Handler Certification Specialist

CCOF Certification Services, LLC Published: December 12, 2020
Santa Cruz, CA
Job Type
Farm / Organics /

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~ CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. We advocate on behalf of our members for organic policies, support the growth of organic through education and grants, and provide organic certification that is personal and accessible. ~

CCOF is a nonprofit organization governed by the people who grow and make our food. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, today our roots span the breadth of North America and our presence is internationally recognized. We are supported by an organic family of farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Together, we work to realize a future where organic is the norm.

Position Summary

The CCOF Handler Certification Specialist reviews inspection reports, mid-year updates, and/or applications of prospective and currently certified organic food processor and handler operations, including manufacturers, co-packers, private label owners, brokers, and other post-harvest handlers involved in the production or handling of organic products. This includes review of labels, product formulations, ingredient suppliers, food additives, production methods, equipment sanitation procedures, facility pest control plans, and audit trail documentation for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations and other organic standards.

This position does not include on-site inspections of certified organic operations and will not include field work in the future. There may be occasional opportunities to represent CCOF at trade shows and conferences, depending on interest and availability to travel.

Position Responsibilities 

Essential Duties:

  • Provides technical services to certified organic processor/handler clients, including review and communication with certified operations about mid-year updates such as new labels, product formulations, ingredient suppliers, food additives, production methods, equipment sanitation procedures, facility pest control plans, audit trail documentation, etc.
  • Ensures timely review of client updates and inspection reports and completes a quantity of work on par with other Handler Certification Specialists.
  • Makes autonomous or semi-autonomous decisions about client compliance with USDA NOP and other organic standards and communicates those decisions to clients.
  • Provides written and verbal instructions to CCOF clients regarding compliance to all applicable standards via email, letter, phone, and occasional in-person meetings.
  • Works daily with a complex, proprietary database to perform the regular tasks of the job. Ensures that database records are consistent and current.
  • Ensures that the CCOF quality system is implemented to required standards.
  • Works on special projects as deemed necessary by Handler Certification Leadership (Team Leader, Supervisor, Manager, or Director of Handler Certification) or the Chief Certification Officer. 


Required Skills & Experience:

  • B.A. or B.S. degree or higher in applicable field, such as food science or food technology. Commensurate and relevant work experience will be considered in lieu of degree requirement.
  • One or more years’ experience in a professional office environment.
  • Computer competency in word processing, formatting, databases, and email. Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel.
  • Comfort using a computer for multiple hours at a time.
  • Excellent communication skills in writing, on the phone, and in person.
  • Excellent spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.
  • Ability to organize, monitor, and track numerous activities with competing deadlines.
  • Ability to work with various groups and demographics of people.
  • Ability to multi-task in a busy environment with a high workload.
  • Ability to logically and autonomously solve problems under pressure.
  • Strong attention to detail.

Preferred Additional Qualifications:

  • Spanish language skills sufficient to communicate in writing and on the phone with Spanish-speaking clients.
  • Experience in working with environmental or food safety regulatory programs.
  • Experience working in a food processing facility.
  • Experience with organic regulations or organic industry.
  • IOIA Organic Handler Inspector training or equivalent experience.
  • Auditor training for food quality production systems or similar field.

Compensation & Location

  • The Handler Certification Specialist’s starting compensation will depend on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time, exempt status position.
  • CCOF takes pride in offering competitive pay and excellent benefits. Competitive benefits include medical, dental, vision, paid vacation and 401k retirement plan with company match.
  • Candidates who will work from the Santa Cruz, CA office are preferred but we may consider remote work for candidates with previous organic certification experience. Remote staff must travel to the Santa Cruz, CA office for an initial 2-week training period unless travel is unsafe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Apply

  • Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
  • Please click "Apply" below to email the following documents, with “Handler 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

Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone calls please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Thank you for your interest.

CCOF is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage people with diverse backgrounds and experience to apply.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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