As an American manufacturer, Smithfield depends on free and open export markets to support our growing business. Trade accounts for about one-fourth of the total U.S. pork production output, ensuring pork producers find value for a wide-ranging mix of final products. Trade has made the U.S. pork industry an economic success story, creating more manufacturing and agriculture jobs across the nation and providing important and stable markets for American corn and soybean farmers. We support the vigorous pursuit of new trade agreements with export partners, the removal or reduction of tariffs and non-tariff barriers that limit exports. We are also focused on preserving our access in existing free trade agreements, which have created tremendous opportunities for American agriculture, including Smithfield. Recent U.S. trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, Japan and China are a step in the right direction.
Support for Agriculture and Rural America
Smithfield values the critical role that farmers and ranchers play in our supply chain. We have worked with USDA on implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides certainty to farmers and ranchers by authorizing important programs such as crop insurance, farm credit and conservation activities. Additionally, Smithfield has advocated for funding of USDA programs supporting the livestock health initiatives that ensure the sustainability of our food supply.
Animal Disease Preparedness and Response
Animal diseases threatening the health of the U.S. pork industry have the potential to cause significant economic losses. The spread of African Swine Fever around the globe threatens pork supplies internationally and domestically. We work actively in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), trade associations, veterinarians and state and local authorities to prepare for and respond to these emerging challenges by advocating for improved inspections and regionalization plans.
Renewable Energy and Sustainability
Smithfield is committed to doing its part to protect the environment throughout its own supply chain. Additionally, our recent Align joint venture with Dominion Energy to become the world’s largest supplier of renewable natural gas (RNG) makes us a leading voice in support of efforts to reduce GHG emissions across the agricultural sector. To this end, we also support reform of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to better support the advanced biofuels sector. With Smithfield’s goal of reducing GHG emissions by 25% by 2025, we will continue to advocate for policies that promote the development of agriculture-friendly renewable energy such as these “manure-to-energy” initiatives.
Smithfield Foods supports pro-growth tax policies that enables companies like ours to reinvest in local communities, create jobs and spur economic growth. Recent changes to improve the competitiveness of the American tax system have let us invest further in sustainable practices and will help us reach out far-reaching greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goal by 25% by 2025 across our entire supply chain. By being more competitive and investing savings derived from corporate tax reforms back into facilities, equipment and jobs across the United States, Smithfield is able to better serve our customers, employees and the environment.
Immigration and Labor
Since many valued employees are legal immigrants, we pay close attention to debates on immigration reform. This immigrant workforce brings a rich diversity to our operations and the communities in which we live. We support U.S. immigration reform that ensures we can maintain an adequate and stable workforce and provide opportunities for legitimate workers who seek employment at companies like ours. We believe the United States should protect legal immigrants and their employers.
Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Rules
Smithfield has worked in tandem with the packer industry and livestock producers to combat 2016 GIPSA regulations fundamentally altering contracting and marketing practices between packers and producers across all species. The Administration committed in 2017 to rescinding these rules that exposed Smithfield and the meat industry to rampant, frivolous lawsuits, added costs and lowered profitability. We are working to ensure new regulations provide clarity and adhere to the long-standing precedent followed by the USDA related to competition.
Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
Smithfield BioScience is proud to be able to domestically source and manufacture heparin, a lifesaving drug used in hospitals around the world. Outbreaks such as African Swine Fever have decimated the global hog population and threatened the heparin supply chain, and COVID-19 has significantly impacted the labor market raising concerns about global drug shortages. Smithfield Bioscience serves as a resource and a partner in ensure Americans maintain access to this lifesaving drug.
State Ballot Initiatives
Some states have passed or are considering ballot initiatives or state regulations that undermine the freedom to farm, introduce unwarranted costs, restrict marketplace access for conventional pork products and reduce consumer choice. We are working with a coalition of associations to find both legal and legislative solutions to state ballot initiatives that protect animals without unnecessarily restricting farmers and driving up costs to consumers.