AUSTIN, MINN. — In announcing the release of its third corporate responsibility report May 7, Hormel Foods Corp. highlighted progress and campaigns related to employee relations, environmentalism, business ethics, animal welfare, food safety and philanthropy.

"Hormel Foods is committed to the principles of integrity and quality established by our founder 117 years ago," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, Hormel’s president and chief executive. "In our corporate responsibility report, we have highlighted our successes, but also identified new issues we should address, and most importantly, opportunities to move us forward through growth and innovation."

In the arena of employee relations, the report mentions that 56% of Hormel employees have worked at the company for at least five years and that injury rates at its facilities meet or are under the industry average for slaughtering and processing operations.

Using environmental benchmarks established in 2007, Hormel reports continued compliance with industry standards for animal welfare and successful progress in meeting goals focused on reducing wasted water and cutting down on packaging material.

To address demand for healthier foods, the report states that Hormel produces low-sodium and natural products. It also says that more than 560,000 pounds of salt was eliminated from Hormel’s product line in 2007 in addition to removing approximately 437,000 pounds of salt from the line in 2008.

The company also points out in the corporate responsibility report that it donated more that $6.5 million to charities and non-profit organizations in 2007 and 2008 in addition to providing food banks with more than 1 million pounds of meat products.