From Field to Bakery Success – The Importance of Sourcing Quality Ingredients

While the end of the fall harvest season is approaching, it could be said that Dawn’s harvest season is just beginning. By implementing a year-round sourcing strategy, we’re able to create a full “harvest cycle,” and yield high-quality ingredients throughout the year. Providing exceptional ingredients and products isn’t a once-a-year event – it’s a refined process that requires pulling from multiple sources at specific seasonal touch points. Below are a few steps Dawn takes to assure our customers receive the highest quality ingredients, so they can serve the best baked goods to their consumers.


Relationships Matter  

As a family-owned company nearing our 100th anniversary, Dawn understands the importance of relationships built on trust and longevity. Getting to know our suppliers helps us to better know their products, and in turn allows them to better understand ours. In our industry, there is a movement by suppliers to take shorter, more transactional relationships with millers (1-3 years) in order to cut costs. But at Dawn, we take these partnerships seriously, as we know the nature of these relationships ensure the success of our business and ultimately, the success of our customers. For example, our partnership with local Michigan millers have provided Dawn with exceptional ingredients for over 30 years!

These long-term partnerships benefit us year-round, proving invaluable both during the good times and the more difficult. A few years ago, Dawn decided to seek out long-term partnerships with egg providers. Quality eggs are vital to our line of finished goods and we wanted partners and companies we could trust and work with long term. These partnerships ended up benefitting us during an unexpected egg shortage and helped us continue to provide the same quality products our customers know and expect. During this time, while the industry experienced incredible shortages, Dawn had the supply of eggs needed to keep our plants running and our customers in business.

To provide industry-leading ingredients, it’s important for us to understand how our providers work. Just like snowflakes, no two harvest seasons are the same. Crops do not produce the same results year-over-year. Because of this, we constantly communicate with our suppliers to ensure we’re kept updated on the quality of their yields and how it may impact our products. We also conduct supplier audits as needed. Our strong relationships with our providers allow Dawn to develop and evolve as the industry does.


Always Consistent 

At Dawn, consistency in our quality ingredients is one of the most important services we provide. To ensure this level of reliability, we work with our suppliers to ensure all testing meets the specifications of our product and customer needs. We also require Certificates of Analysis (COAs) from our suppliers to ensure consistent ingredients. And we don’t stop there – we go the extra mile and bake with the ingredients as well. This allows us to test our products under a variety of conditions and ensure the quality of our ingredients before they go out to customers.

Flour, in particular, requires crucial testing and must meet high standards to perform well in baked goods. We take a rigorous, four-step approach when it comes to ensuring our flour quality. This process has helped Dawn establish an industry standard. Our process includes:

  • Harvesting in both the fall and summer based on the type of flour – winter wheat kernels need to be harvested in summer, and spring wheat kernels in late September. Each variety of wheat offers a different textural benefit to Dawn’s offerings
  • Enabling our millers to work with their famers to use the best farming methods and identify the perfect “window” for harvesting the kernels to maximize quality
  • Having dialogue with the suppliers at harvest of the kernels to ensure they procure the quality of wheat to match Dawn’s functional requirements
  • Conduct rigorous new crop flour testing for both chemical and baking attributes

We also work closely with our fruit supply partners throughout the year to receive the best products possible. As most fruits have a small window of time to harvest while ripe, to guarantee quality control, we work alongside our partners to source our crops before harvest and take great care when cutting and packaging fruits to guarantee freshness.  


apple crisp use

Developing Better Products 

We constantly review our sourcing methods to focus on perfecting our products and to ensure we provide our customers with the highest quality ingredients to help drive their business forward. Dawn understands the importance of keeping quality consistent while expanding our portfolio.

While we work extremely close with our ingredient suppliers to keep our products consistent, we also work with them on new technologies and ingredients. This pushes us to develop more consistent products for the future. As new technologies from suppliers are discovered, we test them in our labs (and kitchens) to create new offerings and industry standards.

For almost 100 years, our commitment to consistency, superior products and our valued partners has allowed us to provide our customers around the globe with the ingredients needed to grow their business. By sourcing quality ingredients, Dawn helps its customers meet the demand for increasing transparency in the food industry by providing bakers with ingredients that consumers can trust.

For more details on Dawn’s local ingredient sourcing, please reach out to your local sales representative for additional details.