Supply Chain Management

We are committed to becoming the most trusted, respected and moral leader in food industry. To achieve this vision, sustainable products and services from suppliers are indispensable.

Performance highlights 2019

Purchased grain directly from approximately


acres of land where efficient fertilizer and soil health practices were implemented as of the end of 2019
Adopted the international animal welfare best practices and conducted

third party animal welfare audits

for Smithfield
We are the

only US

hog producer to publicly report information related to the use of antibiotics
Helped farmers work with agricultural consultants with more than

4,000 acres

of farmland registered; helped


grain growers to purchase high quality seeds at preferential prices

Sustainable Agriculture

In the United States, the purchase of crops for animal feeding accounts for 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. To minimize the carbon footprint of our upstream supply chain, we collaborate with EDF to optimize fertilizer use and improve soil quality. In addition, we provide agronomic advice and tools to help them use less fertilizer while producing the same amount of grain. In China, we developed a manure resource utilization project to collect chicken and pig manure, which were used to fertilize the farmland after treatment to increase soil fertility.

Expanding Assistance to Grain Producers

In 2019, we expanded our assistance to local grain producers through a partnership with the North Carolina Agricultural Consultants Association, a network of licensed, independent agricultural crop consultants who are committed to agricultural stewardship and grower profitability. In exchange for independent consulting, farmers agree to market 125 bushels of corn per acre to Smithfield. At the end of 2019, over 4,000 acres were enrolled in this program.

We also partnered with Augusta Seed to provide quality seed at a preferred price. Augusta is an independent, family-owned business based out of central Virginia. Farmers in our supply chain can purchase seed from Smithfield at discounted prices. In exchange, farmers agree to contract 120 bushels per acre to Smithfield. In 2019, more than 125 grain growers participated in this program, providing us with a source of 2.1 million bushels of corn.

At the end of 2019, the grain we purchased directly from farmers came from approximately 400,179 acres of land where efficient fertilizer and soil health practices were implemented.

Caring for Animals

The Group uses the animal welfare standards of the Office International Des Epizooties (OIE), National Pork Board Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) of the US Pork Committee, the Transport Quality Assurance of the US National Pork Committee, the European Union Based on the internationally sound animal welfare system such as the Animal Welfare Quality Assessment System. We organize and implement relevant work that meets animal welfare requirements, and invite third parties to conduct annual audits on Smithfield based on the guidelines of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI).

We have established relevant policies and procedures in our key production stages like breeding, transhipment and harvesting, to ensure that animals are treated appropriately and humanely. WH Group is trying to set the best practice of animal welfare in the industry.

Turning Animal Care into Standardized Practices

Animal care is central to the activities of all employees who work on our farms. As an animal care technical trainer, Samantha Raynor’s job is to instill ethics in each of the procedures of hog production. In 2019, Samantha led a team across our operations to combine seven regional documents into a single manual of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training practices.

The standardized volume, which is being implemented in 2020, embraces best practices in SOPs and training from across the United States, infusing greater consistency into the production system as well as in the day-to-day humane care of our animals. In 2020, we are creating learning videos of all SOPs. As a good deal of work on farms is hands-on, observing procedures can be a very effective training tool.