To decide what information to report, we listened to stakeholders and prioritized topics based on the topics’ importance to stakeholders and the importance to the business. Our stakeholders are employees, customers, consumers, investors, suppliers, government officials and communities. For this report, we analyzed “materiality” as defined by GRI to report on its indicators.
A materiality assessment was conducted to further review feedback from stakeholders, internal and external inputs and insights from subject-matter experts in various departments throughout the company. The materiality assessment shows our analysis by subject area and priority.
Diversity among our employee workforce and Hormel Foods Board of Directors is a relatively high concern to stakeholders who see diversity as a global strategic issue, with focus on minorities and women in management.
Employee safety affects employees’ livelihood, productivity and safety of products; also impacted by national and state laws. Customers are interested in how to minimize safety risks, and investors believe health and safety risks are important.
Employee Benefits / Compensation
The company's competitiveness and success is influenced by the talent at Hormel Foods, and it is ethical and lawful to pay employees fairly and good business for professional development to be a priority. For these reasons, benefits, development and compensation are business issues important to the company and of interest to stakeholders.
Consistent policies of human rights, in alignment with international standards and national laws, are of interest and concern for stakeholders.
Quality, nutritious food and meat products are important to the health of the population and continued sales of products from Hormel Foods.
Product innovation is key to continued sales and growth for Hormel Foods. The company monitors consumer trends and demands and continues to challenge itself to grow sales, which is spurred by new products.
Food prices are determined by the cost of production and manufacturing and are affected by changes in commodity costs, as well as production, including sustainability efforts.
The company’s competitiveness and success is influenced by the talent at Hormel Foods, and it is ethical and lawful to pay employees fairly. For these reasons, compensation is a material business issue and of interest to stakeholders.
Ethical management, as it relates to business oversight and ethical business practices, is of importance to stakeholders and to the company.
Financial Contributions Disclosure
Of interest to stakeholders is transparency of financial contributions, especially related to political contributions.
Food safety directly affects the safety of our customers and integrity of our products; also influenced by national and state laws.
Energy consumption continues to be one of the most material topics, with investors and customers all asking for disclosure and performance.
Operations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are under the company's water use reduction goal, as it is part of the company's direct environmental footprint. Stakeholders are increasingly concerned about companies’ use of water, especially in water scarce or stressed regions.
Operations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are under the company’s air emissions goal, as it is part of the company’s direct environmental footprint.
The packaging of consumer goods impacts the environment, so we employ efforts to use the minimal amount of packaging necessary while maintaining food safety and quality and work with suppliers to find new solutions to use less packaging or materials that are recycled or recyclable.
Solid Waste / Recycling
As part of manufacturing products, solid waste has a direct impact on the company’s environmental footprint at plants, farms and in the company’s corporate office, thus Hormel Foods factors in solid waste minimization as a company goal. An emerging issue among stakeholders is food waste.
Climate change has the potential to impact our business through environmental effects to our operations and national and state regulations that could cause our operations to change. It is integrated into our multi-disciplinary companywide risk management processes at Hormel Foods. We monitor the impact national and state regulation will have on our business and plan accordingly, including setting goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use from our operations.
Nutrition and Transparency
Quality, healthy food and meat products are important to the health of the population and continued sales of products from Hormel Foods. Stakeholders are also increasingly asking for transparency in labeling of products.
Supply chain is one of the most watched topics across industries, with various implications for companies. Socially responsible investors and customers continue to call for companies to influence suppliers to be more responsible or risk being associated or blamed for issues in the supply chain. The business practices of suppliers can directly impact Hormel Foods. For example, new technologies employed by packaging suppliers allow the company to use less material and thus reduce our materials use. Conversely, suppliers who are not upholding standards of human rights or responsible sourcing of their own materials can negatively impact the commitments of Hormel Foods.
Producing quality brand name food and meat products for consumers starts with industry-leading animal care practices, including transportation and handling. This topic is also influenced by national and state laws. Customers, NGOs and consumers all care that we are upholding animal welfare standards.