Collaborate with Quality Assurance Specialists, Product Developers, Exclusive Brands Merchandising Team and Vendors to lead the development of product safety and quality specifications and associated requirements for assigned food categories and products sold by Whole Foods Market under Exclusive Brands. This includes maintaining and reviewing specifications and test results after launch to ensure consistent product quality and safety.
Contribute to commercialization activities by providing technical guidance to help ensure products will meet WFM Exclusive Brands quality and regulatory standards. Responsibilities include:
Develop appropriate physical, organoleptic, chemical and microbiological properties for products based on supplier data, existing testing profiles, all applicable regulatory requirements, food safety or product safety risk, and all WFM specific requirements
Develop and negotiate chemical, microbiological, and physical test requirements with Vendors for new and existing product
Review applicable product claims and determine criteria for claim validation
Partner with Product Developers to incorporate characterizing product attributes into the testing profile
Review Vendor Quality Reports and Facility Risk Assessments to determine appropriate risk of product and facility and adjust specification or verification plans accordingly
Review Vendor Food Safety Plans or product risk assessments and applicable facility documents to develop product testing profiles
Review pre-production documents and test results to ensure adherence to WFM Exclusive Brands and regulatory standards
Review First Production test results to ensure adherence to agreed WFM testing profiles
Partner with WFM legal team to determine product testing needs to meet state, federal, and international regulatory requirements
Develop and negotiate shelf life study validation parameters with Vendors for new and existing products
Partner with Supplier Quality Assurance, Team Leads, and Merchandisers as needed to determine product acceptability and CAPA plans for out of specification test results
Collaborate with Product Developers, Quality Assurance Analyst, Quality Assurance Specialists, Merchandisers, and Vendors on testing specification management and harmonization of product attributes
Collaborate with Team Lead and Product Quality Assurance Analyst on interpretation of data trends, product improvement activities, and test results for product quality evaluations
Attend end of shelf life review meetings with Product Developers and Quality Assurance Analyst to ensure product adherence to quality specifications. Assist with vendor follow up as needed.
Monitor existing product test results for compliance with ongoing periodic testing per the agreed testing profiles
Participate in continuous improvement initiatives to ensure products continue to meet WFM Exclusive Brands Quality Standards and regulatory requirements
Act as mentor and technical resource to Product Safety and Quality Analysts as needed
May be called upon to assist the WFM legal team in gathering and preparing records and statements as required.
May participate as WFM representative with external organizations to help guide Regulations, Standards, and Policy development.
Provide Technical project leadership skills and experience.
Assist Team Lead with short and long term strategies and initiatives including those that drive efficiency, and continuous improvement.
Assist Team Lead with evaluation and hiring of team members
Coordinate other assigned testing initiatives as required by TL, EB and Global Exec. Coordinators
Requirements and Qualifications:
B.S. in Food Science, Microbiology, Chemistry or related field.
Graduate degree in Business, Science or other related field (preferred).
Minimum 7-10 years' experience working in food and/or non-food quality control or assurance department
QFSI or other Quality Systems and Product Safety Auditing Experience preferred.
Experience with High Risk Product Categories such as Perishables (produce, meat, seafood), OTCs, Supplements Required
Experience working with suppliers and specifications required
Experience with natural and organic foods required
Sensory evaluation experience and skills a plus
Excellent communication, organizational and problem solving skills.
Ability to manage multiple projects and priorities and deliver against rapid development timelines.
Ability to work on a cross functional team in a highly dynamic environment
Proficient Microsoft Office skills (Outlook, Excel, Work); database experience preferred.
Ability to work independently and within a team. Ability to make decisions or judgments and know when to seek subject matter expert opinion.
Ability to travel domestically and internationally up to 20% of time
Ability to work effectively with little or no direct supervision.
Ability to have fun and enable others to have fun while achieving results
At Whole Foods Market, we provide a fair and equal employment opportunity for all Team Members and candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic. Whole Foods Market hires and promotes individuals solely based on qualifications for the position to be filled and business needs.