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Vice President of Food Safety  #WC21943 - Delano, CA
Wonderful Citrus II LLC


Delano, CA


Wonderful Citrus II LLC

Req Num


Functional Group


he Role



The Vice President of Food Safety will be responsible for leading efforts to design, implement, and maintain world class end-to-end food safety systems at Wonderful Citrus. Programs will include, but are not limited to: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation and maintenance, Supplier Approval, Foreign Supplier Verification, Sanitation, Sanitary Transport, Recalls, FDA and USDA Compliance and Company Standards. In conjunction with Corporate oversight, this position will lead food safety teams for the organization providing them strategic leadership and overseeing tactical execution throughout Wonderful Citrus. This role is also responsible for challenging current practices to improve food safety and in the long-term company profitability. In addition, the incumbent must act as a liaison for the company in dealing with government officials, outside auditors, our customers and parent company. A successful incumbent will quickly acquire an in-depth understanding of our business and take a proactive approach throughout the company. This position will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer at Wonderful Citrus with a dotted line responsibility to the Vice President of Food Safety and Quality at The Wonderful Company.


Here's what you'll do:


  • Coordinate Food Safety Programs throughout the enterprise to include Production, Farming and Harvesting to ensure fully integrated Food Safety systems are in compliance to State(s), local counties and Federal Food Safety standards including (but not limited to) FSMA, FDA and USDA
  • Maintain emphasis on product quality by developing, directing, and implementing food safety strategies in support of overall business goals.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures related to Good Manufacturing Processes and food safety standards, etc., throughout the facilities.
  • Evaluate/Approve new processes and equipment to meet food safety standards and advise for improvement.
  • Provides technical leadership, direction, and consultation across all levels of the organization - from executive level to plant teams - to assure standards are maintained.
  • Directs all Food Safety department functions as follows:
    • Food safety compliance
    • Direct and participate in both internal and external audits
    • Interact with production, lab, field operations, customers, government officials and other individuals or groups as needed to assure Wonderful Citrus is properly communicating in a professional and productive manner.
    • Lead and mentor team members to encourage professional growth
  • Direct the budget and costs associated with the department functions
  • Facilitate plants' approval processes for new and existing customers.
  • Oversee customer complaint investigations which would include identifying root cause and provide customer response based on findings.
  • Work to ensure food safety standards are met when new products are introduced to a facility.
  • Work to ensure food safety standards are met with products co-packed at other facilities.
  • Oversee the development of and test traceability programs through the organization to ensure they meet regulatory and customer requirements.
  • Oversee mock recall teams to ensure proper execution.
  • Support implementation of necessary systems and databases, including but not limited to: document control, internal con-conformance tracking/solution and SOP writing
  • Maintain current knowledge and trends and changes affecting food safety and develop and recommend appropriate program changes, to ensure customers and governmental compliance

Here's what you'll bring to the table:

  • Food processing, food safety, and quality knowledge.
  • Experience in or knowledge of Foreign Supplier Verification
  • Extensive understanding of USDA and agricultural regulations.
  • Extensive understanding of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
  • Extensive understanding of GFSI certification requirements and standards.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary.
  • Ability to communicate and interact with all levels of the organization, including senior management, customers, consumers, and regulatory officials.
  • Demonstrated ability to influence, collaborate and interact within all levels of the organization.
  • Effective problem analysis and problem resolution at both the strategic and functional levels.
  • Risk management minded individual with strong cognitive thinking and ability to solve complex problems.
  • Proven track record of success, driving performance results across all functions of the business.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, implement and manage food safety systems within complex organizations both internally and with external suppliers and co-packers.
  • Strong combination of strategic vision and an ability to get involved on a "hands-on" basis.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to plan and execute activities self-directed.
  • Ability to provide guidance to team members to manage deliverables timely.
  • Strong team builder with exceptional experience leading, managing, and developing top talent into future leaders.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) desired.

Education and Experience:

  • BS or BA degree in Food Science, Microbiology or related field is required. Graduate Degree preferred.
  • 10+ years' industry experience in Food Safety within a food manufacturing environment, including 5+ years in a leadership role.
  • Experience dealing with regulatory agencies audits (e.g.: USDA, FDA, etc).
  • BRC, Primus or SQF and HACCP certifications required


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