McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) yesterday presented Sun Valley (Thailand) Ltd. with the Sweeney Quality Award for 2000 -- McDonald's highest and most prestigious award for supplier excellence. The Sweeney Quality Award, presented every two years to one or more of McDonald's more than 4,000 suppliers worldwide, recognizes exemplary results in a number of key aspects of business performance.

"The Sweeney Quality Award is McDonald's gold standard for our suppliers," said Jack M. Greenberg, McDonald's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Sun Valley's innovation, management leadership, and business results make them a leader among our network of supply chain partners."

"Sun Valley is very proud to receive the Sweeney Quality Award," said Prasit Maekwatana, Managing Director, Sun Valley (Thailand) Ltd. "Innovation and continuous improvement are central to the way we seek to provide our customers with high quality products and services."

Sun Valley (Thailand) Ltd. operates state of-the-art and fully integrated hatcheries, feed mills, and further processing facilities in and around Saraburi, Thailand. The company provides specialty chicken products for nearly two hundred McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong. The company has been a McDonald's supplier in Asia for two years and overall the Cargill organization has been a supplier to McDonald's for more than 15 years.

Sun Valley is the second Cargill subsidiary to receive McDonald's Sweeney Quality Award. In 1998, McDonald's presented the award to Sunny Fresh Foods, Inc., based in Monticello, Minnesota. Subsequently Cargill's Sunny Fresh Foods went on to receive the U.S. Department of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1999.

McDonald's Corporation established the Sweeney Quality Award in 1990 in honor of E.J. "Bud" Sweeney, a McDonald's supplier who exemplified a commitment to management leadership, superior product quality and customer satisfaction.

Sweeney Award recipients must consistently demonstrate positive results in a variety of areas, including management leadership, social responsibility, strategic planning, customer satisfaction, human resource management, process management and overall business performance.

McDonald's evaluates Sweeney Quality Award applicants every two years. The criteria are comprehensive and measurable, and are based on the criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige Award. McDonald's spends about eight months reviewing applications and visiting supplier facilities to review management processes and results.

McDonald's is the world's leading food service retailer with more than 28,000 restaurants serving 45 million customers each day in 120 countries.

Approximately 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.