About This Report

Letter From CEO

Letter from CEO

Thank you for taking time to read our 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report.

As in past years, we have made an effort to improve our performance and to be more transparent in reporting on that performance. But this is not a solitary effort. Rather, as with any company engaged in this process, it is done in partnership with our various stakeholders – our employees, investors, community members, suppliers, legislative/regulatory representatives, consumers, customers and our honest critics. We value your interest and input, which helped shape 2010 into a year that produced some gratifying milestones, the launch of new initiatives, and, yes, some challenges – all part of our commitment to “Elevate the Everyday, Our Way.”

Two milestones stand out: The first is our new facility, Progressive Processing LLC production facility (Dubuque, IA), which has been awarded LEED® Gold; and the second is being added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), which represents the world’s top 10 percent of sustainable companies.

In many ways, our Dubuque facility represents the culmination of our commitment to sustainable operations, with significant reductions in water and energy use compared to typical facilities. DJSI validates that we are managing our business not only profitably, but also sustainably and innovatively.

Our commitment to “Elevate the Everyday, Our Way” through continuous improvement requires fresh resolve and new initiatives, especially in certain key areas, including:

Health & Wellness:

The national demand for healthier food options is here to stay. At Hormel Foods, we have listened to our consumers and are committed to expanding our existing portfolio of realistic options to help them achieve their wellness goals, while also delivering taste and convenience. In 2010, we established a new sodium-reduction goal and are committed to giving consumers the information they need to make smart choices for themselves and their families.

Food Safety:

Safe food is the most fundamental promise we make to our consumers. We maintained our leadership in the area through participation in the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) – an internationally recognized, third-party food safety management system. Today, 36 Hormel Foods facilities are certified according to GFSI.

Environment:

In terms of our environmental performance, 2010 represented a year of progress, but also challenges. We have again reduced water use, the amount of solid waste sent to the landfill and the amount of packaging in our products. However, unfortunately, based on our 2010 data, we are not meeting the aggressive energy-reduction goal we set to accomplish by the end of fiscal year 2011. We have made significant capital investments to increase energy efficiencies, which have offset increased energy use in our facilities. With one year remaining to meet our goal, I can assure you we are working hard to determine how we can meet the goals we originally established.

Efforts in these areas will continue to grow in the coming year, and we will launch new initiatives, one of the most exciting of which will be our Supplier Responsibility Principles. When distributed, these will help ensure our partners understand and can support our commitments.

In all of this, we have been and will continue to be guided by “Our Way” – which expresses our guiding principles for all areas of the business. The principles are not new. In fact, they are 120 years old, as is our company. But the way we fulfill them continues to evolve, based in large part on your priorities and your input. You are part of this process, so we urge you to make your views known. Please share them here. We thank you.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey M. Ettinger
Chairman of the Board,
President and Chief Executive Officer

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