As a company rooted in tradition, Hormel Foods has always produced 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 understand that good nutrition is an essential consideration in daily life and that consumers are increasingly looking to purchase products that will add to their overall health and well-being. For example, two of our items that have seen high demand from consumers are Hormel® Natural Choice® products and Jennie-O Turkey Store® turkey burgers. We are committed to offering a variety of food choices that help provide energy and maintain wellness.
Hormel Foods has more than 34 product brands in the No. 1 or No. 2 market-share position. For information related to our 2012 product sales and latest products, please visit our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.
To maintain objective oversight of 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.
To maintain our stellar food safety record, Hormel Foods invests substantial time and resources in 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 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.
High Food Quality and Safety Standards
Since 1891, the Hormel® brand has been synonymous with quality, value and innovation. In keeping with theses high standards, Hormel Foods has been recognized for quality, safety and employee training.
The company’s track record of minimal recalls derives from meticulous traceability processes and procedures. We keep electronic records that trace the product to the processing plant it was produced in, and we also track every ingredient in each product we produce. Due to the number of hogs that are processed daily at plants around the country, Hormel Foods uses traceability systems that allow us to know the farm of origin of a hog.
Furthermore, quality control employees are trained to trace inputs. Hormel Foods holds monthly unannounced tests to assess employees’ abilities to respond to various scenarios related to tracing inputs of products and identifying the root causes of any problems.
To read more information about our employee quality and safety training programs, visit the safety section of our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Packaging and Labeling
All employees working with nutrition information are trained on mandatory and voluntary labeling elements. Hormel Foods also employs modified atmosphere packaging (a cutting-edge, USDA-approved, all-natural process that doesn’t require chemical preservatives), nutritional verification, training and a sophisticated software system to maintain an accurate database of all ingredient and formulation specifications. The software system is designed to identify all allergens (i.e., milk, wheat, soy, nuts); sensitive ingredients (i.e., sulfate, MSG); country of origin; plant location; date of purchase; nutrition information and other detailed specifications. Additionally, we provide consumers with nutrition information on our product websites. Based on the formulation of the product and labeling requirements, the system assembles the ingredient statement and other labeling elements to eliminate human error. All elements of this database are maintained through a working relationship with suppliers.
There are three groups at Hormel Foods responsible for ensuring the highest food safety and quality standards in the packaging and labeling process:
More information on our packaging practices can be found in our 2012 Corporate Responsibility Report.
Providing savory and nutritious options for lower income consumers is one of our core international strategies. 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. We continue to offer Hormel® Compleats® kids meals that are marketed to parents as a convenient, nutritional meal for their children. The product is a good source of protein and has no artificial colors, trans fats or high fructose corn syrup.
Hormel Foods is a member of the Association of National Advertisers, which works on behalf of marketers on policies, regulations and other issues affecting members. 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 2012.
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 number one priority at Hormel Foods, and we understand that some consumers have questions about genetically modified food ingredients.
The use of genetically modified (GM) 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 genetically modified food ingredients are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.
GM 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 genetically modified 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 GM technology require fewer pesticides, less water and keep production costs down. In fact, GM 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 cost. We will also continue to engage in an informative dialogue with our consumers so that they understand the safety, prevalence and benefits of GM technology and can make informed choices for themselves and their families.
For more information, we encourage you to visit www.factsaboutgmos.org.
Functional ingredients are ingredients that may provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. When considering the use of these types of ingredients, a group of nutritionists at Hormel Foods first monitors peer-reviewed studies to fully understand the ingredient under consideration, then conducts its own research.
At Hormel Health Labs, the company has developed products that use functional ingredients to meet special dietary needs, 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. In 2011, 200 U.S. Walgreens locations began offering Hormel Health Labs products.
The company’s Specialty Foods group is considered a “one-stop shop” by food manufacturers and health care providers and is comprised of three business units:
Natural Product Offerings
At Hormel Foods, we recognize 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.
To maintain 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 42 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 92 percent of our product volume in fiscal year 2012. 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 Audit
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.