On May 3, 2006, Kraft Foods’ Planters Peanuts facility celebrated a new century of operating in Virginia and a new beginning in the Virginia VPP program. All production was halted for two hours so that employees and management, along with Mr. Peanut, could enjoy a program that included a catered BBQ and remarks from the Mayor of Suffolk, Bobby L. Ralph; our own Commissioner, Ray Davenport; Plant Manager, Dan Huss and a previous CSHO in our Tidewater office and now Safety Manager, Tim Rosenmeier. Also, Benford Hunter, Jr., President of Local UAW 2426 added his comments and a short poem of his own to commemorate the site’s certification as a STAR worksite.
There was good reason for all of the celebration. Planters Peanuts has had a history of safety and health excellence. Prior to the VPP audit, a total of 10 years had passed and 8 million work hours had been achieved without a lost time accident. While records come and go, the efforts of the Planters employees have not gone unnoticed or unrewarded. The Suffolk plant has won the Kraft Food North America Excellence Award for Safety for three consecutive years.
With all of the VPP elements in place and a modern facility, Kraft Foods has put its best foot forward to enter a new century of safety and health excellence for the employees of Planters Peanuts.