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Quality Assurance Specialist

SunOpta, Inc.

Scotts Valley, CA

Farm/ Organics

Skill Level: Mid Level

Position Type: Full Time

~ SunOpta Inc. is a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified ("non-GMO") and specialty foods. SunOpta specializes in the sourcing, processing and packaging of organic and non-GMO food products, integrated from seed through packaged products; with a focus on strategic vertically integrated business models. ~

With about 1,800 global employees, SunOpta's organic and non-GMO food operations revolve around value-added grain, seed, fruit and vegetable based product offerings, supported by a global sourcing and supply infrastructure. 

Position Overview

Manages the supplier approval program and controls business critical quality-related documentation to support and enhance Tradin's compliance with USDA requirements for food quality and safety, and facilitate customer satisfaction with our products. 


Key Accountabilities: 

  • Performs food safety and quality inspections at current supplier farms, processing plants and contracted warehouses to document program compliance. 
  • Provides direct communication between contracted warehouses and Tradin QA department on food safety and quality issues.
  • Coordinates inspection and external laboratory testing of incoming product samples, and analyzes lab reports to approve the product or makes recommendations to achieve compliance. 
  • Evaluates new and potential suppliers according to the vendor approval process and documents their food safety and quality practices to meet customer, Tradin and USDA/FDA requirements.
  • Performs food safety and quality inspections of potential supplier sites for conformance to program requirements and recommends solutions for remediation of problem areas to QA Manager to achieve vendor certification.
  • Works with customers and suppliers to develop and maintain product specifications through research and applied knowledge of product characteristics, shelf life, packaging requirements, etc.
  • Supports the QA Manager in achieving prompt resolution of customer complaints and supplier food safety and quality issues by investigating to determine root causes and recommending potential corrective actions.
  • Communicates with current suppliers to obtain updated food safety and quality documentation (supplier organic and kosher certifications, audit data, HAACP compliance etc.) for use in support of customer, Tradin and NOP-USDA requirements. Communicates with management via periodic reports on the status of suppliers, customer complaints, procurement complaints, vendor corrective actions, and product information certifications.
  • Evaluates documentation for completeness, accuracy and conformance to requirements, and coordinates with suppliers and QA Manager to clarify or remediate discrepancies.
  • Monitors vendor organic certificates and provides support to the QA Manager to ensure that Tradin USA's organic program is in compliance with USDA-NOP requirements.
  • Monitors vendor kosher certificates to ensure compliance with kosher program requirements.
  • Reviews and maintains Certificates Of Analysis from vendors on all sourced ingredients. 
  • Maintains required records either through hard copy or electronic means for data analysis, complaint response and audit purposes. Provides requested records in response to customer requests
  • May perform other duties as assigned including accepting primary accountability for special projects as needed.


Required Skills: 

  • Bachelor's degree in a field of science and minimum of two years' previous food or drug industry related QA experience or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Familiarity with QA procedures required. Prior work or internship experience in food science or agricultural field is a plus.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively through a team oriented approach with employees, customers and suppliers in a multi-cultural global environment.
  • Strong organizational and computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Knowledge of SharePoint and Axapta a plus.
  • Able to read, analyze and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports and business correspondence, and effectively present information (in both verbal and written form) to Managers, employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Bilingual fluency in Spanish (both verbal and written) is preferred.
  • Demonstrates critical thinking with strong analytical and problem solving skills in situations where only limited standardizations exist.
  • Able to be self-directed with minimal need for active supervision, a persistent nature and demonstrates a high level of attention to detail.
  • Able to complete multiple tasks and establish priorities in an effective and efficient manner. Is adaptable and accepting of continuous change.
Please note: This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 
To Apply 

Please click below: "Apply Now Online!" to email your resume and a cover letter. Be sure to indicate: Quality Assurance Specialist. 

~ EOE M/W/Vet/Disabled ~

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