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Friday, October 1, 2004

Nashville, Tenn. – Three leading supplier companies – CFS North America, Planet Products and Alkar-RapidPak, Inc. -- today were honored with The American Meat Institute Supplier of the Year Award. The award was presented during AMI’s Annual Convention and Innovation Showcase, September 30-October 2, at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center.

Each year, AMI honors an outstanding supplier company that has made a significant contribution to the success of the meat and poultry industry, though AMI leadership decided that three companies this year have made similar, exceptional contributions and should be honored together.

In presenting the award, American Meat Institute Chairman Stewart Owens, chairman, president and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., noted that the Institute declared food safety a non-competitive issue in 2001, “a vote that triggered a wave of cooperation and innovation among our members.” In 2003, AMI unveiled new Principles for Sanitary Equipment Design developed by an AMI Task Force.

“The principles have given clear sanitary design direction to equipment manufacturers and there are many AMI member companies, including such names as AEW Delford, Drake, Mepaco, Multivac, Formax and Weber, that have done a great deal to improve their designs,” Owens said. “Indeed, the true potential of these principles could only be realized in their implementation. Three companies in particular have done an exceptional job with redesigns to conform to the new sanitary design principles – and are achieving outstanding results. I’m talking about Convenience Food Systems, Planet Products Corp and Alkar-Rapid Pak.”

According to Owens,

• CFS North America has designed a line of slicers, loaders and packaging machines in accordance with the new sanitary design principles.
• Planet Products has developed entirely new frank loaders based on the sanitary design principles and increased capacity and throughput.
• Alkar RapidPak, Inc designed and developed an entirely new RapidPak packaging machine with the principles at their core.

“Together, these innovative efforts are helping accelerate the remarkable reductions in bacteria on products that have been documented by USDA. For that, we offer our sincere appreciation,” Owens said. “These companies truly are partners in our success.”

The American Meat Institute was founded in 1906 and is the nation's oldest and largest meat and poultry trade association. It represents the interests of packers, processors, and suppliers of beef, pork, lamb, veal, and turkey products in North America. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Institute provides regulatory, legislative, technical, scientific, educational, and public relations services to the industry.

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. VP, Public Affairs

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