Reston, Va. – Five Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) facilities earned top safety honors from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and Dairy Foods magazine through the annual Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards. MDVA’s processing facility in Strasburg, Va. was an honoree as were four of MDVA’s local distribution branches: Charlotte, N.C.; Fayetteville, N.C.; High Point, N.C.; and Roanoke, Va.
The facilities were judged based on occupational injury and illness performance rates as well the safety and health programs implemented at each location. In the case of MDVA, it was a “Safety First” cultural shift.
“Transitioning to a ‘Safety First’ culture takes the bold action of local leadership,” said Chief Executive Officer Jay Bryant. “I’m proud of the way our plants and distribution branches have adapted to this concept so quickly. It is clear the culture that we are creating works to keep our employees and our dairy products safe.”
Each of MDVA’s five processing facilities launched a “Safety First” plan in 2020. The plan aims to reduce injuries and accidents through cultural change by fostering an environment of trust between employees and management. Plants also conduct weekly reviews of “Safety First” metrics and take improvement actions at the local level.
“Our ‘Safety First’ approach applies across the board to our products and our environment, but most importantly to our people,” said Executive Vice President for Operations Todd Aarons. “We owe it to our employees to provide a work environment that not only fosters learning but returns them home safely to their families at the end of their shift.”
At the distribution branches, “Safety First” is implemented as drivers deliver products to customers. MDVA monitors vehicle safety performance metrics and utilizes a third-party monitoring service to report driver safety comments from the public. MDVA’s branches also go beyond the required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) training during monthly safety meetings.
Maryland & Virginia owns five dairy processing plants and ten direct store distribution locations in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
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Contact: Amanda Culp at 540-333-9873.
About Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative
Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative is a community of more than 900 dairy farm families in 11 states passionate about cultivating dairy goodness and bottling fresh Maola brand milk and dairy products. Our farmer-owned cooperative owns five dairy processing plants that process more than three billion pounds of milk annually. Our diverse portfolio of dairy products are then distributed to consumers in the United States and ingredients customers worldwide. Our cooperative is a leader in sustainability, partnering across the supply chain to deliver sustainable solutions to our member farms. We take pride in supporting the educational and nutritional needs of the communities in our milkshed through our MDVA Fund. For more information about Maryland & Virginia, visit www.mdvamilk.com.