Smithfield's CEO Explains Role of Sustainability in Corporate Philosophy

US - In the first of a three 'Sustainability Stories', Smithfield Foods CEO outlines the role of sustainability in his corporate philosophy.
calendar icon 5 September 2014
clock icon 4 minute read

Those interested in how a multibillion-dollar company became a global leader in sustainable food production will want to check out Smithfield's new series of sustainability stories. The first of three web-based stories has been launched on

Through these multimedia sustainability stories, Smithfield invites visitors to meet the some of the architects of the company's sustainability program, including Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer.

This first module includes Mr Pope's candid insights and stories regarding the importance of sustainability to the company. Through a video interview, Mr Pope reminds viewers that sustainability is nothing new to Smithfield.

He said: "Smithfield Foods now is well into the second decade of incorporating sustainability throughout every aspect of our business. It is ingrained in our culture."

The story also features Dennis Treacy, the company's chief sustainability officer, who shares how Smithfield Foods makes decisions every day that work toward protecting the environment, caring for animals, the safety and quality of Smithfield's products, the company's employees, and the communities where the company operates.

One of the more unusual characteristics of Smithfield Foods is the strong tie the company still holds to Smithfield, Virginia – the community in which the company was founded and still calls home.

Mr Pope said: "Our reach may be global, but we still behave like a small company from a small town."

He also pointed out that Smithfield Foods is committed to being a member of every community it touches, from Smithfield, Virginia, to its facilities around the world.

In addition, the company has grown its commitment towards employees, food safety, animal care, the environment and value creation over the years, reporting its challenges and progress. It was acknowledged recently by as the first place winner in the'Openness & Honesty' category for its integrated reporting.

The second story, scheduled to launch in October, will highlight Ashley DeDecker, PhD, who works at Murphy-Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Currently serving as the assistant director of production research, Ashley has dedicated her career to animal care and welfare and has received several awards for her efforts, including the National Pork Board Swine Innovation Award in 2011.

The third story, scheduled to launch in December, features Kinesha Allen, environmental manager for Smithfield-Farmland. Her role consists of a broad range of environmental responsibilities with specific emphases on Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and facility inspections. She even has designed award-winning environmental community outreach programmes.

Smithfield believes that sustainability is a journey, not a destination, and corporations must continually strive to exceed what is expected of them. This belief is ingrained in the culture and operations at Smithfield Foods. These sustainability stories help share Smithfield's journey, introduce the people who create this culture and further their commitment to transparent and engaging communication.

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