Friday, July 22, 2011

Job Opening with CCOF: Organic Certification Specialist

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is expanding our team of organic certification specialists in our Santa Cruz, CA headquarters. Over the next several months, we will be filling new positions in our Grower/ Farm department and our Processor/ Handler department. These positions will work within CCOF’s rapidly expanding USDA National Organic Program and internationally accredited organic certification program.
CCOF is one of the oldest and largest organic certification organizations in the U.S. and works to promote organic production through certification, education, and outreach programs. More information is available at
We plan to conduct two rounds of hiring, with the first in early fall 2011 and the second to be completed by early spring 2012. Please submit your resume and cover letter by September 1, 2011 for consideration in the first round of hiring and by January 1, 2012 for the second round. See below for more information on how to apply.
To master this position requires approximately one year, so please only apply if you are willing to make a multi‐ year commitment.
TITLE: Grower Certification Specialist or Handler Certification Specialist JOB DESCRIPTION: The CCOF Certification Specialist reviews applications and inspection reports of prospective
and current certified organic operations for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program regulations.
The CCOF Grower Certification Specialist reviews applications and inspection reports of prospective and currently certified organic farms and simple post harvest handlers. This includes, but is not limited to, review of land history, seed and planting stock use, input materials, harvest equipment, labeling and record keeping procedures for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program and international regulations.
The CCOF Handler Certification Specialist reviews applications and inspection reports of prospective and currently certified organic food processors, retailers and brokers. This includes, but is not limited to, review of labels, product formulations, ingredient suppliers, food additives and record keeping procedures.
This work involves interaction with clients via phone, email and through formal letters as well as occasional in‐ person office meetings. This position does not include on‐site inspection of certified organic operations. There are opportunities to represent CCOF at trade shows and conferences several times a year, depending on interest and availability to travel.
A Certification Specialist:  Reports directly to the Grower Certification Supervisor or the Director of Handler Certification.  Reviews client applications and files for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program and other
international programs.  Provides technical services to certified organic clients.  Ensures that the CCOF quality system is implemented.  Provides written and verbal instructions to CCOF clients regarding compliance to all applicable standards.  Ensures that physical files as well as database records are consistent and current.
 Completes routine administrative tasks including filing, copying and mailing.  Works on special projects as assigned.
REQUIRED SKILLS and EXPERIENCE: Please do not submit an application unless you have all of the following:
 B.A./ B.S. degree or higher in an appropriate field, depending on department:  Handler: Food Science or similar
 Grower: Agriculture, Environmental Studies or similar  At least one year of experience in a professional office environment.  Competency in word processing, formatting, databases, and email using applications including Microsoft
Outlook, Word and Excel.  Excellent communication skills in person, on the phone, and in writing.  Excellent spelling and grammar skills.  Excellent skills to organize, monitor, and track numerous activities throughout the year.  Ability to logically solve problems and work under pressure.  Ability to work with various groups of people.  Strong attention to detail.  Ability to multi‐task in a busy environment.
The following skills and experience are considered a plus:
 Experience in working with environmental regulatory programs.  Direct experience in agriculture or food processing.  Spanish language skills.  Experience with organic regulations or industry.
 IOIA Organic Inspector training.  Auditor training for food quality production systems or similar field.
EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full time, at will employee. Salary is dependent upon experience with a likely range of $35,000‐$40,000 for an applicant without prior organic certification experience. Excellent benefits include fully‐paid medical, dental and vision; paid vacation; and 401k retirement plan with company match.
Positions are open until filled, with first round of applications accepted until September 1, 2011. Applications for the second round should be submitted by January 1, 2012. Submit cover letter and resume to CCOF Certification Services by email to or fax to 831‐423‐4528, attn: Steve. When you apply, you must indicate which department you are interested in. No phone calls please. You will be contacted only if an interview is requested.