Sustainability 101 Case Example: Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, with revenues exceeding $15 billion in 2014. In early 2010, the company “adopted a set of goals and sustainability targets to exceed all regulatory guidelines or previous achievements.” The following year, the company “expanded some of these targets and put more focus on value creation,” which underpins the company’s sustainability strategy.

With an underlying objective to “keep all animals safe, comfortable, and happy,” the company reached several targets ahead of schedule. In early 2015, they adopted a new series of goals and targets. Company management considers a facilities-based target as “achieved” for 2014 if 100 percent of locations have met the standard. Targets are noted as “on track” if they are less than 100 percent achieved but making appropriate progress.

Targets are established, for example, for Employees, Animal Care, Environment, Food Safety & Quality, and Helping Communities.

Two example targets (and 2014 results) include:

  • Remain 100% Pork Quality Assurance Plus compliant at all company-owned and contract farms. [Results: 100% of company-owned and contract farms were PQA Plus compliant.]
  • Maintain PQA Plus certification for all suppliers and move toward site assessments. [Results: 100% of live animals were delivered by PQA Plus certified suppliers. 100% of supplier locations were site assessed.]

[This case example originally appeared in GEMI’s Sustainability 101 Quick Guide.]

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