Please don’t politicize our American business.
More than 40,000 Team USA members have made Smithfield Foods one of the world’s leading protein companies, playing a vital role in our nation’s food security. Taylor Hunt’s January 12 opinion piece for the Washington Examiner is an attempt to politicize our company. Here are the facts:
In 2013, a Hong Kong-based company, WH Group, acquired Smithfield Foods. WH Group is a publicly traded company, owned by investors worldwide, including those in the United States. It does not belong to the Chinese government. Smithfield is run by a US management team from the same headquarters in Virginia where it was founded in 1936. The company and its employees pay federal and state taxes and comply with regulations set by several US government agencies.
We partner with thousands of U.S. farmers and manufacture all of our products in nearly 50 facilities across the country, in compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. Since the merger with WH Group, not a single job has left the United States. In fact, we’ve added thousands of new American jobs. Our profits are reinvested in our employees, farms and facilities across the country.
Much good has come from the growth of Smithfield over the years. In addition to our core economic contributions, we have a long-standing sustainability program that drives continuous improvements in diversity, equity and inclusion; worker health and safety; health and wellbeing; the environment; food safety and quality; and community development. Smithfield’s community program focuses on helping people with food insecurity, improving education, and supporting American veterans and their families. Over the past eight years, we’ve given more than $280 million in in-kind and cash donations.
Smithfield is proud of its contributions to the American economy and to the communities where we operate. We’re even prouder of the more than 40,000 Team USA members who work so hard to deliver great food responsibly. They are your neighbors and their work is worthy of your respect.
Jim Monroe is the Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Smithfield Foods, one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies.