The Local Produce Safety Coordinator is a full time position (40 hours/week) with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) and is responsible for offering training and technical assistance to operators of diversified farms seeking USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)/ Good Handling Practices (GHP) and Harmonized GAP Certification.
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a member based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people grow and eat local, organic food by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems that organic family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic farming. CFSA has worked to enhance the competitiveness of North Carolina fruit and vegetable producers for more than thirty years. Over the last several years, the implementation of on-farm food safety practices has become a critical marketing tool for growers, especially those selling into wholesale markets. CFSA has made food safety one of its top priorities by developing cost-effective, practical food safety strategies for small farms that will protect farms and public health.
The Local Produce Safety Coordinator is a full-time, salaried position. The Local Produce Safety Coordinator is responsible for delivering an innovative training program, in collaboration with external partners, to operators of diversified farms seeking food safety certification, specifically the USDA GAPs, GroupGAP, and Harmonized GAP Audits. S/he will be responsible for providing direct consultation to growers assisting with the process of coordinating, implementing, and self-auditing on-farm food safety programs, and making recommendations for further improvements to mitigate hazards in growing, harvesting and handling of products. The training and consultation activities will utilize the CFSA guidance manual, Good Agricultural Practices for Small Diversified Farms, and will enable diversified farms to enter new and competitive wholesale and institutional markets and maintain existing markets that may impose more stringent food safety certification requirements in the future. The ideal candidate will have the ability to provide adult education on GAPs and food safety, to conduct on-farm risk assessments and internal and third-party mock food safety audits utilizing various food safety standards, and will have a high degree of familiarity with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule and Preventive Controls Rule. The candidate may be required to attend auditor training, Produce Safety Alliance training, and/or other trainings depending on previous experience. S/he will also need to maintain knowledge of wholesale buyers’ food safety requirements in order to provide member/growers with appropriate guidance when entering new markets.
The Local Produce Safety Coordinator reports to the Local Produce Safety Manager and will assist in the preparation of internal reports, compliance reports, grant billings, training material development and other tasks necessary to meet program goals. This position will require extensive travel throughout the Carolinas. Candidates working remotely from the Carolinas will be considered.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION (10%)
• Assist financial and programmatic monitoring to ensure compliance, progress towards objectives and expected results, and work plan and budget adherence.
• Assist in programmatic planning and grant writing and reporting to support the Local Produce Safety Initiative.
TRAININGS & DIRECT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (90%)
• Consult with producers in order to identify potential food safety risks and provide an assessment of their practices in relation to GAPs certification compliance.
• Provide one-on-one consulting services with producers in developing and implementing on-farm food safety programs.
• Collaboratively plan and deliver quality educational food safety programs with external partners based on Good Agricultural Practices that are accurate, up to date, research-based, and meet participant needs.
• Participate in produce safety advisory committees, including the NCGT Fresh Produce Safety Team.
• Evaluate and document program impacts such as participant certification, knowledge gain, intent to change or adopt practices, and/or practice or behavior change.
• BS degree in Food Safety, Food Science, Food Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Agricultural Production, Horticulture, or a related field is required.
• At least three years on-farm production experience.
• At least two years’ experience with the fresh produce safety and/or food processing practices of diversified farms or entrepreneurial value-added food processors.
• Demonstrated knowledge of on-farm food safety, Good Agricultural Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, SOP development, FSMA, HACCP/HARPC and other key food safety concepts.
• Ability to concisely and simply communicate food safety issues with farmers and individuals at all levels of knowledge regarding food safety requirements.
• Experience working in team environments with multiple partners in order to achieve common goals.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
• Experience, education, and/or a passion for Sustainable agriculture.
• Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
• Ability to travel throughout the Carolinas.
• Proficiency with MS Office Pro applications.
• Proven ability to multitask, consistently meet or exceed deadlines and goals, and work independently and effectively with diverse groups and individuals.
To apply, submit a resume, list of professional references and a cover letter explaining why you want to work with small, diversified farms needing to implement an on-farm food safety program and/or seeking Good Agricultural Practices certification to: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Local Produce Safety Coordinator” in the subject line. You will receive an electronic confirmation of your email submission. Please, no phone calls.