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Social Responsibility Q&A

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What are you doing to reduce your water usage?
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Social Responsibility

Water usage continues to be a top priority in our social responsibility efforts.

Most recently we reduced water use by 61 million gallons and we are looking to reduce even more in the future!

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Can you tell me more about your efforts to reduce waste?
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Social Responsibility

Absolutely. Our operations team is constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste generated and options to divert waste from being sent to landfills.

Most recently, our teams eliminated 72 tons of waste from landfills.

We make every effort to divert organic waste to the most beneficial end use possible. Our organic waste can be used as animal feed, as feedstock for anaerobic digestion, as a composting substrate or as a synthetic nutrient substitute.

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What efforts is Hormel Foods taking toward reducing their packaging?
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Social Responsibility

Hormel Foods has a dedicated group of employees that regularly evaluates our packaging design.

The packaging team collaborates with all other departments and examines the entire supply chain for sustainability initiatives. Hormel Foods uses more than 12,000 unique items to package and produce our products and approximately 87 percent of our packaging is recyclable and/or made from recycled materials.

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What is Hormel Foods doing to help fight hunger?
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Social Responsibility

Our commitment to helping end hunger around the world is at the heart of what we do.

Last year we donated more than $7.2 million to hunger relief efforts, including products we donated to food banks and disaster relief efforts. We also continued to help prevent childhood malnutrition in Guatemala with our donation of 2.5 million cans of SPAMMY® shelf-stable poultry product.

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How much did Hormel Foods donate last year?
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Social Responsibility

We contributed more than $15 million in cash and product donations.

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Can you tell me more about your animal welfare policies?
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Social Responsibility

We want every animal in our care to be raised in a healthy environment and treated properly. Through frequent training and audits, we ensure employees and suppliers are adhering to our rigorous guidelines for animal handling, air and water quality, food access and antibiotic use.

Hormel Foods is dedicated to doing things the right way in everything we do. That includes our animal stewardship practices. To maintain our high standards, we have developed the following principles to guide our animal care and handling procedures.

  • Every animal in our care will be provided a balanced and nutritious diet and water.
  • A safe and humane environment will be furnished for every animal throughout its life, including minimizing stress, managing social needs and controlling temperature.
  • Every facility will be properly maintained with the animals’ well-being in mind, including appropriate facilities and space and the utilization of compassionate, stress-reducing techniques during handling.
  • Animals will be raised to be healthy and provided the best in medical care, including veterinary oversight and the identification and prompt treatment of sick animals. When medically necessary, we use antibiotics responsibly and focus on reducing the use of antibiotics that are important to human health. We do not use antibiotics for growth promotion.
  • We will follow clearly documented humane procedures in the event an animal requires euthanization.
  • We have developed industry-leading standards in conjunction with animal care experts, including renowned authorities on humane animal husbandry. These veterinarians and animal experts help us to create a blueprint that ensures every animal is raised in a healthy environment and treated with the utmost care, respect and compassion throughout their entire life. Our network of family farms understands and shares these values.

Hormel Foods has a zero-tolerance policy toward the mistreatment of animals through abuse or neglect. We have strict requirements related to animal care, overseen by veterinarians, third-party experts and a team of animal welfare professionals at Hormel Foods.

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Does Hormel Foods use antibiotics to treat their animals?
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Social Responsibility

We understand the importance of using antibiotics responsibly in animal agriculture and reducing the use of medically important antibiotics in order to maintain their effectiveness.

Protecting human health and the health of our animals is of the utmost importance and we are proud of our ongoing stewardship efforts:

Reducing the need for antibiotics – Reducing the need for antibiotics has been and continues to be important to us. We continue to focus our efforts on keeping our animals healthy so that antibiotics aren’t needed. We also continue to research ways to use products such as probiotics to maintain animal health and welfare for turkeys. In addition, veterinarians monitor and evaluate the health of all of our animals, as well as our antibiotic use, on an ongoing basis.

Responsible use of antibiotics — We comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s industry guidance that eliminates the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion. While we continue to make reductions in antibiotic use, we believe the responsible use of antibiotics includes the appropriate treatment of sick animals. When antibiotics are needed to properly care for an animal, only approved medications and dosage levels are used under the direction of a veterinarian. In addition, Hormel Foods has a leading animal welfare auditing program and ensuring the responsible use of antibiotics is a key part of that program.

Raised without antibiotics — Hormel Foods has invested in producing raised-without-antibiotics products. In fact, our purchase of Applegate is a significant commitment in this regard. Our Applegate® product portfolio is produced entirely from animals raised without antibiotics. If antibiotics are given to an animal, that animal does not enter the Applegate supply chain.

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I would like to learn more about your animal welfare practices at Jennie-O Turkey Store. Where should I look?
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Social Responsibility

Excellent question. Learn all about our animal care practices by visiting our corporate report.

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Can you tell me more about your hog welfare practices?
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Social Responsibility

Thank you for the interest. You can learn all of the details concerning our hog welfare practices by visiting our corporate responsibility report.

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Where can I learn more about your corporate responsibility efforts?
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Social Responsibility

You can learn more here: https://csr.hormelfoods.com/.

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How does Hormel Foods stay on the forefront of best practices in animal welfare?
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Social Responsibility

Hormel Foods is recognized as a leader within the hog and turkey industries for developing and implementing best-practice animal welfare handling procedures.

We share our best practices and state-of-the-art facility designs with our peers and other industry stakeholders, and offer them in-person tours of our facilities. We also consult with subject-matter experts, such as veterinarians, to update and maintain our practices.

As part of the Professional Animal Auditors Certification Organization (PAACO), we invite participants to our hog and turkey facilities as part of the real-world training component of its program. Several members of the Jennie-O Turkey Store and Hormel Foods teams are PAACO-certified auditors.

In addition, to help ensure new research within the turkey industry, Jennie-O Turkey Store provides support to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council, and the National Turkey Federation.

We are also proud to have representatives serving as members, officers and directors of the boards of many industry organizations, including:

  • Agriculture Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer Advisory Panel (Minnesota);
  • Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska;
  • American Association of Poultry Pathologists;
  • American College of Poultry Veterinarians;
  • American Meat Science Association;
  • American Veterinary Medical Association;
  • American Veterinary Medical Association Agricultural Liaison Committee;
  • Animal Agriculture Alliance;
  • Association of Veterinarians in Turkey Production;
  • Colorado Farm Bureau;
  • Colorado Livestock Association;
  • Colorado Pork Producers Association Board of Directors;
  • Global Food Safety Initiative;
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association;
  • Institute of Food Technologists;
  • International Association of Food Protection;
  • Midwest Food Processors Board of Directors;
  • Midwest Poultry Research Committee;
  • Minnesota Agricultural Utilization Research Institute;
  • Minnesota AgriGrowth Council Board of Directors;
  • Minnesota Poultry Federation;
  • Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Board of Directors;
  • Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council;
  • National Grain and Feed Association;
  • National Meat Association Board of Directors;
  • National Pork Board;
  • National Pork Producers Council (NPPC);
  • North American Meat Institute;
  • North American Meat Institute Scientific Affairs Committee;
  • North American Meat Institute Foundation of Meat and Poultry Research and Education;
  • NPPC Animal Health and Food Security Policy Committee;
  • National Turkey Federation’s Board of Directors;
  • National Turkey Federation’s Executive Committee;
  • National Turkey Federation’s Health and Welfare Committee;
  • National Turkey Federation’s Live Production Committee;
  • National Turkey Federation’s Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee;
  • Poultry Science Association;
  • Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization;
  • State of Wisconsin Livestock Facility Siting Review Board;
  • United States Animal Health Association;
  • University of Wisconsin Meat Science Advisory Board;
  • University of Wisconsin Poultry Science Advisory Committee;
  • USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force;
  • USPOULTRY Foundation Research Advisory Committee; and
  • World Poultry Association.
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What is The Hormel Foundation?
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Social Responsibility

The Hormel Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization was established in 1941 by George A. Hormel and his son, Jay C.

The Hormel Foundation supports charitable, educational and scientific organizations in Austin, Minn., including The Hormel Institute cancer research center. Since 1941, The Hormel Foundation has given more than $229 million. It is one of the top giving foundations in Minnesota.

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