May 13, 2020Crawford joins California and Arizona LGMA Food Safety Programs
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement has appointed Willette Crawford to serve as compliance officer, effective immediately. Crawford will also serve as compliance officer for the Arizona LGMA Program. She succeeds Jonathan Field who is retiring after more than 12 years of service; the two will work side by side until June 30 as the transition is completed.
The Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) programs conduct approximately 500 mandatory government audits of their members each year and require that any non-compliance with the food safety practices be corrected. Crawford will review all LGMA audits, assign violations for non-conformities and oversee this corrective action process by working with LGMA members. She will also work with LGMA staff to review food safety practices (also called metrics), revise audit checklists and provide regular compliance reports to help the industry proactively address any potential negative trends.
“The role of the Compliance Officer is integral to the LGMA food safety program, it is one of the things that makes this program so unique and effective,” said Scott Horsfall, CEO of the California LGMA. “Willette Crawford has the perfect combination of leafy greens industry and regulatory experience. We are pleased that she will be filling this role and working with us to protect public health.”
Crawford brings thirteen years of food safety experience in the produce industry. She has served in various roles throughout the supply chain at Growers Express, Chiquita / Fresh Express and Produce Alliance. She also served as a Consumer Safety Officer, Produce Safety Staff and the U.S. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. In that role she led the agency’s first environmental assessment to investigate the E. coli 0145 outbreak associated with lettuce. She also worked with the FDA on development of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule.
Crawford has a PhD in Food Science from Purdue University, a Master of Public Health from East Tennessee State University, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biology from South Carolina State University.
When asked about her new position Crawford replied: “I’m excited to be working with the leafy greens industry, it’s where I started and I consider it home base. Given the outbreaks of the past few years, I’m hopeful my education and experience can help to make improvements. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the industry to make leafy greens even safer.”
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) verifies science-based farming practices using government audits and requires 100% compliance. The program was designed with a set of checks and balances to ensure leafy greens farmers do all they can to protect public health by establishing a culture of food safety on the farm.