Ann Baker adds expert experience to enhance standards across company’s expanded business and brand portfolio
SANTA MARIA, Calif., Sept. 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Curation Foods Inc., a natural foods company focused on innovative, plant-based foods, and one of two operating businesses of Landec Corp. (Nasdaq: LNDC), announced today that Ann Baker has been appointed vice president of quality and food safety. In her role, Baker will oversee the processes and execution of food safety and quality across all Curation Foods brands in the U.S. and Mexico.
The strategic hire of Baker addresses the changing business needs sparked by Curation Foods’ significant brand portfolio expansion over the past few years, as well as the complexities of a changing regulatory and consumer environment. With the appointment of Baker, Curation Foods’ quality assurance and food safety program will now function under the oversight of Aaron Bennett, vice president of research and development, quality, food safety and innovation.
“As our business evolves, we want to guarantee that our innovative, plant-based, 100% clean-ingredient foods are as high quality and safe as they are delicious. Under Ann’s leadership, our enhanced approach to food safety will help ensure Curation Foods, across all of our brands, is delivering the best of what consumers expect every time they buy our products,” said Dr. Albert Bolles, Landec president and CEO. “Our intention is to be an industry leader in quality and food safety, driving us to better meet our customers’ needs and, ultimately, increase shareholder value.”
Fiscal year 2019 was a transformative year for Curation Foods, completing the transition from a packaged, fresh vegetable company to a portfolio of four natural food brands – Eat Smart® fresh packaged vegetables and salads, O Olive Oil & Vinegar® premium artisan products, and recently acquired Yucatan® and Cabo Fresh® avocado products. With this evolution, Curation Foods significantly broadened its operations beyond packaging vegetables into new manufacturing processes that include avocados, romaine and tender leaf greens, olives, and wine for vinegar. This rapid growth, coupled with a pipeline of new innovations, required a broader depth of knowledge and experience to achieve Dr. Bolles’ intention to establish Curation Foods as a leader in food safety across all categories of the Curation Foods business.
Under Baker’s guidance, Curation Foods will prioritize best business practices by expanding programs centered on the consumer experience, including:
- Risk Evaluation: Conducting assessments at all touch points – from suppliers, to production, to packaging – in Curation Foods’ expanded organization to identify and understand any and all risks in order to better manage and mitigate them
- Communications: Implementing internal programming that educates and inspires employees at all levels of the organization, so that each employee understands and embraces how they impact quality, safety and the environment
- Focus on Quality: Introducing capital project investments and food safety programs, with an emphasis on improving business practices for the company and the industry
“Food safety and quality is never negotiable,” said Baker. “Our enhanced food safety programs will ensure that our systems are reliable and repeatable, consistently delivering the very best quality to our customers.”
Baker brings more than 30 years of extensive experience in the food and beverage industry, building safety and quality cultures focused on consumer satisfaction and continuous improvement, as well as working with the respective regulatory bodies in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Curation Foods, Baker served in multiple roles with the Kraft Heinz Company, most recently with responsibility for its food safety and quality operations. She brings a breadth of knowledge, including in managing global functions, leading mid-sized teams, overseeing process improvements across numerous factories, developing and implementing Environmental Monitoring programs, and crafting quality and food safety commissioning plans. Baker previously held quality assurance positions with PepsiCo, Inc., supporting the Quaker, Tropicana and Gatorade brands, and with Gerber Products Co.
Baker’s efforts will directly align with Curation Foods’ continued execution against the strategic pillars of growth outlined by Dr. Bolles earlier this year, including instituting a focused strategy on high-impact projects to drive positive EBITDA growth; a commitment to innovation, high productivity and operational excellence; and continued efforts in sustainable business practices.
About Curation Foods
Curation Foods is focused on innovating delicious, plant-based foods with 100% clean ingredients and increasing access of plant-based foods to as many people as possible. Curation Foods is able to maximize product freshness through its geographically dispersed family of growers, refrigerated supply chain and patented BreatheWay® packaging technology to ensure products reach consumers throughout North America in the freshest possible state. Curation Foods natural food brands include Eat Smart® fresh packaged vegetables and salads, O Olive Oil & Vinegar® premium artisan products, and Yucatan® and Cabo Fresh® avocado products. For more information about Curation Foods visit www.curationfoods.com.
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