AUSTIN, Minn. — Hormel Foods Corporation announced it has become the first manufacturer to achieve full certification in category management from the Category Management Association (CMA). Founded in 2004 to advance professional standards and encourage collaboration between category management professionals around the world, CMA is the first and only group to certify companies and individuals in category management based on recognized industry-wide standards.

A steering committee comprised of veteran category management professionals from consumer packaged goods companies, retailers and research organizations developed these standards.

Certification is based on experience and formal training. There are three levels for individual certification: Certified Professional Category Analyst (CPCA), Certified Professional Category Manager (CPCM) and Certified Professional Strategic Advisor (CPSA). There are a total of 33 training modules across these three certification levels, with 10 at the analyst level, 15 at the manager level and eight at the strategic advisor level.

More than 25 Hormel Foods category-management professionals were recognized with individual certifications.

To gain corporate certification, the Certification Evaluation Board, the independent entity dedicated to managing CMA’s certification process, carefully reviewed the category management training programs at Hormel Foods, as well as the methodologies and metrics used by the company to ensure they meet the standards set by CMA. Hormel Foods is the first manufacturer to have all 33 training modules certified.

“I would like to congratulate Hormel Foods on being the first manufacturer to have all 33 required learning programs on the certification scorecard certified,” said Dan Strunk, chairman of the Certification Evaluation Board. “Hormel Foods has proven that it is a true leader in category management, and that its category management team is comprised of first-rate professionals.”

“Our category management professionals at Hormel Foods are dedicated to providing objective insights and recommendations to our retail partners in an effort to grow total category sales and better serve shoppers,” said Bob Samples, director of category planning and support at Hormel Foods. “This certification validates our work and demonstrates our commitment to being a leader in category management.”