For more than a quarter of a century, Food Engineering has, each year, honored one food or beverage manufacturing plant as a shining example of innovation. This year we continue the tradition with the search for the 2008 Food Plant of the Year. 

What does it take to be a winner? A commitment to excellence, an outstanding new facility, or a major plant renovation or expansion project completed in 2007.  

If you’d like to join the ranks of past winners including T. Marzetti, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Pepperidge Farm, The Dannon Company, Coors, Frito-Lay and Campbell Soup, please read on.

Any new food/beverage plant or major retrofit that became fully operational in calendar year 2007 is eligible for the 2008 Plant of the Year award. Plants should produce finished processed food/beverage products designed for human consumption. All facilities entered in the competition must be available by January 2008 for an editorial visit to be part of our April 2008 issue.

Projects will be judged on the following criteria:

n Contribution to the company’s long-term business plans/strategies

n Innovation in processing and packaging and post-production material handling

  • Productive integration of workers into overall plan

  • On-time/on-budget performance

  • Sustainability initiatives

  • Worker safety innovation

  • Food safety innovation

  • State-of-the-art automation and software technologies

  • Flexible manufacturing 

  • Supply chain management.

    All entries are due December 3, 2007. For a complete list of requirements and information on entry preparation, please visit and click on Plant of the Year Entry Form.

    The 26th annual Food Plant of the Year award will be presented on April 8, 2008 at Food Engineering’s Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo, scheduled for April 6-9 at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL.

    Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing about your latest manufacturing innovations.