Press Release Provided by the American Feed Industry Association
The American Feed Industry Association in partnership with Feedstuffs is suspending the annual Feed Facility of the Year program for 2020, citing issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary suspension of the program will allow the AFIA to make important and necessary changes to the program, allowing it to continue being one of the best operational benchmarking programs within the industry.
Gary Huddleston, AFIA’s director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs, offered the following statement:
“As an essential industry, U.S. animal food manufacturers have been working hard throughout the pandemic to keep their plants operating safely and efficiently so that they can continue delivering livestock feed and pet food to the marketplace, all while adjusting to meet current and changing federal and state health and safety guidance to protect their employees. With current travel restrictions and visitor limitation polices in place, it would be difficult for all facilities that wish to apply to the program to safely be able to participate and for us to be able to score the award appropriately. The AFIA already had plans to make necessary modifications to the program so that the benchmarking data would be more meaningful and attract more participation in the program across the industry, so we will suspend the program this year while working with our members to hear their feedback and return with an even stronger and more effective program in 2021.”
The Feed Facility of the Year award recognizes overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations, from companies’ commitment to safety, quality and regulatory compliance to employee development to overall operating efficiencies. To date, 34 facilities have received this esteemed industry award.
The AFIA has been working with member focus groups on exciting changes for 2021, including making the application process easier and less time-consuming for facility managers, making the benchmarking more meaningful and enhancing the awards portion of the program.
The goals of the updated program are three-fold:
provide facility managers with meaningful benchmarking that will facilitate continuous improvement of their operations;
recognize facilities that do an outstanding job in their industry category among their peers; and
gather important industry benchmarking data the AFIA can use when working with various government agencies.