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.

Not only do we require our suppliers to follow our animal care guidelines, we recognize hog producers that exemplify the commitment to quality at Hormel Foods through our annual Spirit of Excellence Awards. Hormel Foods awarded 59 suppliers with a 2012 Spirit of Excellence Award for their roles in the company’s continuous improvement process throughout the last year. This includes 10 awards in the pork procurement category and one award in the provisions category.

In our processing facilities, we perform daily internal audits conducted by quality assurance and operations personnel to maintain the highest animal care practices. In fiscal year 2012, three external audits were performed by outside auditors in our processing facilities. Internally, we participated in 1,226 formal audits and 205 audits were conducted by company management at our processing facilities on an unannounced, random basis. In 2012, 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 Animal Care.