SMITHFIELD, VA. — Smithfield Foods, a $14 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, said it is expanding its grain purchasing and handling operations by adding facilities in Harpster and Morral, Ohio. The acquisition of the facilities is expected to connect grain and soybean farmers with new, global markets while advancing Smithfield’s commitment to supply chain sustainability and proving the benefits of its vertically-integrated structure, the company said.
Smithfield said grain purchased at the Harpster buying station will feed hogs throughout Smithfield’s Eastern Hog Production Division. Meanwhile, soybeans from the Morral buying station will be loaded on location and transported to customers around the world, the company said.
“We’re now able to help feed nine million of our hogs in North Carolina with grain we source directly from Ohio farmers,” said Robbie Montgomery, grain origination manager for Smithfield Grain. “With this purchase, we will have the opportunity to make positive impacts to our product quality as well as our environmental footprint by collaborating directly with more farmers.”
The grain buying stations will be incorporated into Smithfield’s existing fertilizer optimization program, a collaborative project between Smithfield and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The program, called SmithfieldGro, provides agronomy resources and tools to help farmers optimize their fertilizer application and improve soil health. The program’s expansion supports Smithfield in reaching its target of sourcing 75% of feed grain from sustainable origins by 2018.