Sunny Fresh Foods receives second Baldrige Award

Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc., the egg further processing subsidiary of Cargill, announced Nov. 22 that it has received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for a second time. The Baldrige award is the highest recognition of performance excellence a U.S. company can receive.

"Receiving the Baldrige award the first time was a big honor," said Sunny Fresh President Mike Luker. "Receiving it a second time is truly a testament to the sustained commitment of the Sunny Fresh team and its focus on helping customers succeed." In 1999, Sunny Fresh, became the first food company to receive the honor.

With headquarters in Monticello, Minn., Sunny Fresh has egg further processing facilities in Monticello and Big Lake, Minn.; Mason City and Panora, Iowa; and Lake Odessa, Mich. The Sunny Fresh team includes 620 people.

Sunny Fresh makes a variety of egg-based foods including prepared and frozen entrees like omelets, patties and frittatas, pre-cooked scrambled eggs, diced eggs, peeled hard-cooked eggs and French toast, as well as pasteurized refrigerated and frozen liquid egg products, including fat-free egg products. Sunny Fresh serves the foodservice industry. Its customers include major restaurants and quick service restaurant chains, as well as schools, convenience stores, health care facilities, military bases and food processors.

Congress established the Baldrige award program in 1987 to recognize U.S. companies for achievements in quality and business performance excellence. It is named after the late U.S. commerce secretary, Malcolm Baldrige. The commerce secretary and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards) provide the leadership and management for the program.

Baldrige applicants are evaluated on the following categories: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resource focus, process management, and business results.

"What makes this accomplishment amazing is that two-thirds of our team today were not even with Sunny Fresh in 1999, when we received our first Baldrige," Luker said, noting that employment at Sunny Fresh has about doubled in the last six years and some of the 1999 stakeholders have moved on to other positions in the Cargill organization. "I think this shows that we have the processes in place to sustain our high performance."

Sunny Fresh has received a number of prestigious quality awards in recent years:
  • The 1999, 2002 and 2004 Cargill James R. Spicola Award,
  • which is Cargill's highest level of quality recognition awarded for business and process performance. Businesses that receive the Spicola Award serve as role models for The Cargill Business Excellence process, which is Baldrige-based. Spicola was president of Cargill in the late 1980s.

  • The 1998 Cargill Business Excellence Award
  • (a Baldrige-based award assessment) was started in 1991 to recognize Cargill locations that excel in Total Quality Management. Only those locations that can demonstrate systematic, sustained and measurable improvement receive the award. Award winners are expected to share experiences with other Cargill locations.

  • The 1998 McDonald's Sweeney Award,
  • which is McDonald's supplier quality award and is based on Baldrige award criteria.Sunny Fresh is among only five companies in the world to receive this award since it was created by McDonald's in 1990.
Sunny Fresh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Cargill. "The Cargill strategy is to be a global leader in food and agriculture. The Sunny Fresh team provides a role model for performance excellence and continuous improvement," said Warren Staley, chairman and chief executive officer of Cargill. "Seeing their accomplishments makes all of us at Cargill proud."

Additional information about Sunny Fresh and the Baldrige award can be found on Sunny Fresh's web site: www.sunnyfreshfoods.com.


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