Applied Postharvest Associate

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Quality Assurance
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0002936
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Applied Postharvest Associate is responsible for analyzing postharvest operations, and evaluating new technologies and tools to improve postharvest fruit quality. This person will conduct research on methods to reduce fruit damage during handling, sorting, packing and shipping. Support the department leader in experimental design, as well as execution and data analysis of a wide range of research projects including technology testing, cold chain optimization and new packaging development.


  • Execution of research projects directed towards assessing and improving the post-harvest handling process with the goal of quality improvement and loss reduction.
  • Support the Manager in test design development, identification of areas for improvement and development of objective methods to test berry quality.  Support ongoing testing to improve fruit quality and shelf life.
  • Recommend solutions through research and evaluation of postharvest processes to determine the effectiveness of current operational activities and to find new improvement opportunities.
  • Support the testing and/or development of new postharvest technologies
  • Execute cooling and shipping tests of current and new packaging within defined timelines.
  • Coordinate off-site locations to conduct shipping tests.
  • Ensure appropriate and timely inter- and intra-departmental communication to perform various tasks related to postharvest research projects.  Communicate effectively with logistics, production team, packaging, and growers.
  • Prepare and modify SOPs related to postharvest activities. 
  • Assist in data analysis and postharvest project report writing.
  • Recommend improvements to existing processes to improve the efficiency of postharvest activities.
  • Provide regular progress updates in a timely manner.
  • Ensure the integrity and accuracy of Driscoll’s postharvest research results.
  • Travel to other areas regions/operations, as required.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • *This job description is intended to describe the general nature of the work performed by employees in this job.  It is not an exhaustive list of all the job's responsibilities.  At Driscoll’s, all of our jobs include broad responsibilities for continually improving the processes we use to develop our products.

Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor's degree in Agricultural, Engineering, Agronomy, Food Science or related discipline with at least 2 years of experience in experimental design, data collection methodology, process improvement and project management.
  • Solid understanding of pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest processes and process controls preferred.
  • Understanding of supply chain elements and functions as well as berry quality defects and their cause.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify what agronomic and/or handling factors could have caused a defect of out of specification issue.
  • Solid understanding of cold chain and effects of temperature, modified atmosphere, packaging and product storage on product quality.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply statistical techniques in a testing environment.
  • Ability to connect, interpret and report information from multiple data sources.
  • Extensive understanding of analytical testing methods.
  • Understanding of the fundamentals physics including heat transfer and vibration a plus
  • Fundamental understanding of Python, computer vision, and machine learning a plus
  • Computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office as well as spreadsheet and database software is required.
  • Self-motivated and able to complete assigned tasks with minimal supervision.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, along with developed interpersonal skills are necessary.
  • Team player with the ability to be adaptable and flexible in a fast-paced, continuously changing environment
  • Ability to balance multiple work assignments and ability to confidently make recommendations while working cross-functionally.
  • Must be able to maintain a valid state Driver’s License with the ability to be insured under company sponsored liability coverage.
  • A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions are also required.
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) fluency preferred.

About Driscolls

Driscoll's is the global market leader for fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage and hundreds of independent growers around the world, Driscoll's is passionate about growing fresh, beautiful and delicious berries. Our values of humility, passion and trustworthiness have guided our mission to delight consumers around the world.

Driscoll's exclusive patented berry varieties are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods – meaning, no GMOs. From farm-to-table, we focus on delivering a high quality, premium berry experience with our many supply chain partners.

Driscoll's is the trusted brand for Only the Finest Berries™.

Driscoll's es el proveedor líder en la comercialización de Fresas, Frambuesas, Zarzamoras y Arándanos Azules en el mundo. Con más de 100 años de herencia en agricultura y cientos de productores independiente alrededor del mundo, Driscoll's es una compañía apasionada por cultivar Berries frescas, hermosas y deliciosas. Nuestros valores de humildad, pasión y confianza han guiado nuestra misión de deleitar a los consumidores en el mundo.

Las variedades exclusivas de Driscoll's han sido desarrolladas a través de años de investigación usando sólo métodos de mejoramiento natural. De la granja a la mesa, nos enfocamos en ofrecer una experiencia de alta calidad con apoyo de nuestros socios de la cadena de suministro.

Driscoll's es la marca de confianza de sólo las mejores Berries.