For the fourth consecutive year, Smithfield Foods, Inc., has been named to FORTUNE magazine's prestigious annual list of America's Most Admired Companies, this time ranking third among all U.S. food production companies.



Smithfield Foods moved up seven positions from its 10th-place ranking in 2005, when the company was placed in the magazine's consumer food products category. This year Smithfield was switched to the food production category, a more appropriate category for its business operation.
FORTUNE describes its annual list of America's Most Admired Companies as a "definitive report card" on corporate reputations.



FORTUNE asks executives, directors and analysts to rate companies in their own industries on eight criteria, from investment value to social responsibility. To qualify, a company's score must rank in the top half of its industry survey. Then, survey respondents are asked to select the 10 companies they admire most in each category.



"We are proud to make FORTUNE's list for the fourth straight year because this puts Smithfield Foods among very select companies. It is an honor to be named the 'most admired' company among beef and pork processors," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief operating officer for Smithfield Foods. "We realize that our ranking is a reflection of the hard work, dedication, ethics and integrity of our employees."



In 2005 Smithfield Foods became the first company in its industry to achieve the prestigious ISO 14001 certification of its Environmental Management System (EMS) for all U.S. hog production facilities and all pork and beef processing facilities, except for recent acquisitions. ISO certification means that Smithfield is meeting a stringent set of internationally respected environmental management standards.



Smithfield Foods has delivered a 25 percent average annual compounded rate of return to investors since 1975. With sales of $11 billion, Smithfield is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs.



Source: Smithfield Foods Inc.