Readers of Dairy Foods magazine and helped select the 2013 Plant of the Year. Over a six-week period this summer, website visitors reviewed 13 nominated plants and voted for the Plant of the Year. All 13 nominees had been visited by Dairy Foods editors and were published in the previous 18 months. More than 2,700 votes were cast.

The formal presentation of the award will take place at the International Dairy Show in Chicago, Nov. 3 to 6. Plant director Ed Blascak is scheduled to lead a seminar about the best practices his team follows. Executives from Bel Brands USA’s Chicago headquarters are expected to attend the on-floor awards ceremony on Nov. 6.

To see the original story on Bel Brands and their award winning plant read, "Bel Brands' Wisconsin pride: A look inside the cheese plant".

We raised the bar on quality, food safety at our plant

Bel Brands USA, Little Chute, Wis., is proud to accept the 2013 Dairy Foods Plant of the Year award. The spreadable cheeses manufactured by the employees of Little Chute under the Kaukauna, WisPride, Merkts, and Owls Nest labels are leaders in the Entertaining Cheese Segment and in the Deli. Price’s Pimento Spread is the leading branded Pimento Cheese in the United States and a staple in the South Central United States. Our Boursin spreadable cheese is found on fine dining and casual menus throughout the country. Our commitment to high quality and continuous improvement has brought us to the next level in our manufacturing development.

Our food safety and quality initiative is an ever-evolving process. Our team set its sights on attaining the Food Safety System Certification 22000 in December of 2010. Since that time, we have learned more about ourselves and our business than we realized possible. The initiative is not only a process change, but a cultural change as well. It is a fully integrated process starting with our vendors following the path to the final customers. We have learned to look at each step of every function and ask questions along the way to improve upon the systems that we use to perform our work.

As we started to build the systems by putting the policies, programs, and procedures into practice, a transformation began to take place. The plant achieved a new level of orderliness and efficiency. This is a credit to all of the hard-working, dedicated employees of Little Chute. The key performance indicators that we use to measure our performance have shown a steady increase in a positive way. 

We have accomplished so much over the last three years in raising our level of manufacturing in the areas of food safety and quality with the support of Bel’s senior leadership group. This award recognizes the contributions of all the employees at Bel Brands USA in Little Chute. It follows our mission to delight people with a great tasting, unique cheese experience that fits their lifestyle.