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

Farmhouse Culture




Job Description

Date : March 6, 2017

Position : R&D Technologist – CQI Department

Reports to: Senior Director of Craft, Quality and Innovation

Location: Watsonville, CA


The R&D Technologist supports innovation and research initiatives as a member of the CQI team and leads some research projects as a project leader. This individual assists in the development of benchtop formulas and plant trial initiatives to ensure consistent quality and cost targets are achieved. The R&D Technologist assists in developing and maintaining product specifications to ensure that the target product is able to be manufactured successfully and profitably. This position may also assess ingredients, formulas and specifications for regulatory compliance and/or conduct sensory evaluation tests based on individual project goals. 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:

  • Supports CQI team in research and prototyping needs to develops new products from concept through implementation.
  • Supports CQI team in research and prototyping needs to optimize existing products for improved consumer experience, cost, scale, and/or efficiency.
  • Conducts analysis of critical attributes throughout the research and shelf life processes, including but not limited to pH, titratable acidity, and microbiological analysis.
  • Conducts formulation and evaluation of prototypes as necessary to support CQI initiatives.
  • Conducts or supports 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.
  • Prepares and administers sensory evaluation of prototypes and samples to support CQI initiatives.
  • Reviews ingredients, formulas, and specifications for label compliance.
  • Trains front line staff and implements new methods as necessary to ensure product specifications are achieved in manufacturing at all times.
  • Manages shelf life evaluation projects to ensure that products meet consumer expectations throughout the duration of the product shelf life.
  • May co-author 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.
  • Prepares and ships R&D samples to strategic partners.
  • Conducts equipment calibration, inventory management, and laboratory housekeeping duties.
  • 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.
  • Participates in front-end innovation work as well as competitive product research.
  • Actively contributes solutions and new ideas.
  • Maintains employee safety, GMP, SQF standards and good laboratory practices at all times.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Laboratory experience, basic laboratory technique, aseptic technique, good laboratory practices
  • Experience developing and commercializing certified organic and non-GMO project verified food products
  • Experience participating in plant trials or food manufacturing.
  • Experience evaluating technical documents
  • Ability to record, organize, and interpret data
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 1 year food manufacturing experience or equivalent

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 Technologist

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location:

  • Watsonville, CA 95076

Required education:

  • Bachelor's

Required experience:

  • food manufacturing: 1 year

Required language:

  • English

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