2012 Large Manufacturer of the Year: GNP Company

Boasting a long list of 'firsts', GNP has been an industry leader for over eight decades

By Maura Keller

Editor's note: This article is part of The top Minnesota manufacturers of 2012, a feature appearing in the November 2012 issue.

For more than 80 years, GNP Company (known better to consumers as Gold'n Plump) has made a significant impact on the poultry industry in Minnesota. Based in St. Cloud, it's evolved from a small seasonal hatchery to a fully integrated broiler chicken operation, including breeder flocks, hatcheries, milling its own feed, and processing and selling its own products.

According to Lexann Reischl, corporate relations manager, the company has embraced numerous industry firsts, includ- ing being one of the first poultry companies to offer a clear, leak-proof package with a traceability feature allowing con- sumers to learn of the family farm where it was raised.

"We are also the first poultry company in the county to offer a full line of fresh, fixed-weight, scannable products providing easier-to-merchandise product," Reischl says. "And we were the first to place a freshness date code on an entire line of fresh chicken products, providing consumers the assurance of fresh, high-quality chicken."

GNP Company believes its influence on local communities extends beyond direct payment of wages and taxes. "By supporting local businesses in the supply chain, we can attract investment to the local economy and help build healthy, thriving communities," Reischl says. This is evident in the millions of meals it donates each year and the numerous awards for excellence it's received over the years. "Our membership in the Minnesota Keystone Program for 24 years, for donating five percent of pre-tax profits to charitable causes each year - this is evidence of our community impact, as is the four United Way awards our company won in 2011."

And other numbers don't lie about GNP's success: 34 percent of its workforce has been with the company for at least 10 years, and many for 20 and 30 years. And about half of all family farm partners have been with the company for more than 20 years.

"In 2011, we achieved 99.7 percent order accuracy, 92 percent order fill rate, 99.4 percent case fill rate, and 99.8 percent on-time delivery for our customers," Reischl says.

So what does the future hold for GNP? "In addition to our multiyear expansion completed in Arcadia, Wisconsin, GNP will be continuing to invest in our people and communities," Reischl says. "We will also continue our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement."