Jeffrey M. Ettinger, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer

Welcome to the 2012 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report. I am happy to share this year’s initiatives that have fueled our progress as a leading corporate citizen within the industry.

First, you will note that we have made some changes to the format of this year’s report. While our report is written in accordance with the guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), we have created a more concise, data-driven report. Information about our corporate responsibility initiatives that remain consistent year after year without the need for data updates — such as our industry-leading animal care practices, environmental policies and information about our corporate governance — can be found within the corporate responsibility section of www.hormelfoods.com. Additionally, the 2012 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report is available in a fully downloadable PDF and an online platform.

We made this change so our stakeholders can easily access annual data that measures our progress and goals in corporate responsibility. We appreciate your interest and hope you will take the time to give us feedback — both on the substance of our report and how it is presented. Your suggestions are important as we strive each year to improve and expand our efforts; you can share feedback here.

Building upon our heritage of innovation and quality, we developed Our Way (the company’s internal principles platform), which guides our journey toward becoming an increasingly sustainable company. This year serves as a milestone for several focus areas that are important to us and our stakeholders.

Environment

In July 2012, we announced our second set of environmental goals. The new water, solid waste, air and energy goals are being measured against base year 2011 at company-owned and international manufacturing locations. Through the hard work of our dedicated employees, we surpassed the water reduction, packaging and solid waste minimization goals of our first set of five-year goals, which ended in 2011. While we did not meet our initial aggressive energy reduction goal, we continued to emphasize energy conservation throughout the organization. In 2012, we were able to make reductions against all of our targets.

Product Innovation

To help drive healthy innovation, we issued the Billion Dollar Challenge for Hormel Foods to generate $1 billion in sales from new products launched between fiscal years 2000 to 2009. In 2007, we met the aggressive goal early and set an additional goal to achieve $2 billion in total sales of products created since 2000 by the end of 2012 (the $2B by 2012 challenge). We are pleased to announce that we successfully met this goal in 2012, and we have set a new goal of $3B by 2016.

Health and Wellness

We continue to provide choices for consumers to make smart decisions by offering a balanced portfolio of highly differentiated, quality products. We remain committed to our goal of aiming to reduce sodium levels in select products within our branded retail portfolio by an average of 15 percent by 2020.

Animal Care

Hormel Foods employs industry-leading animal care practices when raising livestock at our facilities, and we require that our suppliers do the same. We constantly monitor scientific research to understand the best animal care practices.

Philanthropy

We are committed to bettering the communities in which we live and work. In 2012, we contributed nearly $7.6 million through cash and in-kind donations, including products that we donated to food banks and for disaster relief efforts. 

We have made significant strides in our progress throughout the past six years and have been recognized for our efforts. While challenges remain, we will continue to strive to be the best corporate citizen possible. We hope you will join us on our journey by continuing to support our efforts and reading our annual corporate responsibility reports. Thank you.


Jeffrey M. Ettinger
Chairman of the Board,
President and Chief Executive Officer