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Press release from GlobeNewswire (a Nasdaq OMX company)

Smithfield Foods Salutes Operating Companies for Again Maintaining Lowest Injury Rate in Company's History

Friday, June 29, 2012

Smithfield Foods Salutes Operating Companies for Again Maintaining Lowest Injury Rate in Company's History05:30 EDT Friday, June 29, 2012SMITHFIELD, Va., June 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield Foods, Inc.'s (NYSE:SFD) companywide injury rate in 2011 continued at its lowest levels in company history and remained well below the national average for the meatpacking industry. In 2011 Smithfield's injury rate was 3.93 injuries per 100 employees, down from 4.66 injuries in 2010. While the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has not yet released industry-wide data on workplace injuries for 2011, Smithfield's 2010 rate was 32.5% below the national average for beef and pork processors. "We're very pleased with our progress in protecting the safety and health of our employees, but we're not about to stop now because our ultimate goal is to prevent any workplace injuries," said John Tignor, corporate director of health, safety and security. "Our employees deserve much of the credit for achieving the lowest injury rate in our industry because they are the ones who are committed to making our safety and health policies and programs successful," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer. "Our employees have worked very hard to create a culture of safety at every level to ensure that safety is engrained in the work habits of all of us, no matter what the job," Pope added. In recognition of maintaining historically low injury rates, Smithfield, this month, handed out Health and Safety Excellence Awards to its independent operating companies.   Coveted Award Each year, Smithfield's subsidiaries are evaluated for the coveted Smithfield President's Award for Health and Safety Excellence. Nominations are based on stringent criteria regarding the implementation of the company's Employee Injury Prevention Management System (EIPMS) and overall results in preventing injury and illness. This year's President's Award was presented to the Smithfield Packing Co. facility in Kinston, N.C., for not only successfully integrating EIPMS into its operation, but also for managing two major construction projects without injuries and maintaining some of the lowest injury and illness rates both within the industry and Smithfield Foods. The Kinston plant is a state-of-the-art facility and its physical condition and housekeeping practices are exceptional.  The First Award of Commendation went to the John Morrell & Co. facility in Sioux Center, Iowa, for demonstrating management commitment and outstanding employee engagement in safety processes on a daily basis, including the recent implementation of Smithfield's Behavioral Risk Improvement (BRI) process initiative.  The Second Award of Commendation went to John Morrell's facility in St. Charles, Ill., recognized for operating with a mindset of continuous improvement as demonstrated through its commitment to the EIPMS and BRI processes. For the second year in a row, Smithfield Packing Co. received the Organizational Excellence Award for Health and Safety Management, which recognizes the operating company that best demonstrates commitment to, and overall compliance with, the objectives of Smithfield Foods' Health and Safety Policy. Smithfield Packing developed and implemented a formal Safety Process Improvement Team made up of employees from all operations and the company president, vice presidents, plant managers, safety managers and corporate safety director. In international operations, Smithfield Ferme in Timisoara, Romania received the International Award for Health and Safety Excellence, which annually recognizes a Smithfield international company for continuous improvement in preventing injury and illness. Smithfield Ferme has demonstrated a high level of commitment to making workplace improvements, and has moved from a traditional program approach to a management systems-based approach to preventing injuries.  About Smithfield Safety Processes EIPMS establishes an organized, process-oriented, proactive methodology to prevent injuries, and is regularly updated in order to continually improve safety and health performance. The BRI process supports EIPMS by encouraging hourly employees to observe each other and help make safe decisions. To learn more about Smithfield Foods' employee health and safety initiatives, please visit www.smithfieldcommitments.com/core-reporting-areas/employees/health-safety/.About Smithfield Foods Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Farmland®, Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Armour® and John Morrell®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and www.smithfieldcommitments.com. The Smithfield Foods, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7622CONTACT: Keira Lombardo Smithfield Foods, Inc. (757) 365-3050 keiralombardo@smithfieldfoods.com