Bi-Lingual Certification Program Manager

Equitable Food Initiative's picture
Job Description: 

Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a growing nonprofit skill-building and certification organization that seeks to improve the lives of farmworkers and transform the fresh produce industry.

Through a collaborative approach that combines compliance assurance with enhanced business performance, EFI is positioned to help the most responsible and forward-thinking produce companies differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

As a growing social enterprise, EFI is searching for a Certification Program Manager with the passion and skills to oversee the ongoing implementation of the certification program at currently certified operations as well as shepherding new farms through the process. The role requires a commitment to continually improving the rigor and scope of assurance that certification signals to buyers and consumers while also remaining pragmatic and responsive to the quickly changing realities in the fields, packing facilities, and marketplaces of the fresh produce supply chain.

The successful candidate will be a self-starter who can work in an environment that demands collaboration, flexibility, results, and problem-solving. EFI offers a great working environment: our
team encourages us to innovate, act boldly, broaden perspectives, and support one another through the ups and downs of our “disruptive design” approach to learning by doing.
   
The Certification Manager reports to the Managing Director. Internally, the position coordinates most closely with:

  • The Data Systems team around the equitable implementation of the EFI scheme across geographies, commodities, and business models
  • Business Development for creating site-specific certification strategies
  • Workforce Development when issue-based interpretations of EFI standards are require

 
The role also includes the management of EFI’s current and future licensed certifying bodies and auditors, occasional interface with growers, and close coordination with the Standards Committee of the EFI Board of Directors.

EFI believes in bringing forth a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences to our work. We strongly encourage anyone who identifies as part of a group whose voice and lived experiences are underrepresented in the fresh produce industry to apply.

Primary responsibilities:  

     1. Coordinate with EFI’s Standards Committee in developing, interpreting, and updating key scheme documents and processes.

  • Plan and manage Committee meetings and working group activities.
  • Identify risks to, and opportunities for, an increasingly robust certification process, provide strategic options to the committee, and implement committee decisions.
  • Provide technical certification advice to the committee and engage in ongoing interpretations and improvement of scheme documents.
  • Develop and manage processes for effective multi-stakeholder engagement, including designing and overseeing systems for proper documentation of committee deliberations, decisions, and efficient document review processes.

    2. Develop and manage internal processes that support the Certification program

  • Develop and implement responses to any identified risks or opportunities that do not require Standards Committee oversight or approval.
  • Provide the Coordination Group and other team members with updates on certification activities.
  • In close collaboration with the Data Systems Team, monitor and maintain grower onboarding and auditing, processes through FoodLogiQ including scoping of audits, determining auditing windows, and ensuring conformance to all certification-related timelines.

    3. Manage all EFI relationships with Accreditation and Certifying Bodies

  • Manage the engagement with all relevant accreditation (ANSI) and certifying (SCS, ELEVATE, NSF) bodies, including developing criteria for the selection of new partners.
  • Oversee all contracts and licensing agreements with these bodies to ensure that the integrity of EFI’s certification is maintained at the highest level.
  • Ensure adherence by certification bodies to certification program requirements and timelines.
  • Develop and manage an audit integrity program for reviewing the performance of certifying bodies and auditors.
  • Manage curriculum development and delivery, budget, outreach, and scheduling of auditor training and calibration.

    4. Implement Additional Diligence Protocols

  • Communicate with the Managing Director when triggering conditions as defined in EFI’s Additional Diligence Protocols (ADP) are detected.
  • Provide technical expertise and case management for each ADP implementation.

    5. Manage Certification Program Revisions & Recognitions

  • Lead the effort for EFI to obtain and maintain GFSI recognition.
  • If needed, implement a public program revision consultation process that meets accepted industry best practices.
  • Develop an appeals process for audit findings and certificate decisions.

    6. Integrate the EFI Certification Practice into EFI’s Outreach, Training, Marketing, and Administrative Functions

  • Provide monthly reports to retail partners on the certification status of participating growing operations.
  • Work with the Marketing and Business Development teams to ensure that the certification scheme’s details are effectively communicated to all retail and grower partners.   
  • Support the Business Development team in the cultivation of customers by providing technical input and developing new certification models and products that address market opportunities without compromising rigor or the principle of equitable implementation
  • Coordinate with the Workforce Development team to ensure that relevant aspects of the certification program are integrated into training curriculums.
  • Coordinate with the Marketing team on external-facing messaging about the scheme or the mechanisms that support it.
  • Work with the Operations team to support all internal and logistical processes to keep the organization running efficiently.
  • Manage other functions as needed to ensure the highest level of scheme integrity.
  • Contribute expertise and resources to developing and delivering EFI consulting projects.

Skills, Competencies & Expectations:

  • Relevant managerial-level experience in certification programs or similar job functions implementing systems that require the navigation of complex political and technical considerations.
  • Ability to create alignment and actionable plans from a diverse set of interests.
  • Capacity to take ownership of the certification program ecosystem, form a vision for continuous improvement, and advocate internally for how the vision complements EFI’s mission.
  • Experience developing, implementing, and monitoring strategic plans, budgets, and workplans.
  • Proficiency using data and IT systems such as Office, Salesforce, and audit management systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities among multiple tasks, manage multiple requests and make decisions about how to handle them, take initiative, and use sound judgment.
  • Ability to work as a member of a team that has multiple sites of operation and work effectively in multi-cultural settings, commitment to constructive engagement towards improving overall team performance.
  • Understanding of and commitment to the EFI program, to “disruptive design” methodology, and to values of Equitable Participation, Collaboration, Respect, Innovation and Integrity.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of work time.
  • The benefits package includes employer-supported health, retirement, and insurance plans.

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.