Tyson Foods: Food safety lab receives governor's quality award

The Tyson Food Safety and Research Laboratory won the coveted Governor's Award for Performance Excellence at the Arkansas Governor's Quality Awards on November 15 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The lab, located at Tyson headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, was the only recipient of the highest honor in the quality program this year.
“Receiving this award is a great honor for our laboratory and all of our Team Members,” says Vanessa Cook, manager Quality Systems and Safety. “This has been a monumental undertaking that has required a lot of change and a team effort from all of our staff. While our business results prove that we have become a greater asset for Tyson Foods, receiving the official recognition is a great way to finish up a year.”
The Governor's Award for Performance Excellence is the highest honor award in the Governor's Quality Award Program, which is the Arkansas version of the national Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The purpose of the award is to help Arkansas businesses improve and become more competitive in the national and world marketplaces.
The highest level of recognition is presented to organizations that have demonstrated through their practices and achievements the highest level of performance excellence. This criteria requires intensive evaluation in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, knowledge management, workforce focus, process management, and the measurement of processes and outcomes across the organization.
“We have been working to be at this high level of performance for five years now,” Vanessa says. “Receiving this award is also a great tool for our laboratory group as we begin our new task of becoming a commercially available laboratory. Along with our ISO 9001, ISO 17025, and numerous other accreditations, this award will be another great way to market our services.”
In 2006, the Food Safety and Research Laboratory began to implement the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence into its laboratory environment. That year, the Laboratory received the Commitment Award, followed in 2008 with the Achievement Award. 
“The implementation of these statistically proven practices defined by Baldrige criteria has helped our Laboratory Services Network to achieve improved productivity, efficiency, quality, and customer focus without additional staff or budget,” Vanessa says.

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