To determine whether to report information on particular topics, we listen to stakeholders and prioritize topics based on the importance of the topic to stakeholders and to the business. Our stakeholders are employees, customers, consumers, investors, suppliers, government officials and communities. For this report, we analyzed “materiality” according to the aspects of GRI’s G4 Framework.
We assess materiality based on feedback from stakeholders, internal and external inputs, and insights from subject-matter experts in various departments throughout the company.
Occupational Health and Safety
Employee safety affects employees’ livelihood, productivity and safety of products; also impacted by national and state laws. Customers are interested in how to minimize safety risks, and investors believe health and safety risks are important.
The company's competitiveness and success is influenced by the talent at Hormel Foods. Benefits and retention are business issues important to the company and of interest to stakeholders.
We respect the rights of our employees and conduct business based on valuing our workforce.
Training and Education
The company's competitiveness and success is influenced by the talent at Hormel Foods, and it is good business for professional development and training to be a priority.
Consistent policies of human rights, in alignment with international standards and national laws, are of interest and concern for stakeholders. Material aspects for human rights include investment, nondiscrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, and child labor.
Energy consumption continues to be one of the most material topics, with investors and customers all asking for disclosure and performance.
Operations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are under the company's water use reduction goal, as it is part of the company's direct environmental footprint. Stakeholders are increasingly concerned about companies’ use of water, especially in water scarce or stressed regions.
Operations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are under the company’s air emissions goal, as it is part of the company’s direct environmental footprint.
The packaging of consumer goods impacts the environment, so we employ efforts to use the minimal amount of packaging necessary while maintaining food safety and quality, and work with suppliers to find new solutions to use less packaging or materials that are recycled or recyclable.
Effluents and Waste
As part of manufacturing products, solid waste has a direct impact on the company's environmental footprint, thus Hormel Foods factors in solid waste minimization as a company goal. In addition, an emerging issue among stakeholders is food waste, and our operations produce hazardous waste, which is required to be disposed and transported according to strict rules and regulations.
Compliance and Grievance Mechanisms
Adhering to environmental laws and regulations is critically important in our operations; we train employees annually on proper procedures and emphasize environmental compliance. If employees believe we are not adhering to these high standards, mechanisms are an important way for us to identify issues and ensure action is taken.
Hormel Foods sells products worldwide and relies on transportation via truck, train and ship to deliver our products to customers. We understand our methods contribute to our air emissions and work to be as efficient as possible in our logistics operations.
Investment in infrastructure that will reduce our impact on the environment while improving the efficiency of our operations helps our company produce more for less impact on the environment and communities.
Health and Safety
Food safety directly affects the safety of our customers and integrity of our products; also influenced by national and state laws.
Nutrition and Transparency
Quality, healthy food and meat products are important to the health of the population and continued sales of products from Hormel Foods. Stakeholders are also increasingly asking for transparency in labeling of products.
Supply Chain (human rights, environmental, labor, society impact assessments)
Supply chain is one of the most watched topics across industries, with various implications for companies. Socially responsible investors and customers continue to call for companies to influence suppliers to be more responsible or risk being associated or blamed for issues in the supply chain. The business practices of suppliers can directly impact Hormel Foods. For example, new technologies employed by packaging suppliers allow the company to use less material and thus reduce our materials use. Conversely, suppliers who are not upholding standards of human rights or responsible sourcing of their own materials can negatively impact the commitments of Hormel Foods.
Producing quality brand name food and meat products for consumers starts with industry-leading animal care practices, including transportation and handling. This topic is also influenced by national and state laws. Customers, NGOs and consumers all care that we are upholding animal welfare standards.
Healthy and Affordable Food
Food prices are determined by the cost of production and manufacturing and are affected by changes in commodity costs, as well as production, including sustainability efforts.
A variety of food labeling topics are a part of national and local legislation, including nutritional labels, GMOs and country-of-origin-labeling. These impact our consumers and our operations.
The compliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of products is material to Hormel Foods because it impacts our right to operate and our ongoing trust with consumers and retail partners.
Ensuring corruption is not taking place is a standard and good business practice for our company. We do this through risk assessments, training on our code of conduct and mechanisms for employees to raise concerns.
A standard practice in our industry is to engage in public policy discussions that are or have the potential to impact our business.
We adhere to local and national laws and regulations in all areas where we operate.
Economic indicators, such as defined benefit plan obligations, financial implications due to climate change and direct economic value generated and distributed demonstrate our economic impact in our communities and in the areas we operate. In terms of climate change, it has the potential to impact our business through environmental effects to our operations and national and state regulations that could cause our operations to change. It is integrated into our multi-disciplinary companywide risk management processes at Hormel Foods. We monitor the impact national and state regulation will have on our business and plan accordingly, including setting goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use from our operations.
The amount we buy from local suppliers impacts the local economies of the areas we operate.