As part of a long-standing tradition at Hormel Foods, we have and will always be committed to producing wholesome, nutritious, great-tasting and safe products for consumers to enjoy. Our focus on understanding and delivering what consumers want is a primary reason why we’ve had yet another record year at Hormel Foods. Throughout each step of our production process — from concept generation to packaging — our focus on food safety and quality, innovation and nutritious options is unwavering.
We know that good nutrition is an essential consideration in consumers’ daily lives and they are increasingly looking to purchase products that will enhance their overall health and well-being. For example, two of our product lines that have seen high demand from consumers are Hormel® Natural Choice® products and Jennie-O® turkey products. We are committed to offering a variety of food choices that help provide energy and maintain wellness.
In fiscal year 2013, Hormel Foods had 35 product brands in the No. 1 or No. 2 market-share position. For information related to our 2013 product sales and latest products, please visit our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Maintaining an objective oversight of food safety and quality standards, Hormel Foods facilities are certified against the food safety standards recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an internationally recognized, third-party food safety management system.
In order to maintain our outstanding food safety record, Hormel Foods invests extensive time and resources developing a comprehensive training program for our employees. This program starts the moment an employee is hired and continues to be reinforced with ongoing food safety education relevant to his or her job responsibilities. This training includes Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Training, Better Process Control School, in-house Quality Control University and additional job-specific training. The company also provides training opportunities to key co-packers to ensure they are adhering to our strict safety standards. Additionally a representative from the Hormel Foods research and development team sits on the Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force.
More information on food safety and quality can be found in the 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Since 1891, the Hormel® brand has been synonymous with quality, value and innovation. In keeping with these high standards, Hormel Foods has been recognized for quality, safety and employee training.
Packaging and Labeling
Packaging scientists at Hormel Foods determine the best packaging technique for each of our products, in order to ensure our food safety and quality standards. The team takes into account the entire manufacturing process, as well as customer and consumer usage, when selecting a design option and materials. A variety of packaging materials and options are utilized for our products, from modified atmosphere packaging (a USDA-approved, all-natural process that doesn’t require chemical preservatives) to packaging designed for low acid, shelf-stable foods.
All labels are developed by our experienced and highly-trained technical label experts with decades of industry experience in developing labels in accordance with mandatory and voluntary labeling elements. Nutritional label panel accuracy is important to us in order to ensure our products are delivering the expected dietary needs of our consumers. As a result, we operate an ongoing internal nutritional label verification program in order to ensure all nutritional panel information is accurate. Additionally, in order to ensure ease of access to this important product information, we provide consumers with nutrition information on our product websites.
Labeling and formulation controls are managed through an integrated software system, which maintains profiles and specifications of all ingredients as well as the associated suppliers. This system is designed to identify all allergens (i.e., milk, wheat, soy, nuts); sensitive ingredients (i.e., sulfate, MSG); country of origin; supplying plant location; date of purchase; nutrition information and other detailed specifications. All elements of this database are maintained through a working relationship with suppliers.
More information about packaging can be found in our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
While none of our products contain conflict minerals, we have met with our key packaging suppliers, which are aware of the need to comply with the SEC Rule on Conflict Minerals and have teams in place to complete their discovery processes. We will continue to meet with our suppliers to get updates on their progress.
Hormel Foods understands the issues associated with conflict minerals that originate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country, and we work with suppliers that share our values and support our Supplier Responsibility Principles. These principles outline our expectations for our suppliers within specific areas of corporate responsibility such as human rights and safe work environment standards. More information about our Supplier Responsibility Principles and our corporate responsibility efforts can be found in our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
The company’s traceability systems provide meticulous traceability from our ingredient suppliers, to the production plant, into the finished product, and finally to each customer. This intricate system relies on electronic systems and records to provide visibility into our supply chain. An example of the intricacy of this system is the traceability of pork raw materials. Despite the number of hogs that are processed daily at Hormel Foods plants throughout the country, our traceability systems allow us to know the farm of origin for each hog.
Furthermore, quality control employees are trained to trace inputs. Hormel Foods holds monthly unannounced tests to assess “real-time” system product traceability capabilities. This process allows visibility into the system and allows us to make continuous improvement to this system and the overall process.
To read more information about our quality and safety training programs, visit the food safety and quality section of our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.
The production of the products in our diverse food portfolio requires the use of a variety of ingredients and additives. Advances in technology continuously drive beneficial changes in many of the ingredients that go into our products, including crop and vegetable components.
Providing consumers with safe products is the No. 1 priority at Hormel Foods, and we understand that some consumers have questions about genetically modified food ingredients, more commonly referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The use of genetically modified ingredients is not only safe for people and our planet, but also has a number of important benefits.
Many of the most influential regulatory agencies and organizations that study the safety of the food supply, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences, have found GMO food ingredients are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.
This technology adds desirable traits from nature, without introducing anything unnatural or using chemicals, so that food is more plentiful.
It is important for our consumers to know that this technology is not new. In fact, it has been around for the past 20 years, and today, 70 to 80 percent of the foods we eat in the United States, both at home and away from home, contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. If the ingredient label on any food or beverage product contains corn or soy, they most likely contain GMO ingredients, as a very high percentage of those crops grown in the U.S. use GM technology. In addition, a high percentage of other ingredients in the U.S., such as sugar beets, are grown with the use of GM technology as well.
Ingredients grown using genetically modified technology require fewer pesticides, less water and keep production costs down. In fact, this technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15 to 30 percent. One in eight people among the world’s growing population of seven billion do not have enough to eat. Safe and effective methods of food production, like crops produced through GM technology, can help us feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations around the world.
Hormel Foods will continue to advocate for the continued safe and effective use of agricultural biotechnology to increase the food supply while lowering costs. We will also continue to engage in an informative dialogue with our consumers so that they understand the safety, prevalence and benefits of this technology and can make informed choices for themselves and their families.
For more information, we encourage you to visit www.factsaboutgmos.com.
Functional ingredients are ingredients that may provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. When considering the use of these types of ingredients, scientists at Hormel Foods first review published scientific literature to fully understand the ingredient under consideration, then their own research is conducted.
Hormel Health Labs has developed products that use functional ingredients to meet specific dietary requirements, such as those associated with individuals with chronic liver disease or high-caloric product needs. For example, Hormel Health Labs offers Hepatic-Aid® II Instant Drink, a dietary supplement that contains essential and nonessential amino acids, carbohydrates and fats in a readily digestible form. This formulation is specifically designed to provide a palatable supplement to the diet of patients with chronic liver disease.
Hormel Health Labs also offers a complete line of products that supports nutrient delivery to the elderly, an issue of increasing importance in this growing segment of the population. Hormel Health Labs products are available at select retailers across the country.
Natural Product Offerings
Hormel Foods recognizes that more and more consumers today are seeking foods that are minimally processed and have no preservatives. We developed Hormel® Natural Choice® products by pioneering the use of High-Pressure Processing (HPP) for protein products. This technology keeps the product tasting great without the need for added preservatives, artificial ingredients, nitrates or nitrites. With the MegaMex Foods acquisition of Fresherized Foods in 2011, we have added Wholly Guacamole® products to our portfolio of foods prepared using HPP.
In addition, our SKIPPY® natural peanut butter products offer natural non-meat protein options. SKIPPY® natural peanut butter products contain no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
Maintaining objective oversight of the highest food safety and quality standards, Hormel Foods facilities have been certified against the food safety standards recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), an internationally recognized, third-party food safety management system.
Hormel Foods had one of the first manufacturing facilities independently certified using GFSI-recognized food safety standards. A total of 44 sites, including a combination of Hormel Foods and subsidiary locations, have been certified by GFSI-recognized food safety management systems, which include the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety and Safe Quality Food Institute. These sites produced more than 91 percent of our product volume in fiscal year 2013. To receive this certification, Hormel Foods sites were audited against one or more food safety standards recognized by GFSI, which are overseen by accreditation and certification bodies.
These locations include:
Corporate Quality Assurance Management
Hormel Foods robust audits are conducted by trained, certified auditors. Auditors must complete certified trainings through various accreditation bodies overseeing auditing bodies. Accreditation sets certain certification requirements such as food safety management systems and HACCP.
We provide customers additional assurances by subjecting all sites to audits by credible, outside agencies, which audit every plant for HACCP, sanitation and quality.
One of our core international strategies is providing savory and nutritious options for lower income consumers. Many of our products sold in emerging markets are developed to meet basic local needs. In every market, we are working to make our products affordable for more and more consumers, and our progress is gaining momentum. The company continues to develop the pricing strategy for emerging markets at the corporate level in collaboration with local teams and partners, to reach those with lower purchasing power.
Hormel Foods does not target children with advertisements.
As a member of the Association of National Advertisers – which works on behalf of marketers on policies, regulations and other issues affecting members – Hormel Foods is committed to ensuring all advertising done by or on behalf of our company complies with the advertising industry’s self-regulation system of codes. These self-imposed guidelines complement government regulations and legislation.
There are no incidents of noncompliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning marketing communications to report for fiscal year 2013.