TORONTO — Maple Leaf Foods’ seven-year-old plant in Hamilton, Ontario, was named Site of the Year for the Americas by Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards (BRCGS), thanks to the operation’s commitment to food safety practices.

The company initially chose to join BRCGS certification in order to stay up to date with the latest global food safety standards. The BRCGS mission is to harmonize food safety standards across the global supply chain.

“Over the years, the BRC (currently known as BRCGS) standard evolution has helped us continuously grow and mature in food safety and quality,”  said Spir Marinakis, vice president of food safety and quality assurance, said in a Maple Leaf Foods blog. “As new food safety risks emerge, so do the methodologies to ensure its safety. We know more now about how to produce safe, healthy food than ever before.”

Part of the Hamilton plant’s strategy for implementing high standards of health and sanitation is holding a corporate wide food safety call first thing every morning to discuss any challenges and problem solve as a team, Marinakis said.

“Like all new plants, we faced some challenges achieving the high standards to which we aspired,” he said. “But the journey taught us that a clear food safety vision and sustained effort and commitment by our plant team would reap tremendous rewards. We just never expected it to be BRCGS Site of the Year for the Americas from among 4,000 sites.”

Around the globe, over 29,000 sites follow BRCGS.