Arizona Leafy Greens Welcomes New Compliance Officer
Kevin Watson Joins Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement as Compliance Officer
Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (Arizona LGMA) is pleased to welcome Kevin Watson as its new LGMA compliance officer. In this role he will help to implement the program’s comprehensive, science-based, food safety standards. Watson joins Arizona LGMA in time for its winter harvest season and brings more than 20 years of experience to the position.
As a compliance officer he will review all onsite farm audits conducted as part of the Arizona LGMA programs. Audits are used to ensure that handlers of leafy greens are using the safest possible farming practices and that its members remain in compliance. Upon reviewing the audits Watson will assign violations and oversee corrective actions made by farms in order to achieve 100 percent compliance.
“The role of the compliance officer critical. We were fortunate to find someone with the depth and breadth of Kevin’s experience. He is a great asset to Arizona LGMA,” said C.R. Waters, chairman of Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee.
Watson comes to Arizona LGMA after a successful and robust career in food safety where he held leadership roles in both the public and private sector. He has worked for the Arizona Department of Agriculture and is also an active member of Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Technical Committee. As part of the committee, he reviews and submits actions to the marketing committee for execution in the industry.
In the private sector Watson has held positions at Fresh Express Inc., Chiquita International and AG Food Safety Solutions. He has developed procedures to maintain food safety for growers, harvesters and packers as well as transportation programs. Watson also implemented third party audit programs for buyer requirements for companies like McDonald’s, Target and Subway.
The Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement is a consortium of shippers that have put in place protective controls to ensure the integrity of leafy greens products grown, harvested, and shipped from Arizona. The Arizona LGMA is a network of growers and shippers that proactively diffuse potential issues through an intricate system of checks and balances. The program is administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture and closely monitored by USDA-licensed auditors. More information is at arizonaleafygreens.org.