MINNEAPOLIS– Cargill Corn Milling—one of the world’s leading producers of corn sweeteners and other value-added food, feed and fermentation products -- received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the highest Presidential honor awarded to organizations for innovation and performance excellence, at a ceremony today with Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, at the JW Marriott in Washington D.C.
This marks the second time in four years, and the third time overall, that a Cargill business has earned the Baldrige. Cargill’s egg processing business – then called Sunny Fresh and now known as Cargill Kitchen Solutions – received Baldrige awards in 1999 and 2005.
“More than 2,400 employees across nine plants, 11 distribution terminals and various other locations played a role in receiving this award,” said Cargill Corn Milling President Alan Willits. “No doubt the Baldrige examiners 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 commerce secretary and the National Institute of Standards and Technology provide the leadership and management for the program.
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 for Cargill Corn Milling included site visits by examiners to nine locations.
With headquarters in Minneapolis, Cargill Corn Milling consists of six corn “wet milling” and two corn “dry milling” facilities in the United States. The wet mills -- in which corn kernels are steeped in water and separated into starch, protein, germ and fiber – are located in Blair, Neb.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; 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.
Cargill Corn Milling was among just 13 of 85 award applicants in 2008 to receive site visits by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award examiners.