California LGMA announces new compliance officer
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has a new compliance officer.
Alyssa Licata has been hired to replace Jonathan Field, who is retiring this month after serving in this important role since the LGMA was established in 2007.
“We are very pleased to welcome Alyssa to the LGMA as our new compliance officer,” Tim York, CEO of the California LGMA, said in a news release. “We anticipate her skill set as a microbiologist will provide the LGMA with a unique skill set, new eyes and a fresh perspective. We are very much looking forward to having her on the LGMA team.”
Under the LGMA system, the role of the compliance officer is to review all government audit reports of member farms. Most importantly, the compliance officer is charged with working to ensure any infractions cited during these mandatory audits have been corrected. If the correction cannot be made immediately on-site during the audit, the compliance officer is charged with making sure that members submit a Corrective Action Plan and that the infraction is, in fact, corrected in a timely manner.
Additionally, the compliance officer makes sure corrections have been verified in a follow-up audit. In short, the compliance officer’s role is to ensure that members are in fact in 100% compliant with all required food safety practices under the LGMA.
“The job of the compliance officer is extremely important,” York said. “When customers purchase leafy greens from our members, it’s with the expectation that all of the LGMA’s required food safety practices are being followed and verified by government audits. The compliance officer’s role is to double check to make sure this is happening.”
Highly qualified for her new role, Licata has a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from California State University, Monterey. Most recently she was lab manager for Seed Dynamics. Prior to that, she worked as a food safety specialist for Markon Cooperative, where she brought a scientific approach to understanding why food safety and environmental safety were important for Markon’s 250 produce suppliers.
As part of her duties at Markon, she maintained a supplier food safety database, created Standard Operating Procedure documents to improve workflow and conducted departmental research in understanding E. coli presence among leafy greens.
“We thank Jon Field very much for his many years of dedicated service to our industry and we wish him the best of luck in his retirement,” said York.
The California LGMA is a food safety program that brings farmers together to make lettuce and leafy greens safer. LGMA members produce over 70% of the Nation’s lettuce and leafy greens — adding up to over 30 billion servings a year. To provide consumers with safe leafy greens, the California LGMA verifies food safety practices, enforces through government audits and requires a commitment to continuous improvement.