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Colleague Principles

In order to encourage, achieve and maintain an atmosphere of high integrity, trust, competence and harmony among all colleagues, customers and suppliers, each Morning Star Colleague commits to the following:

1. Mission. Our Mission is to produce tomato products, which consistently achieve the product and service expectations of our customers in a cost effective, environmentally responsible manner. We will provide bulk-packaged products to food processors and customer-branded, finished products to the food service and retail trade.

2. Individual Goals and Teamwork. We hereby agree to commit ourselves to the pursuit of perfection with regard to our integrity, competence and individual responsibility. In recognition of each Colleague's personal goal of achieving happiness, each of us commits to pursue teamwork because Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

3. Personal Responsibility and Initiative. We agree to take full responsibility for our actions as well as those of fellow Colleagues and our overall Mission. We are personally responsible for our training, time commitments, performance and participating in and contributing toward achieving the Mission and practicing the Principles. We commit to manage ourselves, to be principally responsible for the planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling functions with respect to our Mission. To personally take the initiative to coordinate our responsibilities and activities with other Colleagues, to develop opportunities for improvement and for making things happen. In coordinating with our fellow Colleagues, we commit to (a) communicate and consult with other parties who are likely to be meaningfully affected when initiating a change of any sort, (b) seek the input of others who we believe have additional and substantive expertise related to the proposal.

4. Tolerance. It is understood that individuals differ in many ways—their values, tastes, moods and methods to achieve goals. It is agreed that these types of differences between individual Colleagues, which do not directly affect our Mission, will be respected and tolerated.

5. Direct Communication and Gaining Agreement. Differences between human beings are a natural and necessary aspect of life, especially in the pursuit of excellence. Differences may vary from how to answer the phone, to what type of oil to use in a gearbox, to what equipment to purchase to improve operations, to whether one is following our Principles or advancing our Mission, to how a person combs their hair. To gain agreement and move forward, we agree to utilize the following process:

  • When one Colleague perceives a difference with another, we agree to privately engage with the other Colleague as soon as practical and attempt to resolve any differences to our mutual satisfaction. As a general rule, we will not discuss such matters with other Colleagues. However, if a colleague feels uneasy directly discussing a matter regarding another Colleague, then they should to go to another Colleague to discuss alternatives for solving the issue, keeping in mind that confidence should be maintained with their chosen ombudsman.
  • If either of the Colleagues do not feel the matter has been resolved to their satisfaction, then both of them agree to engage one other Colleague as soon as practical and attempt to resolve any differences to their mutual satisfaction with the help of the third Colleague.
  • If either of the Colleagues still do not feel the matter has been resolved to their satisfaction, then both of them agree to engage with a contingent of approximately three (3) to ten (10) Colleagues appropriate for the matter. Appropriate Colleagues would be those in the affected work environment or those with relevant expertise with the issue at hand.
  • If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, a summary of the issue, verification that the colleague process for gaining agreement was followed, and potential resolutions supported by named colleagues shall be immediately prepared, signed by both parties and the local CLOU Colleague, and forwarded to the President of Morning Star. The President with either (a) decide the issue and provide a written summary of the decision to both parties; (b) call a meeting with both parties and the panel; or (c) designate a person to decide the issue.
  • In attempting to resolve differences, the following shall be given careful consideration: A) our Mission and any specific objective; B) the relevant facts, assumptions and values; and C) the method used to determine the proper direction. Other courses of action, upon mutual agreement among the affected Colleagues are encouraged; however, either party has the option of requiring the above steps to be taken at their request.
  • When there is a course of action has been determined for the facility Colleagues, or specific Colleagues, it is incumbent on each Colleague to follow that course of action. If new, material information becomes available which could change the chosen course of action regarding any particular matter, then it should be presented for consideration and a new determination. Until a new course of action is determined, each Colleague agrees to follow the chosen course of action and work energetically toward achieving the Mission in the manner decided.

6. Caring and Sharing. To the degree Colleagues care about themselves, their friends and relatives, fellow Colleagues, suppliers, customers, the environment, the Mission, Principles and facilities, etc., each of us will come closer to achieving our personal goals. In caring for others, each colleague commits to (1) share relevant information with others, (2) take initiative to forward information that they believe may be helpful to another's activities, even if it is not asked for, and (3) responding to respectful inquiries made of them by other Colleagues in a respectful and responsive manner.

7. Doing What is Right. Live, speak and endeavor to find the truth.