KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Fort Morgan, Colo., plant has been named a Safe Quality Food (SQF) Manufacturer of the Year as part of the organization’s 2011 Quality Achievement Awards. The award was presented at the SQF International Conference held recently in St. Louis, Mo.
Dave Davis, quality assurance manager; Maria Nunez, quality assurance lead; Art Soto, dryer operator; and Ricardo Valles, maintenance mechanic, attended the conference to accept the award.
The awards program recognizes individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to achieving the SQF mission of delivering consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors, and valued by all stakeholders.
DFA’s Fort Morgan plant, which recently achieved Level 3 SQF certification status, processes an average of 63 million pounds of milk per month to make whole and condensed milk, cream and nonfat dry milk. Three senior managers led the plant’s SQF certification process and invested in the plant’s infrastructure to ensure it exceeded the requirements of the code.
“As a supplier of dairy ingredients domestically and globally, we have an important responsibility to produce products that meet stringent quality standards, and each person at the Fort Morgan facility is committed to this important initiative,” said Tom Cotter, plant manager. “We are proud to be recognized for adhering to these high standards because we know that doing so translates to safe food, satisfied customers and a positive work environment.”
Today, employees at every level are committed to sustaining the certification and making continual improvements. All new hires are trained to understand the SQF code and their responsibility for food safety and quality. Employees participate in SQF conference calls bi-weekly, and the plant’s Food Safety Team communicates to all employees changes and updates to the code.
SQF certification is an initiative throughout DFA’s Global Dairy Products Group (GDPG), which emphasizes operational excellence, food safety and quality. A systematic effort is under way to achieve SQF certification in all of DFA’s manufacturing plants.
Through GDPG, DFA produces retail cheese and butter, foodservice cheese and butter, and a wide range of dairy protein ingredients. The Cooperative’s consumer brands include Borden® Cheese and Butter, Keller’s® Butter, Plugra® Butter and Cache Valley® Cheese, among others. GDPG also is a leading contract manufacturer of shelf-stable products for national and international food companies.