SMITHFIELD, Va., July 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD) announced that C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield, will testify today before the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to review the benefits of the Shuanghui-Smithfield transaction for U.S. farmers and agriculture, while reaffirming the commitment to upholding the highest food safety standards. Since the transaction was announced it has received broad-based support from local, state and national elected officials, industry labor unions, U.S. hog farmers, leading economic and international affairs academics and even U.S. based food industry peers.
Increased Opportunities for U.S. Farmers and Agriculture
Mr. Pope will explain the combined company's commitment to continuing to work with American producers and suppliers that have played an integral role in Smithfield's success:"With respect to agriculture, we expect this transaction to drive growth and expansion not only for our growers, but for the entire U.S. pork industry. Smithfield Foods owns over 400 hog farms and has contracts with more than 2,000 family farmers across the country. Our agreement with Shuanghui will maintain all of these contracts and arrangements. Moreover, this transaction creates a terrific opportunity through growth in exports for U.S. hog farmers to expand production to meet the growing Chinese demand." Commitment to the Highest Standards in Food Safety Mr. Pope will underscore the combined company's commitment to food safety as the highest priority: "The integrity of our brands, our record of safety, the safety of the U.S. food supply chain and the recognized effectiveness of U.S. food safety standards are key drivers of the value that Shuanghui places on Smithfield. Our brands are recognized as representing highest-quality, safe and sought-after products throughout the world, including in China. Our combined company thus has every incentive to ensure the continued safety and excellence of our products and brands. Smithfield's facilities will continue to maintain their quality and will experience the same rigorous level of USDA FSIS inspection, regardless of the ownership of this company. Absolutely nothing about how our products are made, inspected or distributed will change." Same Old Smithfield Mr. Pope will also emphasize Shuanghui's commitment to maintaining Smithfield's operations, staff and management: