Sanitation and GMP.
  • FDA, USDA requirements for growing and packaging leafy greens is a plus.
  • Internal auditing, external audits, and mock recalls.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to collaborate across all company teams to effectively achieve required outcomes.
  • Highly motivated with an exceptional combination of strategic as well as hands-on leadership and the desire to be part of a company that will change the face of agriculture throughout the world.

Preferred Requirements:

  • 20 years' experience leading Food Safety, Regulatory and Quality organizations in the Food Industry.
  • Experience in perishable products (e.g., leafy greens) operations (growing and packaging) a plus.
  • Extensive experience in cleaning and sanitation of food production equipment.

Education: 

B.S. in Food Science, Engineering, or related field of study. Master's preferred. 

 

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