Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Kansas City, Kan., received the International Dairy Foods Association’s (IDFA) 2021 Food Safety Leadership Award during IDFA’s Dairy Forum on Jan. 26. The award was presented to the DFA Dairy Brands division food safety and quality assurance team and was accepted by Roger Hooi, DFA’s vice president of quality assurance, food safety and regulatory. The award, now in its fifth year, honors an individual, group or organization for demonstrating outstanding leadership directed at enhancing food safety within the dairy products industry, Washingon, D.C.-based IDFA said.

“The members of this DFA Dairy Brands team, led by Roger Hooi, are well-respected and recognized across the dairy industry and have contributed greatly to advancing food safety for the broader dairy industry,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards. “IDFA is proud to present this year’s Food Safety Leadership Award to this team.”

Alan Bernon, president and CEO of DFA’s Dairy Brands division noted that the global pandemic, as well as transitioning facilities from Dean Foods to DFA, made for a challenging environment in 2020 for the Dairy Brands division.

“Roger and his team remained disciplined and committed to upholding the high standards for quality and food safety demanded by our business, our customers and consumers,” he said. “We are proud of them and their work, and look forward to continuing to serve our family dairy farmer-owners.”

Previous recipients of the award include Edith Wilkin, staff vice president and fellow, food safety and regulatory compliance for Leprino Foods (2020); The Ice Cream Club Inc. (2019); Brian Kraus, director of food safety and regulatory compliance, Wells Enterprises Inc. (2018); and the Cornell University Dairy Foods Extension team (2017).

A call for nominations for the 2022 Food Safety Leadership Award will be released this summer, IDFA said.