California-based poultry producer Foster Farms has been selected as 2016 "Processor of the Year" by The National Provisioner, a meat and poultry trade publication. Foster Farms earned the top industry award for its leadership in the organic and antibiotic-free fresh chicken categories, in which Foster Farms now ranks among the top brands in the western U.S.
The magazine also recognized Foster Farms' innovation in new products, growth and expansion nationally as well as the company's continued leadership and advancements in food safety and its ongoing water conservation initiatives.
The National Provisioner editor-in-chief, Andy Hanacek, said, "Foster Farms' proactive and successful voyage into a position of true industry leadership over the past two years has made it stand above all others for this prestigious honor."
The National Provisioner cited four major accomplishments by Foster Farms:
- Rapid, strategic growth of product lines and nationwide distribution, including the introduction of antibiotic-free Simply Raised and USDA-certified organic fresh chicken products in its traditional West Coast markets as well as 46 other new products.
- A "massive investment of more than $120 million" over the last two years in facility operations, food-safety infrastructure and equipment upgrades.
- "Innovative initiatives in water conservation" in California, which is suffering a drought, that are expected to cut overall water usage by 25 percent in 2016 compared to three years ago.
- "Continued sharp focus on food safety... in the interest of setting a higher benchmark of success on behalf of the industry."
"It is a great honor for Foster Farms to earn this industry recognition," said President and CEO Ron Foster. "It acknowledges not only our continuing progress and commitment to excellence, but also the hard work of all those who contribute every day to our company's success."