Smithfield Foods was founded in Smithfield, Virginia in 1936 when Joseph W. Luter, Sr. and his son opened the Smithfield Packing Company. The company began its largest expansions in the 1980s with the purchase of its competitor and the acquisition of nearly 40 companies in the livestock industry in the following years. Some of the company's core brands include Armour, Smithfield, Farmland, Nathan's, and Cook's. Smithfield Foods is the world's largest pork processor, producing over 3.8 billion pounds of fresh pork annually, and raising 15.8 million pigs a year. The company has over 200 branded products and exports to more than 40 countries around the world.
Smithfield Foods employs over 50,000 associates and has the best safety record in the industry. The company is committed to responsible operations that address worker safety, animal care, food safety, and environmental sustainability. It provides internal training programs to help associates advance their careers as well as a competitive salary and benefits package. Benefits include comprehensive health coverage, 401(k) and pension plans, life insurance, wellness benefits, and paid time off.
With an average hourly pay of nearly twice the minimum wage, many employees of Smithfield Foods compliment the company for their "good pay" and that "they have a policy of paying weekly." Most felt that this was a good company to work for that "provides some opportunities for advancement" yet there was some criticism referencing "management disconnect at various levels." Several employees have commented that "work-life balance can suffer here due to long hours." – less