Butterball achieved its newest worker safety milestone when its Huntsville, AR plant reached 3 million hours without any lost-time injuries. This latest accolade has been a central focus at Butterball’s Huntsville facility for more than a decade. Now that the facility celebrates 3 million hours without injuries, Brian Rodgers, director of safety and risk management, attributes this success to the employees who have led the company’s worker safety program.

“We are incredibly honored to have our Huntsville plant receive such well-deserved recognition,” Rodgers said, “This is a direct result of our employees who believe and work toward Butterball’s commitment to creating a safe and healthy work environment for team members.”

The employees of this facility have diligently maintained industry safety standards through various training and management-accountability programs. A few of the protocols that have helped the Huntsville facility reach this accomplishment include:
* Extensive health examinations for production associates
* Training programs that include classroom sessions, medical assessments and line training
* Weekly safety, equipment and site checks conducted by production associates and management teams
* Hazard resolution log database used to track safety hazards until they are properly resolved.

“Our employees are a vital component to Huntsville’s successful safety program,” Rodgers said, “Their feedback provides useful information needed to evaluate and critique the effectiveness of our safety initiatives.”

In 2003, Butterball’s Huntsville facility was also designated a STAR Site for its worker safety program by the National Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program (OSHA VPP). The Huntsville plant also received the “Star Among Stars” award for retaining incident levels 50 percent below the industry average in 2006 and 2007. Butterball’s participation in the federal OSHA VPP provided standards that helped the company significantly reduce lost-time injuries and accomplish numerous worker safety goals.

“Butterball hopes to continue inspiring employees and the poultry industry to set higher standards for occupational safety,“ Rodgers said, “We view safety as an important part of maintaining sound business practices and providing a rewarding work experience for all of our employees.”

For an in-depth, exclusive look at the Butterball's Huntsville plant and its top-of-the-line worker-safety initiatives, read our January 2009 cover story, "Safe Haven", at http://www.provisioneronline.com/Articles/Cover_Story/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000504498

Listen to Brian Rodgers, director of safety and risk management for Butterball, explain how Butterball developed its excellent worker safety programs in our Worker Safety podcast series. Download Episode 1 at http://bnpmedia.vo.llnwd.net/o25/NP/Podcasts/09-Butterball-Safety_Processes.mp3. For future Worker Safety podcasts from Butterball, as well as a variety of other podcasts from industry experts, check out our Podcast page by going to http://www.provisioneronline.com/CDA/HTML/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000400552.

Source: Butterball LLC

Tyson announces promotions

Leland Tollett, interim president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods Inc., named Archie Schaffer executive vice president, corporate affairs, a new position that is intended to enhance and expand the company’s role in the business community. Schaffer, who has been with the company 18 years, was previously senior vice president for external relations where he oversaw the company’s government, public and community relations efforts. He will continue to report to Tollett in his new job.

“I am pleased for the company that we can continue to benefit from the considerable talents Archie Schaffer has offered us over the past two decades,” Tollett said. “This new position will give us more depth in the corporate affairs arena, and better enable us to communicate with others in the world of business and those in government who regulate and influence our business.“

Schaffer joined Tyson in 1991 as director of media, public and governmental affairs. His roles and responsibilities grew and he became senior vice president for external relations in 1999. Tollett also announced that Sara Lilygren, Tyson’s vice president, federal governmental relations in Washington, D.C., will move to Springdale, AR, to become senior vice president, external relations at the end of June. Lilygren has run Tyson’s lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. for seven years. She will report to Schaffer in this new role.

To replace Lilygreen in Washington, Schaffer announced that Chuck Penry will become Tyson’s new vice president, federal governmental relations in the company’s Washington, D.C. office next month. Penry is currently legislative director, government relations for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “We are delighted to welcome Chuck to our team,” Schaffer said. “His experience in agriculture and in government relations makes him a terrific addition to our already accomplished Washington, D.C. office.”

Schaffer also announced the previous promotions of two additional Tyson team members in the Washington, D.C. office. Todd Menotti, former director, federal governmental relations, is now senior director, federal governmental relations. And Nora Venegas, former manager, federal governmental relations, is now director, federal governmental relations. Both promotions were effective earlier this year.

Source: Tyson Foods Inc.

Monogram wins Small Business Award

Monogram Food Solutions LLC, the Memphis-based manufacturer of branded processed meats, which owns theKing Cotton,Circle B,Trail's BestandPete's Pridebrands of meat products, has been selected by theMemphis Business Journalas one of its 2009 Small Businesses of the Year Award Winners. Monogram was selected in the category for businesses with 61 to 350 employees.

For 29 years the Memphis Business Journal has recognized business excellence through its Small Business Awards. Nominations for the awards are taken from the Memphis business community. MBJ's editorial staff then reviews the nominations and selects five finalists in each of three company size based categories. A panel of independent judges from the business community then makes the final award decisions based on site visits, interview with finalists and research into business performance.

"We are honored to be selected for this award because it gives outside reinforcement to all we have been doing to build a strong company, with strong brands, a deep and talented team and a focus on building on of the country's premier producers, marketers and licensees of meat products," said Karl Schledwitz, chairman and CEO of Monogram. "Our goal is excellence at every level and at every one of our facilities across the country."

Monogram Food Solutions was founded five years ago when a group of Memphis investors bought King Cotton and Circle B Brand foods from Sara Lee Corporation, bringing the brands back to home to Memphis where King Cotton was founded nearly 75 years ago. King Cotton and Circle B brands continue to be among the leading brands of hot dogs, corn dogs, bologna, and smoked sausage in Memphis and the Mid-South. The company's products also include well-known name-brand products such as Jeff Foxworthy Jerky, Bass Pro Uncle Buck's Licensed Products, Trail's Best Meat Snacks and Pete's Pride Meat Products. Monogram now operates facilities in Tennessee, Minnesota, and Indiana.

Source: Monogram Food Solutions

NRA Restaurant Performance Index reaches highest level in 11 months

The outlook for the restaurant industry grew more optimistic in April, as the National Restaurant Association’s comprehensive index of restaurant activity registered its fourth consecutive monthly gain. The Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 98.6 in April, up 0.8 percent from March, its highest level in 11 months.

“The recent growth in the RPI was driven by the Expectations component, which rose above 100 in April for the first time in 18 months, a level which indicates expansion,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research and Information Services for the Association. “Although the RPI’s Current Situation indicators are still in a period of contraction, the solid improvement in the forward-looking indicators suggests that the end of the industry’s downturn may be in sight.”

The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. The Index consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index.

The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators.

The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 97.0 in April – up 0.9 percent from March and its highest level since August 2008. However, April represented the 20th consecutive month below 100, which continues to signify contraction in the current situation indicators.

The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 100.2 in April – up 0.8 percent from March and its fifth consecutive monthly increase. In addition, the Expectations Index crossed above the 100 level for the first time in 18 months, which signifies expansion in the forward-looking indicators.

Growth in the Expectations Index was driven by restaurant operators’ improving outlook for both sales and the economy. In fact, for the first time in 15 months, restaurant operators reported a positive six-month outlook for sales growth. Thirty-three percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), up from 30 percent last month and the highest level in 18 months. Meanwhile, just 30 percent of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, down from 38 percent who reported similarly last month.

Source: National Restaurant Association