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R&D Food Scientist
Farmhouse Culture (A Venture Capital Backed Company) - Watsonville, CA




Farmhouse Culture

Job Description

Date : March 6, 2017

Position : R&D Food Scientist – CQI Department

Reports to: Senior Director of Craft, Quality and Innovation

Location: Watsonville, CA


The R&D Food Scientist is responsible for developing new food products and modifying existing ones. This individual develops benchtop formulas and scales them in the manufacturing environment to ensure consistent quality and cost targets are achieved. The R&D Food Scientist develops and issues product specifications to ensure that the target product is able to be manufactured successfully and profitably. This position collaborates cross functionally with numerous operational stakeholders including marketing, sales, operations, procurement, finance, and other CQI team members to ensure CQI priorities are delivered.

Essential Functions:

  • Develops new products from concept through implementation, meeting agreed upon success criteria and timeline milestones.
  • Optimizes existing products for improved consumer experience, cost, scale, and/or efficiency.
  • Conducts plant trials to achieve product viability in the manufacturing environment.
  • Uses food science expertise to advise and/or troubleshoot problems with existing or new items.
  • Uses scientific method to define problems and test/validate hypotheses.
  • Trains front line staff and implements new methods as necessary to ensure product specifications are achieved in manufacturing at all times.
  • Conducts shelf life evaluation to ensure that products meet consumer expectations throughout the duration of the product shelf life.
  • Process owner and author for new product brief, vendor brief, plant trial brief, raw product specifications, finished product specifications, ingredient lists, and formula/BOM’s.
  • Communicates and collaborates regularly with Farmhouse Culture management and peers regarding CQI initiative status, hurdles, risks, and achievements.
  • Manages R&D lab environment, R&D materials in manufacturing and warehouse locations
  • Contributes to budget development and management
  • May directly or indirectly supervise other CQI employees as well as hourly staff during experiments, sample production, plant trials and first production runs of new products.
  • Leads and/or participates in front-end innovation work as well as competitive product research.
  • May participate in consumer research initiatives.
  • Actively contributes solutions and new ideas.
  • Maintains employee safety, GMP, SQF standards and good laboratory practices at all times.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Applied experience in food science, food microbiology and fermentation.
  • Experience designing and developing premium and profitable new products from concept through implementation.
  • Experience developing and commercializing certified organic and non-GMO project verified food products
  • Experience integrating consumer insight into new product design
  • Experience leading plant trials, collaborating with front line staff and documenting process settings and performance throughout the trial.
  • Experience writing new product specifications and federally compliant ingredient list and nutrition fact panels.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English to a diverse set of stakeholders in oral and written communication forms. Ability to communicate in Spanish is a plus.
  • Demonstrated computing skills using business software such as Microsoft Office Suite, Genesis/ESHA, and other business software.
  • Knowledge of food quality and food safety systems; 21CFR, USDA NOP, SQF, HACCP, FSMA
  • Demonstrated time management, prioritization and project management skills
  • Vendor and copack management experience
  • The ability to take direction and work independently as well as collaboratively
  • Record keeping, attention to detail, and cost control
  • Self-motivated, creative and curious
  • Critical thinking and idea integration skills
  • Resilience in a rapidly changing environment
  • Leadership skills and organizational savvy
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and discretion regarding trade secret and business information
  • Must have a positive attitude
  • Must love food
  • Must have a sense of humor

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor of Science in Food Science, Fermentation Science, Microbiology, or equivalent.
  • Minimum 5 years’ professional experience designing and implementing new food products.
  • Demonstrated professional growth and promotion in prior work experience.

Physical Demands & Work Environment:

  • Office, lab, manufacturing and warehouse environments
  • Must be able to ascend and descend building stairways and ramps to reach job assignments and perform tasks required in job description.
  • Position requires frequent sitting or standing for long periods of time with occasional reaching, walking, lifting, grasping, bending and twisting.
  • Must be capable of understanding work instructions in English, both oral and written.
  • Must be able to distinguish colors in order to perform analysis
  • Must be able to work over-time and weekends as needed
  • Occasional travel required

About Farmhouse Culture:

Farmhouse Culture, a leader in probiotic rich foods creates an innovative range of foods, beverages and snacks built on a foundation of lactic acid fermentation. Farmhouse Culture brand products are inspired by global flavors using the finest local and organic ingredients in Watsonville, CA, along California’s Central Coast. Founded in 2008 by Kathryn Lukas, a trained chef and fermentation enthusiast, Farmhouse Culture’s ferments appeal to the growing demand for simple, great tasting, probiotic rich foods. To learn more about Farmhouse Culture, visit:

Applicants may forward resume and cover letter to: R&D Food Scientist

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location:

  • Watsonville, CA 95076

Required education:

  • Bachelor's

Required experience:

  • Food Science, Fermentation Science or Microbiology: 5 years

Required language:

  • English


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