**Essential Job Functions**
* Serve as the final authority for onsite food safety, quality, and regulatory compliance decisions.
* Administer the site prerequisite programs and SQF program. Serve as a SQF practitioner for the facility.
* Understand, drive, and deliver quality related KPI results in areas such as defects, holds, and rework.
* Effectively empower a staff of food industry professionals to obtain company and facility objectives.
* Ensure existing programs and procedures are verified and validated and represent optimal allocation of company resources.
* Manage multiple complex projects simultaneously related to the needs of the business.
* Serve, along with plant manager, as a primary representative of APF to visitors, auditors, customers, and community.
* Innovate and inspire a culture of creativity to continuously improve facility systems and programs.
* Liaise with local and regional AMS, FSIS, and other government agency representatives through the normal course of business and in the resolution of regulatory complaints.
* Coordinate competing priorities and challenging deadlines; leverage cross-functional resources to achieve results.
* Develop and maintain plant procedures critical to quality and food safety.
* Evaluate and approve specifications for new products, ingredients, and processes.
* Champion the needs of the facility and the site quality organization by lobbying for mission-critical resources with data-based justifications.
* Customer Service
* Maintain relationships with internal and external customers through compliance with contractual agreements, information exchange, and project collaboration.
* Communicate directly with customers in written and oral capacities, serving as an instrument of APF in ongoing relationship management.
* Facilitate third party and customer audits.
* Investigate complaints and develop internal mitigation techniques to prevent recurrence. Track, trend, and communicate to stakeholders.
* Maintain a portfolio of active contacts from key industry partners.
* Communicate effectively and frequently with leadership in other functional areas of the facility. Prioritize departmental functions to enable successful plant operations.
* Team Building
* Mentor and motivate team members. Build and execute development plans for team members at subordinate levels of the organization to prepare them for roles of increased responsibility.
* Maintain an approved succession plan for yourself and your direct reports.
* Use responsible delegation methods to balance workloads in the department and to ensure all team members are engaged in tactical and strategic initiatives according to their positions.
* Evolve the site quality organizational structure to suit the needs of the business.
* Define job responsibilities within the department and institutionalize quality-related responsibilities outside the quality department through SOPs, standard work instructions, and by coordinating with other functional leaders.
* Actively manage the acquisition and organization of talent in the quality department.
* Continuous Improvement
* Use tools and techniques of statistical process control to improve production efficiency, reduce defects, and stimulate cost savings.
* Actively participate in cross-functional projects related to quality and compliance of new and existing products.
* Assist in scoping improvement projects. Hold project leaders accountable for detailed investigations, well-designed experiments, sound scientific techniques and data-based decision making.
* Work cross-functionally with New Product Development, Engineering, Operations, Maintenance, Scheduling, and Purchasing to ensure initiatives are supported by the equipment, materials and processes necessary to drive sustainable results.
* Utilize Lean Manufacturing tools to map and analyze processes and to identify ways to reduce waste, improve work flow, and otherwise increase efficiency.
* Understand the impact that proposed changes have on nutritional analysis, product sensory analysis, regulatory compliance, and specification adherence and approve exceptions and changes accordingly.
* Technical Expertise and Ideation
* Maintain current technical expertise in meat science, food safety, quality assurance, regulatory compliance, and continuous improvement methodologies through scientific journals, professional organizations, food shows and technical conferences.
* Understand the product channels and markets relevant to the business.
* Recommend and champion new technologies and best practices which will support key objectives.
* Maintain fluency in current Child Nutrition, Commodity Processing (FPCP), and other relevant programs.
* Understand how regulated characteristics (such as standards of identity, net weights, and allowable variances) interact with specifications, labels, and policies. Safeguard facility and product compliance.
* Serve as an expert resource in focused-improvement projects.
* Function as tactical and strategic technical advisor to facility manager.
* Department and Company Strategies, Objectives and Systems
* Develop clear, measurable objectives related to company and facility goals and benchmark their attainment.
* Set and communicate food safety and quality strategies at the facility and drive their continuous refinement and progression.
* Ensure that company policies are fully implemented and supported by plant procedures and practices.
* Accept additional responsibilities as needed in the support of company goals.