Smithfield highlights sustainability efforts

by Erica Shaffer
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Smithfield Foods pigs
Converting to group housing for its sows is among many of Smithfield Foods' sustainability initiatives. (photo: Smithfield Foods)

SMITHFIELD, Va. – For Smithfield Foods, there’s only one way to go after achieving its goals to be a sustainable consumer packaged goods company — higher.

The company has set new sustainability targets after surpassing or achieving many of its targets that were set in 2010. Areas of emphasis include animal care, the environment, employees, food safety and community assistance. Smithfield also launched a new corporate website — smithfieldfoods.com — detailing the company’s ongoing sustainability initiatives.

“It’s always gratifying to meet the targets that were established as part of our journey toward becoming the most responsible company in the food industry,” said Dennis H. Treacy, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer. “It’s exciting to consider that each updated or renewed target takes us even further.”

Smithfield’s new targets include:

• completing conversion to group housing systems for pregnant sows on US company-owned farms by the end of 2017, and completing conversion to group housing systems for pregnant sows on US contract farms and in joint ventures worldwide by 2022;

• achieving annual Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) results better than the general industry average;

• achieving 10 percent reduction in normalized water use and solid waste to landfill by 2020 and 5 percent reduction in normalized energy use and GHG emissions, from a 2014 baseline; and

• each facility participating in at least four community events per year, as well as maintain Smithfield’s ongoing Learners to Leaders and Helping Hungry Homes programs.

The new website documents Smithfield Foods’ journey toward becoming a leading branded packaged meats company and the company’s emphasis on building its brands, people and leadership in sustainability initiatives. The site focuses on the company’s three guiding principles: Responsible Operations, Transparency and Innovation.

“We’re very excited about our new website because it reflects, and supports, our evolution into ‘One Smithfield’ and our mission to provide Good food. Responsibly,” Smithfield president and CEO C. Larry Pope said. “These principles serve as the foundation for the decisions we make relative to our brands, our sustainability efforts, and how we interact with employees and other stakeholders.”

Other features on the website include:

• videos that incorporate interviews with company executives and other employees, such as an on-the-farm look at Smithfield’s sow housing conversion process; and

• the company’s comprehensive Integrated Report which outlines Smithfield’s measurable sustainability and financial results.

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