ATLANTA – Marel, Tyson Foods Inc. and the USDA’s US Meat Animal Research Center received honors from the American Meat Institute and AMI Foundation during the International Production and Processing Exposition in Atlanta. The awards are given annually and recognize individuals from industry, academia or government whose professional contributions positively impact the meat and poultry industry.

AMI named Marel its Supplier of the Year. The award recognizes an AMI supplier member that partners with meat and poultry processors to achieve industry goals.

“Marel’s support for AMI, its members and the larger meat and poultry processing industry is truly remarkable. Marel’s team members work as our partners, helping us to achieve our business goals,” said AMI Chairman Nick Meriggioli, president of Kraft Foods., Inc./Oscar Mayer. "For these reasons, the company is truly deserving of the Supplier of the Year Award.”

Marel has been a strong supporter of the industry under the leadership of Einar Einarsson, president of the company. Marel was recently ranked number one globally in advanced equipment and systems for poultry, fish and segments of further processing, according to AMI.

Marel works alongside its customers to extend the boundaries of food processing performance, according to AMI. The company supports it customers with offices and subsidiaries in more than 30 countries on six continents, a global network of more than 100 agents and distributors and manufacturing facilities in 16 locations worldwide, AMI said.

AMI described Marel as an active, engaged member of the Institute's supplier community. Einarsson has served on AMI’s Board of Directors since 2011. The company most recently hosted the AMI Meat, Poultry & Seafood Industry Convention’s Expo Networking Reception in 2011.

Tyson Foods was awarded the Edward C. Jones Community Service Award. The award is named in honor of former AMI Board member, the late Edward C. Jones of Jones Dairy Farm, in Ft. Atkinson, Wis. AMI recognized Tyson's participation in hunger and disaster relief efforts. In 2012, Tyson launched the “Meals That Matter” disaster relief program in which the company deployed a special mobile feeding unit equipped to enhance the company's disaster relief efforts.

“Clearly, the caring nature of Tyson team members is not new,” Meriggioli said. “Their significant new efforts this year through the Meals that Matter Disaster Relief program that played such an important role in Hurricane Sandy relief makes the company very worthy of the 2013 Edward C. Jones Community Service Award.”

The Foundation honored USDA-USMARC for meat science research on both meat quality and safety. Recently, researchers conducted projects on detection of and postharvest interventions for non-O157 STEC that the beef industry used to demonstrate that a food safety management system in control for E. coli O157:H7 was also in control for other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

“The Center’s groundbreaking research has served the meat industry well in producing a better product for our customers,” said Meriggioli, who is also AMIF chairman. “This group’s active publication in peer reviewed journals, as well as the design of standard research protocols that are recognized as global standards, have contributed enormously to the safety of meat and poultry products.”