Whole Foods Market Director of Quality Standards in Austin, Texas

Job DescriptionWhole Foods Market attracts people who are passionate—about great food, about the communities they live and work in, about how we treat our planet and our fellow humans—and who want to bring their passion into the workplace and make a difference.The Global Quality Standards Team is responsible for setting the strict standards that make our products unique, which includes food, body care and household cleaning standards, seafood sustainability, dietary supplement formulation and animal welfare. We also lead the company’s work on key food and agricultural policy issues, including organic certification and GMO labeling. We are seeking a senior leader to guide a highly skilled team of experts through complex stakeholder consultations and standards development work while also championing our standards inside and outside the company. The successful candidate will have a deep passion for natural and organic products and will inspire the team to continually innovate and evolve standards that differentiate our company competitively while also remaining on the cutting edge of the industry at large.


  • Lead a team of subject matter experts in the development, compliance and evolution of Whole Foods Market Quality Standards, which includes seafood sustainability, animal welfare and assessing acceptable and unacceptable ingredients in food, personal care, supplements and cleaning products.

  • Provide thought leadership and concept creation designed to build alignment and unifying visions for the company’s work on key product and agricultural policy issues, including organic certification and GMO labeling.

  • Focus on deep connections with and support of our business partners, including merchandising, senior leadership, exclusive brands, retail operations, manufacturing operations and our supplier network.

  • Develop relationships in order to support and partner with Amazon in sharing better products with more people through a growing global consumer base.

  • Champion our Quality Standards to ensure support for and understanding of their key differentiating role for Whole Foods Market in a competitive landscape.

  • Collaborate on Quality Standards initiatives with various internal stakeholders, including merchandising, exclusive brands, quality assurance and legal teams as well as global and regional senior leadership.

  • Develop strategic goals that lead the company’s work on product ingredient standards, GMO labeling, organic agriculture, responsible sourcing and other key areas related to product integrity.

  • Guide, mentor and manage the Global Quality Standards Team, including strategic planning, goal setting, project oversight and budget management.

  • Represent Whole Foods Market and advance company policy positions with trade associations, non-profit groups, governmental agencies, certification bodies, industry task forces and other external stakeholders. Engage in industry dialogues about key product integrity issues to support educating and influencing internal stakeholders.

  • Support public relations, marketing, consumer insights, communications and training teams with technical expertise and guidance on product ingredient and sourcing policies, and drive collaborative discussions to ensure our standards and policies are accurately and purposely represented.

  • Advise on the Quality Standard-related dimensions of Whole Foods Market technology and data initiatives, including product attribute governance (for retail stores and e-commerce) and evaluating third-party product information partners.

  • Provide technical oversight for direct report subject matter experts in all Quality Standards areas (food ingredients, animal products, seafood, body care, supplements, cleaning products, etc.)

  • Support the full implementation of the Whole Foods Market GMO Labeling Policy, which requires the labeling of all food products that may contain GMOs by September 2018.


  • Thorough understanding and support of Whole Foods Market Quality Standards.

  • A four-year degree relevant to the disciplines the candidate will be expected to lead, preference for candidates with a BS or MSc in a related field.

  • 10+ years directly relevant experience with technical subject matters relating to product ingredients, agricultural policy, regulatory compliance and quality systems.

  • 5+ years experience successfully leading a 10+ member cross-functional team.

  • Highly effective leadership skills with a focus on the delivery of solutions, supporting business partners, and providing servant leadership to the team.

  • Ability to effectively and positively collaborate with diverse business partners, including company leadership, product category managers and buyers, marketing, PR, manufacturers, certification bodies, and governmental entities.

  • Skilled in guiding success through project management and enhanced performance tools within a technical, multi-stakeholder environment.

  • Experienced developer of process-based programs, including writing policies, procedures and formal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

  • Strong data management skills with an understanding of how information management can be utilized for compliance and due diligence.

  • Advanced communication skills to drive strategic discussions about sharing and marketing our Quality Standards to consumers, media, and the industry.

  • Ability to effectively educate, mentor and lead a strong team of technical and non-technical subject matter experts.

  • Ability to thrive in an ever-changing work environment while maintaining a positive attitude, a sense of humor and team camaraderie.

  • Advanced technical skills in food science, quality systems, regulatory interpretation and communications.

  • Direct experience in dealing with natural and organic foods, USDA organic protocols, supplements and body care regulations, animal welfare and seafood sustainability highly desirable.

  • Deep commitment to transparency, authenticity and integrity in product formulation and labeling.

  • Ability to review detailed and complex technical, regulatory and academic documents, interpret and analyze them, and communicate findings through reports and presentations to internal and external stakeholders.

  • Excellent public speaking skills. Ability to effectively and persuasively deliver presentations to broad audiences. Experience as a media spokesperson preferred.

  • Knowledge of natural food and supplement retail products including ingredients, labeling and regulations; and an understanding of product safety requirements for retail and manufacturing.

  • Passion for Whole Foods Market’s mission and values.

  • Proficient with MS Office (Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Sharepoint; general database understanding.

  • This position is based at the Whole Foods Market Global Headquarters in Austin, TX.

  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally up to 20% of the time.

At Whole Foods Market we provide a fair and equal employment opportunity for all team members and candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. Whole Foods Market hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the position to be filled.

Who are we? Well, we seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture. Add to that the excitement and fun we bring to shopping for groceries, and you start to get a sense of what we’re all about. Oh yeah, we’re a mission-driven company too.

Whole Foods Market attracts people who are passionate - about great food, about the communities they live in, about how we treat our planet and our fellow humans - and who want to bring their passion into the workplace and make a difference.

Learn more about careers at Whole Foods Market here!

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