Quality Assurance Technician I – 12hr days


Alexandria, MN

SunOpta Overview:

SunOpta (Nasdaq:STKL) (TSX:SOY) is an innovative and sustainable manufacturer fueling the future of food. With roots tracing back over 50 years, SunOpta drives growth for today’s leading brands by serving as a trusted innovation partner and value-added manufacturer, crafting organic, plant-based beverages, fruit snacks, nutritional beverages, broths and tea products sold through retail, club, foodservice and e-commerce channels. Alongside the company’s commitment to top brands, retailers and coffee shops, SunOpta also proudly produces its own brands, including SOWN®, Dream®, and West Life™. For more information, visit SunOpta and LinkedIn.

SunOpta Overview:

SunOpta Inc. is a leader in the plant-based foods and beverages, fruit-based foods and beverages, and organic ingredient sourcing industries. SunOpta is focused on sustainability and specializes in the sourcing, processing, and packaging of organic, conventional, non-GMO food products.

SunOpta is looking for talented individuals that demonstrate our most valued behaviors: Passion, Dedication, Speed, Entrepreneurship, Customer-Centricity, and Problem-Solver, to help create a brighter, healthier, and sustainable future of food!

Job Summary:

Quality Assurance Technician I is responsible for testing and inspecting products at various stages of production, compiles and evaluates statistical data to determine and maintain quality and reliability of products by performing the following duties.

Essential Functions of the Job:

  • Responsible for the official release for all ingredients and finished goods.
  • Micro duties which include plating, reading and interpreting results against known specifications. This requires basic math skills of averaging and knowledge of making dilutions. Various micro testing is conducted on powders, liquids, swabs, filters and air samples.
  • Preoperational Inspections. This requires inspecting equipment before production startup and taking ATP and micro swabs to validate results.
  • Incoming Ingredient analysis. This requires compositing powder samples, running various chemical, micro and physical analytical testing and reporting these results on a Certificate of Analysis. Results are compared against known standards for interpretation.
  • Finished product analysis. All finished product has a Certificate of Analysis generated on it. Testing is in accordance to customer specifications which vary per product. Various tests may include Standard Plate count, Coliform, yeast & mold, viscosities, particle size, bulk density, moisture, solids, Dextrose Equivalency, protein, fat, scorched particle, PH, titratable acidity, flavor and separable solids. New tests may be brought in by the customer for their particular product.
  • Sample taking. Aseptic samples are taken twice per shift from various ports located throughout the facility. Finished product bags may have to be sampled for troubleshooting purposes.
  • Calibrating lab equipment
  • Prepares chemical solutions according to standard formulas.
  • Housekeeping – responsible for keeping work area clean and other various areas listed on the master cleaning schedule.
  • Does various QC audits throughout the facility.
  • Supervisory Responsibilities:

Supervisory Responsibilities:



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Planning and organizing. The ability to prioritize and use time efficiently
  • Communication – needs to be able to effectively communicate discrepancies to Supervisor and key staff personnel when a problem is detected
  • Quality – demonstrate accuracy and thoroughness. Detail oriented.
  • Quantity – must be able to multitask and completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Safety and Security – Observes safety and security procedures; uses equipment and materials properly.
  • Dependability – follows written instructions and Standard Operating Procedures, takes responsibilities for own actions, good attendance record.
  • Ability to smell and taste
  • Must be able to interpret various test results that involve color analysis.

Key Accountabilities:


  • Understands and demonstrates safe behaviors
  • Provides feedback to production employees regarding safe behaviors
  • Document safety risks and communicates them appropriately
  • Serves an active role in the plant safety program by attending safety meetings and participating in monthly safety inspections


  • Understands and demonstrates good GMPs
  • Understands sanitation processes thoroughly
  • Adheres to all Quality Assurance System guidelines
  • Responsible for compliance to the HACCP for each process
  • Reviews batch records for accuracy, neatness and completion. Document all incidents and deviations.


  • Ensures MSS tasks are distributed evenly and completed in a timely manner
  • Maintain a clean and organized work environment
  • Cooperates with other shifts and the management team in housekeeping endeavors


  • Maintain communication with employees and management
  • Reduce downtime due to changeovers, scheduling, breakdowns
  • Conduct accurate and complete Tier 1 shift handoff
  • Communicate necessary maintenance plans and schedules

Teamwork and Training

  • Promotes and contributes to the development of teamwork among other coworkers
  • Assists in coaching and training employees as requested by the management team

Personal Development

  • Continuous improvement of knowledge of the soy base process

Education/ Experience:

High School diploma or GED. Background in Food Science or Microbiology preferred. Basic keyboarding skills are helpful but not necessary. Preferably at least two years’ experience in food manufacturing.

Knowledge and Skills:

Candidate must possess the knowledge and understanding of basic math skills including weight calculations, averages and percentages. Must be able to read and write in English.

Other Skills and Abilities.

Strong leadership and interpersonal skills critical

Other Qualifications

Must be able to work 12 hr shift as well as overnight.

Travel Requirements:

None as part of normal job requirement; but travel to other facilities for training may be required

Work Environment/Physical Demands:

Approximately; 100% of work is performed in a manufacturing facility which is not climate controlled and may contain allergens. Must be able to lift a minimum of 10 pounds, occasionally lift or move up to 50 pounds, climb stairs, stand, kneel or crouch for long periods of time.

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

The Employer is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Employer does not discriminate in employment and no question on this application is used for the purpose of limiting or excusing any applicant’s consideration for employment on a basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law.