Smithfield Foods Inc. has released a series of pork production videos online, giving consumers a behind-the-scenes look at production at the company’s Murphy-Brown livestock production facility in North Carolina. The videos are available on the company’s website, as well as YouTube and SchoolTube.

 The seven videos, which run from three to 10 minutes each and were shot at facilities across the U.S., show how piglets begin their life on a sow farm, moved to a nursery farm, and then to a finishing farm, reports the Associated Press. Some of the commentary for the series was provided by animal handling expert Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

"Our goal is to take the mystery out of pork production by answering many of the questions that people ask us," Don Butler, director of government relations and public affairs for Murphy-Brown, said in a news release. "These video tours give viewers a close look inside our hog farms and lets people see firsthand how we put our commitment to product quality, food safety and animal care into practice."

In December, the Humane Society of the United States released results from an undercover investigation that showed breeding pigs abused and crammed into small gestation crates at one of its Virginia farms.

Source: AP, ABC News



Subway passes McDonald’s for world’s largest chain

With more than 33,000 restaurants worldwide, Subway has now become the largest restaurant chain in the world, surpassing McDonald’s. Subway has 33,749 restaurants at the end of 2010, reports CNN, while McDonald’s had 32,737 locations.

"Last year was actually pretty average for us, growth-wise," said Subway spokesman Les Winograd. "We aim to open between 1,000 and 2,000 locations globally each year."

As of Monday, Subway has 34,218 locations globally -- all of which are owned by franchisees.

"It's a feeling of accomplishment, for sure," Winograd said. "But we didn't set out to surpass anyone in particular."

About half of the company’s growth is overseas, as Subway has more than 1,000 locations in Asia and opened its first restaurant in Vietnam.

Source: CNN



Hormel ranked #30 on Good Corporate Citizens list

Hormel Foods Corp. announced the company’s ranking jumped 10 spots to No. 30 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 12th annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens List.” This is the third consecutive year Hormel Foods was recognized, ranking 40th in both 2009 and 2010.

“We are honored to be recognized for our long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility, and it is exciting to see our ranking increase this year,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods. “We believe this increase is a testament to the dedication of our employees who live out these principles every day and our focus to increase transparency through our reporting efforts.”

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens List is considered the most prestigious annual ranking of Russell 1000 Index companies and gauges performance in several key areas of corporate responsibility, including environment, climate change, human rights, philanthropy, employee relations, financial and governance.

The list is entirely compiled based on publicly available information, including nonsecure websites, government and regulatory sources, investment publications and nongovernmental organization databases.

Hormel Foods aims to publicly disclose information about its dedication to corporate responsibility each year through its corporate responsibility report and several other initiatives. The 2010 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report will be released in May.

Source: Hormel Foods Corp.



Dr. Davey Griffin to receive NAMP’s Educator Award

The North American Meat Processor’s Association has announce that Dr. Davey Griffin of Texas A&M University has been selected to receive NAMP’s Harry L. Rudnick Educator of the Year award. The award presentation will be made on Saturday, March 19, at NAMP’s Meat Industry Management Conference at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Ill. Griffin will be joined at the ceremony by his wife, Sandy.

The award, which was established in 1969, honors Griffin for his efforts as an educator and advocate for the meat industry.  Griffin has been instrumental in the success of NAMP’s Center of the Plate Training, which he has assisted for nine years. Griffin is an associate professor, extension meat specialist, and a member of the meat science section in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University.

Griffin serves as a liaison between industry, commodity groups, medical and dietary professionals and USDA extension personnel to provide research, information, and technology.

His key program and interest areas include cutability and composition of carcasses associated with value-based marketing, current consumer issues concerning meat and meat products, youth development and cooperative research projects.

“Dr. Griffin contributes greatly to the ongoing education of meat industry professionals and students alike.  NAMP appreciates his support of our programs and others, and congratulates him on this achievement,” said NAMP President Bobby Hatoff of Allen Brothers.

Source: NAMP