Cargill Corn Milling (www.cargill.com), one of the world’s leading producers of corn sweeteners and other value-added food, feed and fermentation products, has received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the highest Presidential honor awarded to organizations for innovation and performance excellence.
The announcement was made Nov. 25 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This marks the second time in four years, and the third time overall, that a Cargill business has captured the Baldrige award. Cargill’s egg processing business — then called Sunny Fresh and now known as Cargill Kitchen Solutions — twice received the award, in 1999 and 2005.
“More than 2,400 employees across nine plants, 11 distribution terminals and various other locations played a role in earning this award,” said Cargill Corn Milling President Alan Willits. “No doubt the Baldrige evaluators found hard working, creative and innovative people everywhere they looked across our business. We are proud, honored and extremely excited to be given this prestigious distinction.”
Congress established the Baldrige award program in 1987 to recognize U.S. companies for achievements in quality and business performance. It is named after the late U.S. commerce secretary. The program is managed by NIST in conjunction with the private sector.
Baldrige applicants are evaluated by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and business results.
The evaluation process included site visits by examiners to nine Cargill Corn Milling locations. The Cargill unit was among just 13 of this year’s 85 award applicants to be visited by the Baldrige award examiners.
Cargill’s award was for manufacturing. Baldrige awards also were given in education (to Iredell-Statesville Schools, in southwestern North Carolina) and in health care (to Poudre Valley Health System, in Colorado, western Nebraska and southern Wyoming).
With headquarters in Minneapolis, Cargill Corn Milling consists of seven wet milling and two dry milling facilities in the U.S. The wet mills — in which corn kernels are steeped in water and separated into starch, protein, germ and fiber — are in Blair, Neb.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; Decatur, Ala.; Eddyville, Iowa; Memphis, Tenn.; and Wahpeton, N.D. The dry mills — in which corn kernels are ground into flour — are in Paris, Ill., and Indianapolis.
Cargill Corn Milling’s product lines fall into three broad categories: food, feed and fermentation. Its food lines include MaizeWize whole grain corn meal, corn bran, corn flour and masa flour; regular and high fructose corn syrups, corn oil and sugar. Its animal feed and meal line is anchored by Sweet Bran premium corn gluten feed. Fermentation products include ethanol, dextrose, industrial starch, Regenasure Glucosamine and other acidulants.