All hog producers and the employees who care for hogs participate in the Hormel Foods Quality Assurance Program. As part of this program, suppliers are certified in the proper way to transport animals and the proper way to treat animals on their farms. Their farms are subject to random audits by third parties.
Through our annual Spirit of Excellence Awards, we recognize hog producers that exemplify the commitment to quality at Hormel Foods. In 2013, we awarded 90 suppliers with a Spirit of Excellence Award for their roles in the company’s continuous improvement process throughout the last year. This includes 40 awards in the pork procurement category and one award in the provisions category.
We perform daily internal audits in our processing facilities that are conducted by quality assurance and operations personnel to maintain the highest animal care practices. In fiscal year 2013, 12 external audits were performed by outside auditors in our processing facilities. Internally, we participated in 1,148 formal audits and 123 audits were conducted by company management at our processing facilities on an unannounced, random basis. In 2013, we received no incidents of noncompliance with laws and regulations and voluntary standards related to transportation, handling and slaughtering practices.
To learn about animal care at Hormel Foods, visit the Animal Care section of our corporate site.