SMITHFIELD, VA. — Smithfield Foods Inc. shared its promises to fight food insecurity and hunger in advance of its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health participation at the White House on Sept. 28.
The company said it made long-term commitments to improve food access and affordability, integrate nutrition and health and empower consumers to make and have access to healthy choices.
“Smithfield Foods has been an integral part of the fabric of our communities for more than 80 years since our founding in Smithfield, Va., in 1936,” said Shane Smith, president and chief executive officer. “The commitments we are sharing with the White House today are not brand-new goals for us; we have been focused on fighting food insecurity and hunger, supporting our communities and driving innovation in sustainability for decades.”
Smith added that he looks forward to working with many public and private sector stakeholders participating in the conference to continue to transformative change to end hunger.
In its first pillar, Smithfield said it plans to improve food access and affordability with a commitment to donate 200 million servings of protein valued at $200 million by 2025. The company also said it donated more than 107 million servings of protein valued at more than $101 million to food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Continuously drive operational efficiencies across our integrated value chain to produce more with less, ensuring a consistent supply of widely accessible and affordable, high-quality, nutrient-dense protein,” Smithfield said.
In its second pillar to integrate nutrition and health, the company said it’s working to increase the functionality and viability of byproducts for the advanced development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices through its Smithfield BioScience platform.
Full-time Smithfield employees are also offered benefits, educational programs and screenings as part of the company’s “Let’s Get Healthy Together!” program.
For its last pillar, Smithfield is focused on giving consumers access to healthy choices. The company said it published an online ingredient glossary that provides clear information about ingredients added to enrich flavor, expand variety and enhance food safety.
Smithfield also plans to increase transparency through cleaner labeling across 100% of the company’s product line by 2025. It also looks to reduce sugar and sodium by 10% across the entire product line by 2025.
The company added that it would simplify and transform ingredients into all-natural and naturally cured products, reduce allergens such as wheat and sesame derivates and ensure a variety of products meet consumer dietary requirements.