The company’s history started when Joseph Luter and his son Joseph Junior opened a packing plant in Smithfield, Virginia. The Luters named their company Smithfield Packing.
In 1981, the company completed its first major acquisition when it bought Gwaltney®, another pork processing company, which allowed the business to expand into the Eastern part of the country. Three years after, Smithfield Packing acquired Patrick Cudahy, a company engaged in the production of smoked sausages, ham and bacon. In 1986, the company again completed another acquisition, this time Schluderberg-Kurdle.
In 1987, Smithfield Foods started to grow their own hogs. This was made possible when the company partnered with Carroll’s Foods. In 1992, Smithfield Foods started operating its new meat processing plant in North Carolina. This plant was considered the largest meat processing plant at the time. Two years after, the company introduced its Lean Generation Pork® to foodservice operators.
In 1998, the company was able to acquire hog producer Circle 4 Farms. A year after, it bought another hog producer, Carroll’s Foods. In 2000, Smithfield Foods acquired Murphy Farms Incorporated, the largest producer of hogs in the country. From 1998 until 2005, Smithfield Foods had been establishing and strengthening its worldwide operations. During those years, the company also entered into the ready-to-eat and foodservice industries.
In the succeeding years, Smithfield Foods continued its expansion through a number of acquisitions. At the same time, it was also divesting some of its divisions in order to give more focus to its core products. Currently, Smithfield Foods owns more than fifty brands of meat products (primarily pork) that are recognized in different parts of the world. The company also produces over 200 kinds of gourmet foods for distribution worldwide. Despite becoming a large global company, the company has maintained its 100% commitment to producing excellent food responsibly.
• Headquarters: Smithfield, Virginia
• Ownership Type: Public
• No. of Employees: 51,000
• Geography: USA, Brazil, France, Poland, Spain, China, Mexico, Romania, The United Kingdom
• Demography: foodservice companies, pork product consumers
Armour®, Bistro®, Cook’s®, Curly’s Foods®, Eckrich®, Ember Farms®, Farmland®, Flavore®, Gwaltney®, Hunter®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar Deli®, Lykes®, Mayrose®, Party Dipper®, Pavone®, Pure Farms®, Quck-n-Easy®, Realean®, Rip-n-Dip®, Sizzle & Serve®, Smithfield®, Sunnyland® and Valleydale®