Two Chicks With A Side Hustle

Who we are: CCOF advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. We advocate on behalf of our members for organic policies, support the growth of organic through education and grants, and provide organic certification that is personal and accessible.

CCOF is a nonprofit organization governed by the people who grow and make our food. Founded in California 50 years ago, our roots now span the breadth of North America, and our presence is internationally recognized. We are supported by an organic family of farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Together, we work to realize a future where organic is the norm.

Position Summary:  

CCOF is expanding our Complaints and Investigations team! We are seeking a Handler Investigations Specialist to join us in this exciting opportunity to assist a top tier organic certifier in upholding the organic regulations and ensuring fair and consistent decisions for a diverse range of certified Processor/Handler operations.  

We encourage you to apply if you have experience working for an organic certifier, a curious mindset, and are passionate about maintaining integrity in the organic food supply chain. As a Handler Investigations Specialist, you’ll play a critical role in upholding the National Organic Program regulations that have meaningful impact on the organic industry.  

The Handler Investigations Specialist reviews complaints about clients, investigations, and positive sample results in addition to providing technical services to certified organic clients.   

This is a full-time, salary exempt position that reports to the Investigations Supervisor.  This is a United States-based remote position. 

Essential Responsibilities: 

  • Develop investigation plans and ensure consistent application of NOP regulations and Handbook.  
  • Execute investigation and sampling plans in collaboration with the Inspection Operations Department.  
  • Effectively manage an ongoing and dynamic workload of complaints, investigations, and positive sample results.  

Specific Duties: 

Investigations Specialist Responsibilities: 

  • Review inspection reports, positive sampling results and investigation results in a timely manner.  
  • Review high risk client files and Major Noncompliance Inspection Reports. 
  • Complete and send complaint reports to the CA SOP and NOP and issues resolution notices to nongovernmental complainants.  
  • Make nuanced decisions and recommend compliance outcomes based on analysis of compliance information.  
  • Assist in the development of investigation tools and resources, e.g. Action Item templates, Work Instructions, and Intact Platform text templates. 

Senior Certification Specialist Responsibilities: 

  • Provides technical services to certified organic clients, including reviewing and communicating with certified operations about mid-year updates, such as new labels, input materials, suppliers, products, facilities, etc.  
  • Communicate with clients to provide written and verbal instructions regarding compliance to all applicable standards.  
  • Review new certification applications, mid-year updates, and/or inspection reports to ensure timely review.  
  • Work daily with a complex, proprietary database to perform the regular tasks of the job and to ensure that database records are consistent and current.  
  • Ensure that the CCOF Quality System is implemented.  
  • Work on special projects as required.  

Required Qualifications: 

  • Five years’ experience as a CCOF Certification Specialist including demonstrated leadership/expertise or equivalent experience in a similar role or equivalent relevant industry experience. 
  • Understanding of organic certification standards including familiarity with the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations, certification processes, and certification requirements. 
  • Strong computer proficiency in Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point, Teams) and database programs. Able to effectively manage emails and notifications, learn database programs, and maintain accurate database records.  
  • Ability to think critically, logically, and autonomously through complex investigations to propose solutions to problems. Comfortable navigating grey areas, asking for help when needed. Skilled in using internal and external resources to independently find solutions to unfamiliar situations. 
  • Highly organized, motivated, with a strong attention to detail to manage and prioritize multiple complex cases simultaneously. Focuses attention on providing consistent decisions for complaints and investigations. 
  • Clear, direct, and concise written and verbal communication skills with the ability to work with various groups and demographics of people. Proficiency providing technical support and building trust through customer service. Capable of effectively conveying certification requirements to clients, ensuring standards are met, and addressing compliance issues with clarity and professionalism. 
  • B.A. or B.S. degree or higher in food science, chemistry, or related field, or equivalent relevant work experience in lieu of degree requirement. 

Desired Qualifications: 

  • Bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, both verbal and written, to effectively manage complaints and conduct investigations with Spanish speaking clients including Handler operators in the US and Mexico. 
  • Completion of IOIA Organic Handler Inspector training or equivalent, including auditor training for food quality production systems. 
  • Experience working in food systems, preferably organic, including knowledge of food processing practices, regulatory requirements, and industry standards. 
  • Knowledge and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles. Comfortable engaging in discussions about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, ability, or gender and the ways our identities shape our workplace experiences. Understands the historical context for inequities and its present-day implications. 
  • Experience working remotely with in-office and remote teams.     

Supervisory Responsibilities or Key Relationships: 

  • This role does not have any supervisory responsibilities. 

Physical and Travel Requirements: 

  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer. 
  • This position may involve occasional opportunities to travel at least once a year for staff events, regulatory meetings, tradeshows and/or to represent CCOF professionally at industry events in the US or Mexico. 

Other duties: 

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 

Compensation: CCOF takes pride in offering competitive pay and benefits such as superb health plans, 401(k) program, and generous sick/personal and vacation time. The Handler Investigations Specialist’s starting salary range will be $68,329 – $80,000 and will depend on qualifications and experience.  

Hiring Process: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants, please submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter summarizing your interest in CCOF and the position, and qualifications
  • Current resume
  • List of three professional references 

Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone calls, please. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Thank you for your interest.

CCOF is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage people with diverse backgrounds and experience to apply.

Inclusivity is a core value at CCOF. We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable work and learning environment for all employees. We believe every member of our team enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design and deliver solutions.

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