Food Safety Certification Specialist

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Job Description: 

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is seeking a Food Safety Certification Specialist to work in the Santa Cruz, California office, performing tasks related to the certification of organic farms and facilities. This position will work with GFSI benchmarked food safety standards such as GLOBALG.A.P., SQF, and/or PrimusGFS, and will focus on how these standards interact and overlap with USDA National Organic Program (NOP) certification.
CCOF is one of the oldest and largest organic certification organizations in the U.S. and works to promote organic production through certification, education, and outreach programs. More information is available at
This position requires full time computer work in the Santa Cruz office, but will also include semi-regular travel for inspections. There are also periodic opportunities to represent CCOF at trade shows, conferences, and within the technical and standards development community.
Applicants must be able to work in a fast-paced office environment with significant job responsibilities. This position requires in-depth knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). While not required, there is a preference given to applicants who understand organic production practices and to those who are fluent in Spanish. This position also requires superior customer service skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, the ability to manage data accurately and work within a regulatory environment.
The CCOF office is dog friendly and located one block from Natural Bridges State Park. Working at CCOF means joining a group of professionals who are passionate about organic, who work together as a team, and who support each other like family. We are passionate about cultivating a culture of engagement, transparency, democracy, and mutual appreciation and support.
This is a full-time, 40 hours per week, exempt status position reporting to the Director of Food Safety.
The CCOF Food Safety Certification Specialist works with the Director of Food Safety to implement CCOF’s food safety business plan and provide GFSI certification services to certified organic farms and facilities. This position supports the Director of Food Safety in program development, while carrying out key certification tasks, such as: inspections, technical reviews, and data management for operations enrolled in standards such as GLOBALG.A.P., SQF, and PrimusGFS. The Food Safety Certification Specialist will also be proficient and knowledgeable in the application of organic certification standards and how they overlap, conflict, and compliment food safety requirements. Therefore, the Food Safety Certification Specialist may also oversee special projects related to combined organic and food safety certification systems.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants, please submit the following documents to, with “Food Safety Certification Specialist” in the subject line:

  • Cover letter summarizing your interest in CCOF and the position, and qualifications
  • Current resume
  • List of three professional references

Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone calls please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Thank you for your interest.  

Responsibilities & Duties: 
  • Performs key GFSI certification services, including onboarding, reviewing and accepting new applicants, conducting onsite inspections, providing technical reviews and issuing certifications.
  • Acts as the Food Safety Certification Service Specialist for CCOF’s Food Safety clients, ensuring that a strong customer service-oriented certification approach is balanced with regulatory responsibilities.
  • Provides written and verbal instructions to CCOF clients regarding compliance to all applicable standards.
  • Support the marketing of CCOF’s GFSI certification services to bolster new client acquisition.
  • Functions within CCOF’s and GLOBALG.A.P.’s and other applicable databases to ensure integrity of information.
  • Represents the organization at trade shows, conferences, meetings, etc. as directed by the Director of Food Safety.
  • Supports the Director of Food Safety to respond to issues as they arise, including the development and implementation of any special projects.

Please do not submit an application unless you have all of the following:

  • A minimum post high school education or diploma (minimum course duration of 2 years) in a discipline such as food safety, food science or agriculture, AND a minimum of 3 years’ experience in practical capacity on farm/site or in a technical production management role in crops or food production, or in the application of certification standards.  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMPs).
  • Training in HACCP principles either as part of a formal qualifications or through the completion of a formal course, no less than 16 hours in duration.
  • One or more years’ experience in a professional office environment.
  • Practical field experience in agriculture, food science, or food production, preferably organics.
  • Competency in word processing, formatting, databases, and email using applications including Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel.
  • Excellent communication skills in person, on the phone, and in writing utilizing correct grammar, spelling and sentence structure.
  • Excellent tracking skills to organize, monitor, and track numerous activities throughout the year.
  • Comfort using a computer for multiple hours at a time.
  • Ability to work with various groups and demographics of people.
  • Ability to multi-task in a busy environment.
  • Ability to logically solve problems under pressure.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Willingness to represent the organization at trade shows, conferences, and events as directed by the department director.
  • B.S. or M.S. in Food Science, Food Safety, or Agriculture.
  • Experience in organic agriculture or food production.
  • International Organic Crop Inspectors (IOIA) Organic Crop Inspector training or equivalent experience.
  • Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) FSMA Produce Safety Rule training certificate.
  • FSMA Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) training certificate.
  • Successful completion of a lead auditor training course based on the ISO 19011 principles that shall have the minimum duration of 37 hours.
  • Documented Food Hygiene training, with a minimum duration of 8 hours.
  • Successful completion of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) ‘Knowledge Exam for Pre-Farm Gate or Post Farm Gate’.
  • Knowledge of or experience with GLOBALG.A.P., PrimusGFS, and/or SQF food safety standard criteria.
  • Plant protection, fertilizer, and IPM training, either as part of a formal qualifications, or through the successful completion of a formal course.
  • Fluency in the Spanish language.
  • Please Note: Training and mastery of this role takes approximately one year, so please only apply if you are willing to make a multi-year commitment.

Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.