In late 2019, GSF completed the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s Food Safety Net Services audit for Packer/Processors. The Opelika Protein Products facility achieved the highest level three requirements in the categories of Animal Health & Well-being and Employee Safety & Well-Being, as well as level two requirements in the categories of Efficiency & Yield, Air & Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Water Resources.
“With all level one and two requirements complete and some level three requirements met, our Protein Products Group aims to continuously improve these levels going forward. Advancing our sustainable practices remains at the heart of our business and at the core of our culture.”– Dr. Wayne Morgan, Corporate Vice President and President Protein Products and Sustainability
Across two shifts, about 285 GSF associates in Opelika, Alabama produce fresh and frozen ground beef patties and bulk ground beef product in the 164,000-square-foot facility. The Protein team currently monitors or implements the following beef sustainability initiatives:
- LEED Certified
- Tracking sustainability metrics
- Efficiency tracking through Red Zone software
- Leadership in the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
- Participation in sustainability pilot projects across all segments of the beef industry
- Funding beef producer education programs on sustainability
In addition to its achieving top-level sustainability requirements, GSF’s Protein Products manufacturing facility recently earned the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) 2019 Worker Safety Recognition Award during the Worker Safety Conference for the Meat and Poultry Industry in January 2020. As just one of 16 plants out of 130 to achieve the award this year, the Opelika facility clearly demonstrated its commitment to creating a safer workplace for all meat and poultry industry workers, according to NAMI.
“This honor affirms our industry leadership in safety and accountability to our customers and associates. Working safely is everything, and it takes every team member’s focus and follow through to deliver the results that Opelika has achieved.”– Nathan Murphy, Group Vice President of Operations, Protein Products
Opelika’s excellent award evaluation is based on beating the national industry standard for occupational injuries/illnesses, its safety and health program questionnaire and its DART (Days Away, Restricted or Transferred) rate, an OSHA calculation that determines how safe businesses have been in a calendar year per certain types of workers’ compensation injuries.