1. When are the entries due?
Submissions for the 2020 Food Plant of the Year award are due by December 13, 2019.
2. What plants are eligible?
Any new food/beverage plant or major retrofit that became fully operational in calendar year 2019. Note: Plant should produce processed food/beverage products (not simply value-added commodities) designed for human consumption.
Plant visit: Any plant entered in the competition must be available by January 2020 for an editorial visit to be part of our April issue. Please do not submit a plant that will not be available.
3. Are renovations eligible?
Yes, major renovations/expansions of existing facilities are eligible. Renovations will be judged on an equal footing with greenfield plants. Projects must have been completed in calendar year 2019.
4. Who may submit entries?
Food companies, A/E firms, suppliers or any others qualified to provide a detailed rationale for a particular plant.
Address for Entries and Further Information
155 N. Pfingsten Rd., Suite 205
Deerfield, IL 60015
What are the judging criteria?
1. The plant’s contribution (actual/projected) to the company’s long-term business plans/strategies.
2. The level of innovation in processing and packaging line design (creative new technology or creatively used existing technology). This can include post-production materials handling.
3. Building and site innovations.
4. Productive integration of workers into overall plan.
What is required?
A detailed narrative (maximum 10 pages, 8 1/2 x 11-inch page size) in support of the entry. Narrative should document the ways in which the plant excels with reference to the stated judging criteria. However, if there are additional relevant matters that go beyond the stated criteria, please be sure to call them to the judges’ attention in the narrative. These might include: on-time/on-budget performance; environmental impact; worker safety innovations; food safety innovations; advanced automation, process control and software technologies; size of project; manufacturing teams; flexible manufacturing; supply chain management; vertical startups; and enterprise resource planning.
Clearly captioned illustrations, drawings, photos, etc. should be submitted if directly relevant, but must be reduced to an 8 1/2 x 11 inch size, and should be able to be photocopied. The materials will be photocopied by Food Engineering. Please send high quality photos, not color copies. Five copies of each entry should be submitted in a durable folder that also allows for easy removal for photocopying. It is not recommended that the entries be submitted as loose sheets. Video clips of the facility's processing and packaging lines may also be included to support the entry, if available. Please include five copies of the video.
All entries should have a copy of the official Entry Form attached to the front.
Entries due: December 13, 2019
Final selection of winner: January 2020
Plant visit by FE editors: January/February 2020
Specially featured on the cover of Food Engineering: April 2020
Past Plant of the Year Award Winners
2019 Valley Milk LLC
2015 Mars Chocolate North America
2014 Blue Diamond Growers
2012 Northeast Foods - Automatic Rolls of NC
2011 Shearer's Foods
2010 Keystone Foods
2009 Celebration Foods
2008 Barilla America
2007 T. Marzetti
2006 Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream
2005 Bell & Evans
2004 Pepperidge Farm
2003 American Italian Pasta Company
2002 Future Beef Operations, LLC
2001 Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee USA Ltd.
2000 The Dannon Co., Inc.
1999 Hunt-Wesson, Inc.
1998 Wyandot, Inc.
1997 Hudson Foods, Kentucky Div.
1996 Nabisco Specialty Products
1995 Dole Value-Added Products
1994 Jerome Cheese
1993 Carolina Food Processors
1992 Pepperidge Farm
1991 General Mills
1990 Mazza Cheese
1989 Carnation Co.
1987 Steuben Foods
1986 Golden Cheese
1983 Campbell Soup