Smithfield Foods, Inc., an American food company and one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein producers, was yesterday announced the winner of two gold GLOBEE® Business Awards. The company received “Manufacturing Company of the Year” for its industry leading carbon reduction efforts and “Video of the Year” recognition for a documentary it produced highlighting the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in American agriculture.
The GLOBEE® Business Awards, the world’s premier business awards, honored Smithfield in its seventh annual American Best in Business Awards program.
“We’re honored that the American Best in Business Awards have recognized our sustainability leadership in food manufacturing and agriculture,” said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Carbon reduction has been a foremost priority of our leading program for more than two decades now, and we are committed to continuing to build upon our aggressive environmental goals for the good of our local communities, planet and industry.”
Smithfield became the first major protein company to adopt a far-reaching GHG emissions reduction goal across its value chain in 2016 – 25% by 2025. The company has since pledged to reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across its U.S. value chain by 2030 and became the first major protein company to target becoming carbon negative in its U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.
“Our sustainability approach at Smithfield is holistic, and efforts to further diversity, equity and inclusion represent a standalone pillar of our program,” continues Leeth. “We are deeply proud of the now award-winning documentary we released last fall highlighting our new contract-grower program, which is forging ownership opportunities for Black and other minority farmers and simultaneously diversifying Smithfield’s hog supply chain.”
The company’s Martin family documentary outlines the genesis of the new program from the perspective of the Martins, contract hog farmers for Smithfield based in Wayne County, N.C. The contract-grower program is part of the company’s $15 million commitment to further diversity, equity and inclusion in food manufacturing, agriculture and education through its Unity & Action program.