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Smithfield Foods Test Waterways Home and Overseas As Part of World Water Monitoring Day

by 5m Editor
20 October 2006, at 10:27am

US - Smithfield Foods’ employees teamed up with student volunteers and concerned citizens across the United States, Poland and Romania to test the quality of waterways as part of yesterday’s annual observance of World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD).

Employees from 22 Smithfield Foods’ subsidiaries led hundreds of local volunteers at 46 locations in 18 states, Poland and Romania to collect and test water samples from at least 57 bodies of water, including Lake Norman, Charlotte, N.C.; Fox River, Green Bay, Wis.; Bacon Creek, Sioux City, Iowa; Allegheny River, Arnold, Pa.; Neuse River, Clayton, N.C.; Kalamazoo River, Plainwell, Mich.; and Big Blue River, Crete, Neb. Each year’s official WWMD observance falls on October 18, although some Smithfield subsidiaries and their volunteers began the testing period a month earlier.

“Once again this year, our employees did a tremendous job in recruiting Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, science class students all the way from grade schools through college, church groups and other concerned citizens,” said Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield’s vice president of environmental and corporate affairs.

“We think it’s critically important to protect our natural resources around the world, and that’s why Smithfield employees have supported and participated in World Water Monitoring Day the past four years,” Treacy said. Smithfield Foods has been a corporate sponsor of WWMD since 2003.

“We take our environmental stewardship responsibilities very seriously and our employees worldwide are committed to working with volunteers and local leaders to improve water quality in the communities where we live and work,” he added.

For example, for the third straight year students from the seventh and eighth grade science classes at Monmouth-Roseville Junior High in Monmouth, Ill., joined with employees from Farmland Foods, a Smithfield subsidiary, to test water samples at Gipson Woods Golf Course.

In Poland, employees from nine Animex Group processing plants and Prima Farms in Poznan, Szczecin, Ostróda, Ełk, Starachowice, Dębica, Opole, Suwałki and Iława worked with 40 to 60 local students at each location to test samples from nearby waterways. About 440 volunteers participated in the nine Polish communities. Animex and Prima Farms are Smithfield subsidiaries. Staffs of the regional State Environment Protection Offices and local public officials observed the activities at each site. Local print and broadcast media covered the events.

In Romania, employees from Smithfield Procesare S.R.L., along with students and their professor from the College of Chemistry, Biology and Geography at Timisoara Western Romania University, tested water samples from the Timis River. They were joined by the chemistry lab chief from Banat Water Administration.

Across the globe Smithfield employees and their fellow volunteers used a simple water testing kit to collect samples from local waterways and perform four key tests: pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and clarity. Participants were instructed to enter their water sample data into the World Water Monitoring Day database, available to the public at www.worldwatermonitoringday.org. The data will be used to draft summary comparisons reflecting water quality conditions throughout the world.

WWMD is organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and serves as an international outreach program to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world.

Held annually between September 18 and October 18, the program engages communities in monitoring the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other bodies of water. More than 80,000 people in 50 countries have participated in WWMD since its inception in 2002. The event was originally founded by America’s Clean Water Foundation.

"As an international water quality organization, part of WEF's mission is to educate the public about the importance of protecting our waterways for future generations," said Bill Bertera, WEF’s executive director.

"We greatly appreciate the generous sponsorship of Smithfield Foods and the enthusiastic support of its employees, which allows us to broaden the reach and scope of this unique and exciting program,” Bertera said.

Smithfield Foods has delivered a 24 percent average annual compounded rate of return to investors since 1975. With sales of $11 billion, Smithfield is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

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5m Editor