The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) presented two of its highest honors during an awards luncheon at the 2018 Meat Industry Summit in San Antonio, Texas.
The Edward C. Jones Community Service Award was presented to Smithfield Foods in recognition of the company’s significant contributions to the sustainability of local communities by providing hunger relief, education and veterans support, and through other initiatives that address the specific needs of the communities in which it operates. The award is named for the late Edward Jones of Jones Dairy Farm, who was a model of community service, and honors individuals or companies that have demonstrated a strong commitment to their communities.
In presenting the award, Meat Institute Chairman John Vatri cited Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes program, which since its inception, has provided more than 100 million servings of protein to food banks and has played an instrumental role in disaster relief efforts, particularly following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In addition, through its Operation 4000! Initiative, Smithfield has committed to employing 4,000 veterans in the U.S. On the education front, Smithfield awarded nearly $660,000 in scholarships to 144 students in 2017 and sponsors the Smithfield Foods Legacy Project, which provides schools with resources to prepare students for their college and professional careers.
Cascade Energy, meanwhile, received the Industry Advancement Award, which honors an individual, group or company whose work has contributed to the success of the meat and poultry industry. Cascade Energy was presented with the award in recognition of its efforts to help meat and poultry companies optimize their energy consumption to lower costs and reduce their environmental impact by targeting greenhouse gas emissions. Cascade Energy also established a goal of saving eight billion kilowatt hours of energy by 2025, and is well on its way to meeting that goal.
“The Meat Institute congratulates Smithfield Foods and Cascade Energy for their impressive achievements and unparalleled commitment to the industry, its employees and the communities they serve,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “Both companies exemplify the industry’s strong values and its ability to innovate and adapt to stay ahead of emerging trends and exceed consumer expectations.”
The Meat Institute earlier this year presented worker safety, environmental recognition and other industry awards during the 2018 International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.