ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

112 Small-scale Fruit and Vegetable Processing Specialist

Proposed Location/Housing

Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis

Proposed Area of Coverage

California - statewide


Associated Documents



I support the idea of this new position wholeheartedly-- small farms are on the rise in California and the USA, and all of the developing world can be considered "small scale". USDA is offering many new grants for new farmers, micro-enterprise, value addition, cooperative development-- all these are openings for new small scale food processing operations. UC Davis can be at the forefront of global food preservation and lead the way as people focus more and more upon reducing food losses and waste.
Posted May 7, 2014 9:25 PM by Lisa Kitinoja
The California League of Food Processors (CLFP) strongly supports this new position. There has been a rapid growth in small food processing operations, and many of these companies need assistance with issues such as food safety, food preservation techniques, food quality, product marketing, and business development. There is a great need for a one-stop place where small processors can receive training and advice and this position would fill this important role. CLFP hopes to partner with UC Davis to meet this demand for information and services and increase jobs and income in rural communities.
Posted May 8, 2014 11:10 AM by Rob Neenan, President of the California League of Food Processors
Given the changing landscape of California food processing, this position is critical for UC Davis to effectively serve the industry going forward. As Californians increasingly consume products from smaller food processors, there is a growing need for quality, safety, and sustainability best practices at these facilities to mirror those established in larger operations. With this position, UC Davis has an opportunity to be a leader in this area.
Posted May 9, 2014 1:40 AM by Christopher Simmons
It’s interesting that we have opportunity to exchange our expertise with other in other countries. US Davis has this opportunity to take this case on the ground. As Iraqi researcher, with this position, there are many think needs to do to make postharvest technology the best practices using beside achieve the new technology, using the extension methodology to take place especially in other growing country.
Posted May 14, 2014 3:07 AM by Azhar Al-Taie
It’s interesting that we have opportunity to exchange our expertise with other in other countries. US Davis has this opportunity to take this case on the ground. As Iraqi researcher, with this position, there are many think needs to do to make postharvest technology the best practices using beside achieve the new technology, using the extension methodology to take place especially in other growing country.
Posted May 14, 2014 3:12 AM by Azhar Al-Taie
We have a alliance of small growers in southern California that focusses on selling to school districts. There is a large opportunity to add value to the produce we raise by doing some processing. UC-Davis has already helped us immensely with their post-harvest seminar series. We hope with this additional resource, they will be our guide to value-added processing as well.
Posted May 14, 2014 8:04 AM by Bob Knight
This would be a very important position and excellent way for the burgeoning California Food Industry to avail themselves of the wide range of knowledge and wisdom that UC Davis could provide. Smaller companies find it very difficult to access this quality of help, and as food safety comes more to the forefront and more smaller food businesses are sprouting up in California, this is exactly the way to serve the food industry while also serving consumers making a safer and more nutritious food supply.
Posted May 14, 2014 10:08 AM by John K. Ashby, General Manager - Ingredients California Natural Products
Currently, significant proportion of our fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) is wasted due to lack of proper handling and processing. Furthermore the current food supply chain has significant inefficiences that limit delivery of optimal quality of the fresh produce. To address these significant unmet needs, development and support of small scale food processors in the state of Ca is critical. The proposed position addressed this unmet need by bringing expertise from the UC, Davis campus to support small scale processors in the state. These efforts are exprected to significantly improve the rural economy and sustainability in food supply chain while providing consumers with optimal quality produce. This position will also leverage the existing state of the art pilot plant facilities at the UC Davis campus to develop novel processing operations that are suitable for small scale industry.
Posted May 14, 2014 10:14 AM by N. Nitin
We as a produce grower/shipper leave too much good produce behind because of shape and blemishes. We are attempting to recover and utilize this product. It has been difficult to get information from the people that handle and sell the equipment needed for the process. We very much welcome a person that can steer us in the right direction.
Posted Jul 19, 2014 6:34 AM by Dan Van Groningen
California has been a leader in the movement toward local food sourcing and the safe preservation of foods . There has been a growing trend to follow California by other states in the nation toward local, fresh and less processed foods. This brings many interesting potential problems in food safety, preservation technologies and nutrient content of foods. At the UC Laboratory for Research in Food Preservation we have many requests for new food products developed by small food processors and entrepreneurs trying to develop recipes for sale to the consumers. We do not have the resources or personnel to answer many of the fundamental questions that are posed to us by these entrepreneurs. We need to have a resource that can be of assistance to them. This proposed position could provide such a resource.

Many of these entrepreneurs have been encouraged by the California cottage industry law to develop their products. They want to develop their products so they are safe, tasty and nutritious. Many trying to initiate their business do not have the basic scientific knowledge to develop their products in an optimum manner. They also do not have the basic information to even know that they might not have these basic information pieces.. They want to be able to find a resource that can be of ready assistance to them. Currently this type of assistance is difficult to easily obtain. Having such a dedicated person on the staff would be an invaluable resource.

Thus this proposed position is vital to the safety and well being of consumers in the state and will provide a needed resource that will contribute to the growth of this important business segment.
Posted May 14, 2014 10:25 AM by Keith A. Ito
I enthusiastically support the proposal for a new University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) position for a “Small-Scale Fruit and Vegetable Processing Specialist”.

As an Assistant Professor in Food Chemistry at the UC Davis Food Science and Technology Department, I echo concerns that we are currently unable to adequately serve the growing community of small food processors and Californian entrepreneurs. We routinely receive inquiries from burgeoning businesses for assistance with product development and research about bioactive properties of fruits and vegetables. The existing 4,000 sq.ft. state of the art pilot processing facility is perfect for this type of research, and having a specialist dedicated to serving these stakeholders will fill this gap.
Furthermore, I think that such a position will be able to enhance outreach efforts through workshops, symposia, seminars, etc.-
Posted May 14, 2014 4:29 PM by Daniela Barile
I am pleased to have the opportunity to endorse the proposed position of Small-Scale Fruit & Vegetable Processing Specialist. As a UCD grad and participant in the development of the fresh-cut produce industry I encourage efforts to assist the smaller processors who are most likely to need this resource to safely and economically develop their businesses. UCD is THE best located University with the deepest knowledge base to provide this resource to an industry that will always need scientific guidance.
Posted May 15, 2014 5:29 AM by Larry Bell
I have interacted with many small-scale fruit and vegetable processors. Some are very well informed, however, many comment on the lack of readily available food safety resources. A UCCE position which can focus on this segment of the industry would greatly assist those processors who want to do what is appropriate, but often don’t know what information they need or even where to find it. I believe a specialist with the resources of UC Davis would be a tremendous benefit to the industry and all consumers.
Posted May 16, 2014 10:48 AM by Jeff S.
Food processing is a very important industry in California and in the United States with a number of important products produced in the State that support the nutritional requirements of the entire country. With the increased focus on the food safety of the products produced and consumed in the United States, the operation of food processing operations has become more challenging for all players in the industry. This situation is even more challenging to small food processors who often do not have easy access to resources that help them comply with all of the demands for food safety from customers, consumers, and regulators. This position could be very helpful to small food processors in meeting the increasing demands in this important area. Improving the capabilities of the small food processors will have a direct benefit to these small companies but will also help the food industry in California as a whole.
Posted May 19, 2014 2:07 PM by Scott Butler
The small-scale processing specialist would lead to more research grants for UCCE. The UC Davis Olive Center has found found that the food processing component is desired by marketing order boards, and that the boards are interested in funding those projects. In addition, we have found that the USDA has looked favorably on Specialty Crop proposals that include a processing component. Moreover, growers benefit from knowing the quality considerations that processors expect, and processors gain from UC guidance on maximizing quality and efficiency.
Posted May 19, 2014 4:38 PM by Dan Flynn
California has been blessed with the right weather and soil to grow a multitude of fruits and vegetables. These valuable crops would highly benefit from a small scale fruit and vegetable processor who would introduce new ways to process and preserve them making them a value added Ag product. Hence benefiting farmers and small food producers along side the consumer.
Posted May 23, 2014 3:21 PM by Joy M
The Food Safety Modernization Act proposed Preventive Controls Rule for Produce Safety calls for new standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human conumption. Small producers of fruits and vegetables are not automatically exempted. As these facilities grow and expand and/or become mixed-type facilities they will be required to comply and will and benefit from understanding the rules. A Small-Scale Fruit and Vegetable Processing Specialist would be able to assist small producers with navagating the proposed rules and good manufacturing practices.
Posted May 27, 2014 1:29 PM by Jenny K
There is an increase trend in the demand for fresh organic products in California. Many small entities are responding to this demand by preparing and processing a wide variety of organic fruit and vegetable products. This business sector can substantially benefit from the technical expertise offered by the CE Specialist. The program may provide opportunities for small operators to partner with larger ones and thus benefit from their expertise.
Posted May 29, 2014 8:10 AM by Frank Gillis
I strongly support this position especially because of the relative importance of the smaller food processing companies that need the information to enable them to grow, to support small farms and to provide a safe food supply. The Food Science Department has a major role to play in this program. Larger food processing operations have the support they need, small companies do not. Having a resource such as a CE Specialist is critical to the overall success of agriculture and food science and food safety.
Posted Jul 14, 2014 9:01 AM by Herebert Stone
As a UC vegetable crops farm advisor, I feel this position is a fantastic opportunity for the University to interact with an under-served and growing segment of the industry. It would contribute to the success of small businesses, would support other UC positions, and would directly impact California consumers by improving product quality and reducing food safety risks.
Posted Jul 18, 2014 3:00 PM by Brenna Aegerter

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