Sr. Director/VP Food Safety & Regulatory Compliance

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Supply Chain
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0004225
  • Experience Years: 10+ Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Senior Director/Vice President, Food Safety & Regulatory Compliance (“VP”) within Driscoll’s of the Americas (DOTA) leads two major functional areas (additional details of the two areas are below): 1. Food Safety (operations, regulatory affairs, social compliance, industrial hygiene) 2. Quality (quality assurance operations and fruit sampling, pay for quality, quality assurance measurement systems, reporting). The VP is responsible for strategic direction and the effective operational execution of these two areas. The VP must embrace and drive a continuous improvement mindset by setting and communicating clear goals, by empowering and holding accountable the front-line teams, and by identifying and monitoring key performance indicators for the two areas. The VP must use data to drive action and must be willing to own difficult decisions. The VP should be seasoned and experienced to thoughtfully evaluate risks and potential outcomes, while keeping the required stakeholders informed as needed. The VP must have experience in both Food Safety and Quality Assurance and willing to explore ways to leverage the geographic footprint of the two groups to scale efficiently and increase career growth of the team members. This position reports to the Chief Operating Officer of Driscoll’s of the Americas (“DOTA”).


Food Safety

The VP provides strategic leadership in these five critical areas of the Food Safety functional area: 

Aligning and complying with best practices and regulatory requirements in food safety across Driscoll’s independent Growers and across the network of Driscoll’s and third-party facilities Delivering safe products to delight our Consumers Meeting the expectations of Customers and Consumers in the areas of organic products Upholding social and worker welfare standards within Driscoll’s operations and within the community of independent Growers Driving exceptional execution within all aspects of the organization during day-to-day activities and also during crisis management

This position provides strategic leadership, direction, and guidance on all related programs and systems, and must collaborate closely with internal partners such as the Legal Department and the Communications team. The VP maintains the highest level of food safety, social, and organic integrity across all field and facility operations through the development, enforcement, and continuous process improvement of policies while ensuring strict compliance with regulatory agencies.  The VP’s team works directly with Growers, Regional Production Operations, Logistics and Distribution, and others across the end-to-end supply chain from field to final Customer.  The VP is a senior resource to our Sales and Product Business Management organizations, providing support with Customer and market requirements, consumer inquiries, and resolution of food safety related issues. 

Reporting to the VP are the following leaders: 

  • Director of Food Safety – Latin America (Mexico and South America)
  • Director of Food Safety – US & Canada
  • Director of Regulatory Affairs – Driscoll´s of the Americas
  • Sr. Manager of Social Compliance – Driscoll´s of the Americas

The Directors oversee extended teams, which include seasonal and full-time staff throughout the production network, based in each of the farming zones.


Product quality is the core foundation of the Driscoll’s brand promise to Customers and the end Consumer.  The Quality functional area provides leadership, expertise, and oversight to ensure the delivery of the highest quality berries to the marketplace.  The VP is ultimately responsible for the development and implementation of strategic operational initiatives that support improvements in quality and flavor by driving effective collaboration and communication on quality with all Driscoll’s internal stakeholders (Product Leadership teams, Regional District Managers, Production, Sales, others) and external stakeholders (Growers, Customers, others). 

Reporting to the VP is the Director of Quality Operations for DOTA (“Director”).  The Director is a strong, highly-visible leader that provides guidance and advocates for solutions in both Regional and Grower related quality issues, including through Grower and District meetings and corrective action plans.  The Director is chartered to protect the Driscoll’s brand through product quality.  The Director oversees a fulltime and seasonal workforce across the entire QA network, which includes staff at all types of facilities (Driscoll’s-owned, Grower-owned, and Third-party Logistics “3PL”).  Reporting to the Director are the following key positions: 

  • Sr. Manager, Quality Operations – US & Canada
  • Sr. Manager, Quality Operations – Mexico & LATAM
  • Sr. Manager, Quality Data & Infrastructure
  • Sr. Manager, Quality Audit

The VP collaborates closely with the Director to drive the roadmap of quality methods, tools, and platforms to enable the attainment of the Driscoll’s Mission of delighting berry consumers.  In addition, the VP supports the implementation of transformative platform and process technologies to significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness of QA operations by removing subjectivity and introducing automation.  These technologies and process improvements differentiate Driscoll’s in the marketplace and provide greater competitive advantage, while incentivizing Growers to deliver fruit that achieves the best flavor.

  • *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 related technical field of study.  Graduate degree is preferred
  • Over 15 years of food industry experience.  Specific experience in food safety and quality assurance is required.  Experience must be within the fresh produce or highly perishable foods industries
  • Over 5 years of experience in an executive role within the food industry in quality assurance and/or food safety
  • Specific knowledge and direct experience with USDA, FSMA-FDA, NOP, GFSI and related regulations relevant to fresh produce.  Experience successfully working with appropriate regulatory agencies (e.g. FDA), industry trade groups (e.g. PMA)
  • Track record of successfully collaborating with large retail customers in the areas of Food Safety and Quality
  • Knowledge on best practices relating to Social Compliance
  • Ability to develop strategic visioning, articulate imperatives, and inspire people to successfully implement challenging and complex objectives
  • Knowledge of Quality Assurance and Food Safety technologies and systems.  Experience in overseeing implementation of software solutions
  • Experienced in interacting and aligning with Growers
  • Highest level of personal and professional integrity
  • Experience with audit and compliance activities, including organics, worker welfare, and quality standards
  • Prior experience working with multi-site, global businesses.  Demonstrated success on a global basis, working across cultures and time-zones
  • Proven track record of driving change across large organizations and keeping teams energized and motivated.  Ability to effectively lead teams and work with others in a highly collaborative manner to inspire camaraderie and high morale
  • Savvy with various technologies (Tableau, Office Suite, etc)
  • Excellent communicator at all levels (from individual contributor to VP/President/CEO levels) and with external audiences (regulators, industry groups, customers, growers)
  • Outstanding writing skills and presentation skills
  • Fluency (spoken and written) in English and Spanish languages is mandatory
  • Domestic and international travel required (up to 50%)
  • Experience developing and managing a cost center budget
  • The VP must follow Company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with suppliers, employees, governmental agencies, growers, customers, etc.  This individual must ensure the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.

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.