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August 23, 2011 at 08:33 AM EDT
Smithfield Foods Hands Out 2011 Environmental Excellence Awards

SMITHFIELD, Va., Aug. 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) rewarded several of its facilities and employees for the success of their individual innovative environmental management projects during the company's annual Environmental Excellence Awards banquet last week. The implementation of these projects resulted in significant resource reductions such as savings of 128 million gallons of water and 17 million kilowatts of electricity in 2011. Combined, these projects also resulted in an annual cost savings of over $13 million, requiring capital expenditures of only $5 million.

One President's Award and 10 Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in a wide range of project categories representing Smithfield Foods' strong commitment to sustainability: outreach, energy and water conservation, wastewater handling and treatment, cleaner/greener production processes and/or packaging, waste reduction – pollution prevention, and best recycling of a previous year's project.

The President's Award was presented to two employees of Smithfield's hog production subsidiary, Murphy-Brown, LLC. These two employees produced a video series entitled "Taking the Mystery Out of Pork Production." As the first publicly available footage of its kind in the pork industry, the documentary series provides an inside view of the pork production process, from farrow to finish (www.takingoutthemystery.com). To date, the series has nearly 25,000 views, and was awarded two Telly Awards this past year.

A complete list of recipients and a brief description of each winning project can be found below. In total, 168 projects were submitted.

Smithfield's Environmental Excellence Awards program inspires its employees to practice creative environmental stewardship by recognizing outstanding internal efforts in environmental management. Sharing best practices among Smithfield's various companies drives improvement and spurs innovation across the company.

"These accomplishments reflect our employees' commitment to our proactive corporate social responsibility program that is working at every level of our company," said Bill Gill, assistant vice president for environmental affairs.

Dennis Treacy, Smithfield's senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer, added, "Our award recipients have achieved meaningful reductions in terms of our environmental impact and deserve to be recognized for their hard work and innovation. Cost savings are great, but improving our processes will help preserve the environment for future generations, and that's something to strive for."

Close to 100 representatives of Smithfield Foods, John Morrell, Smithfield Packing Company, Farmland Foods, and Murphy-Brown, along with invited guests, attended the awards program. Ian Olson, director of sustainability for Darden Restaurants, was the keynote speaker. Olson has taken a leadership role in implementing alternative, sustainable practices across Darden's chains, which include Red Lobster, Olive Garden and others.

In total, the various Smithfield operating company projects resulted in approximately:

  • 128 million gallons of water saved
  • 17,402,247 kwhs of electricity conserved
  • 109,868 decatherms of natural gas not used
  • 2,336 tons of solid waste materials not landfilled
  • 3,397 tons of additional cardboard recycling
  • 166,365 gallons of diesel fuel not used

As previously stated, all of the above was realized at a capital expenditure of $5 million and an annual cost reduction of $13.2 million.

Photos of the award winners can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/SmithfieldFoods?sk=photos.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $12 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Farmland®, Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Armour® and John Morrell®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

The Smithfield Foods, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7622

Comprehensive Awards List

Zero Hero Award

Brian Paulsen
Premium Standard Farms

The "Zero Hero" award is given to an individual who best exemplifies Smithfield's goal of 100% compliance, 100% of the time, thereby aiming for its facilities to receive zero notices of violation (NOVs).

Brian was selected for his work addressing compliance while integrating a revolutionary odor management technology in Missouri as part of an agreement with the state.

President's Award in Environmental Management ISO 14001/ Community Outreach

Don Butler and Rhonda Campbell
Murphy-Brown

The President's Award was presented to two employees of Smithfield's hog production subsidiary, Murphy-Brown, LLC. These two employees produced a video series entitled "Taking the Mystery Out of Pork Production." As the first publicly available footage of its kind in the pork industry, the documentary series provides an inside view of the pork production process, from farrow to finish (www.takingoutthemystery.com). To date, the series has nearly 25,000 views, and was awarded two Telly Awards this past year.

Cleaner/Greener Production Processes and/or Packaging


Place

Company

Location

Winners
Annual
Savings

Description
1st Farmland
Foods
Lincoln, Neb. Sonny Wikoff
Steve Singleton
$625,677 The project involved installation of automated box making equipment and 'right-sizing' boxes, significantly reducing material usage.
2nd Patrick Cudahy,
Golden Crisp Premium Foods
Sioux Center, Iowa Adam Lukaszewicz
Garrett Heintz
Larry Gloden
Mark Anthony
$1,057,442 Reworked the bacon bits process so that product was more efficiently produced,
reducing the use of cardboard storage containers and liners.
3rd Farmland
Foods
Arnold, Pa. Chris Matarrese
Jim Shahen
Mark Wilhelm
$251,756 Utilized an anaerobic digester system at a nearby dairy farm to convert wastewater residuals into electrical energy.

Energy and Water Conservation

PlaceCompanyLocationWinnersAnnual
Savings
Description
1st Animex Opole,
Poland
Andrzej Luboń
Krystian Kubitza
Pawel Broniarz
$353,600 Upgraded the plant's steam system to significantly improve efficiency.

Waste Reduction – Pollution Prevention

PlaceCompanyLocationWinnersAnnual
Savings
Description
1st Smithfield Packing Company
Tar Heel, N.C.
Donovan Owens
Terry Orness
$1,011,640 A project which replaced cardboard combos with reusable plastic vats, reducing the need for cardboard containers and plastic liners.
2nd Armour-Eckrich Meats Mason City, Iowa Patty Sullivan $240,516 Redesigned boxes to reduce the amount of material required while strengthening them.
3rd Farmland Foods, Stefano Foods Charlotte, N.C. Kirk Griffin
Lynn Huss
$46,624 Replaced aluminum baking pans with silicone parchment paper to reduce costs and the amount of material sent to the landfill.

Best Recycling of a Previous Year's Project

PlaceCompanyLocationWinnersAnnual SavingsDescription
1st Armour-Eckrich Meats St. James, MN Charlie Knaack
Dave Gersch
Larry Bluhm
Paul Weston
Peter Gilbert
Roger Klien
$107,028 This project reduced water consumption without impacting product quality by using an intermittent, rather than continuous spray for cooling product after cooking.

Environmental Management ISO 14001/ Community Outreach

PlaceCompanyLocationWinnersDescription
1st Murphy-Brown, Goodson Farm Turkey, N.C.
Bill Mays
Dawn Williamson
Don Butler
Kraig Westerbeek
In cooperation with Ducks Unlimited and Soil and Water Conservation in North Carolina, constructed wetlands designed for seasonal use as a duck habitat. The project was further enhanced by building a raised walkway with a seating area for bird enthusiasts.

Wastewater Handling and Treatment

PlaceCompanyLocationWinnersAnnual SavingsDescription
1st Smithfield Packing Company Clinton, N.C. Norman Johnson $407,432 Automated wastewater treatment processes resulting in reduced chemical usage and improved water treatment.
CONTACT: Keira Lombardo
         Smithfield Foods, Inc.
         (757) 365-3050
         keiralombardo@smithfieldfoods.com
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