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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, i.e., would a topic affect whether or not we were able to operate? 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.

Content and the materiality assessment was reviewed and collected from various departments and locations throughout the company from subject-matter experts. The materiality assessment below shows our analysis by stakeholder and priority.

Diversity

Diversity among employee workforce and Hormel Foods Board of Directors is a relatively high concern to stakeholders who see diversity as a global strategic issue.

Employee Safety

Employee safety affects employees’ livelihood, productivity and safety of products; also impacted by national and state laws.

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. For these reasons, benefits and compensation are a business issue and human rights issue and of interest to stakeholders.

Healthy Food

Quality, healthy food and meat products are important to the health of the population and continued sales of products from Hormel Foods.

Innovation

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

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.

Commodity Costs

Many products from Hormel Foods start with basic commodities, such as corn. Hormel Foods is affected by cost changes in these commodities, and these changes can impact product pricing.

Food Safety

Food safety directly affects the safety of our customers and integrity of our products; also influenced by national and state laws.

Community Involvement

Involvement in communities contributes to relationships with community organizations, potential workforce and overall community members. Programs are in place for monetary or in-kind donations to plant communities around the country. Plant employees donate their time and services as well.

Philanthropy

Hormel Foods focuses philanthropy efforts on education and hunger. Intertwined in ways, philanthropy and community involvement consist of our interactions with communities and the cross-section of where our business can provide social value.

Standards for Suppliers

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.

Air Emissions

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.

Water Use

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

Wastewater Management

Operations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are monitored and evaluated for wastewater use, as wastewater is part of the company's direct environmental footprint.

Transportation

Due to the amount of transportation involved in shipping products to customers throughout the world, transportation environmental impacts are figured into the company’s environmental footprint and thus are an area in which Hormel Foods endeavors to find efficiencies.

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.

Climate Change

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.

Packaging

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.

Animal Care

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.

Governance

Ethical management, as it relates to business oversight and ethical business practices, is of importance to stakeholders.

Human Rights

Consistent policies of human rights, in alignment with international standards and national laws, are of interest and concern for stakeholders.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct represents fundamental values and rules that the company has asked all employees to comply by. Training on the Code of Conduct is of interest to stakeholders because it represents consistency and a commitment by the company to ensure all employees are following the same rules.