SECTION 172(1) STATEMENT
Approved by the Board of Directors 14 December 2021
The Board of Directors confirm that during the year covered by this report, they have discharged their duties under section 172(1) of the Companies Act 2006 in a way they consider, in good faith, is likely to best promote the long-term success of the Company for the benefit of its members as a whole, while having regard to other matters, including but not limited to:
- the likely consequences of any decision in the long term,
- the interests of the company’s employees,
- the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers, and others,
- the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment,
- the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and
- the need to act fairly as between members of the company.
Taking into consideration this broad range interests is an important element of the decision-making process that the Board goes through, although in balancing multiple perspectives it is not always possible to reach a decision that is desirable for everyone.
Long term consequences of business decisions and maintaining high standards of business conduct
The Company operates within a sector where strong long-term relationships with all stakeholders are fundamental to the growth and success of the business. Consequently, consideration of and potential long-term impacts forms a key part of the decision-making process. The Directors also recognise that conflicts may arise between short-term and long-term consequences of a decision, and these are carefully considered as part of the process. Where possible, long-term benefits will always take priority. The Directors strive to operate to the highest levels of conduct. All staff are required to adhere to the Company polices set out in the Staff Handbook, including the Equal Opportunities, Bullying and Harassment, and Anti-bribery policies. The Company operates a Confidential Reporting policy to provide staff and others with a confidential process to report any concerns they have so that they can be investigated properly.
Employee and Stakeholder engagement
Our employees are key to our business. We want to foster an environment where they feel empowered to deliver the best possible service levels to our customers, as well as provide them opportunities to continually grow and develop personally. The Company actively engages with its employees to identify and implement training programmes where appropriate. Regular staff briefings also provide the opportunity to update employees on performance and future direction of the Company, as well as providing a forum for them to ask the Directors any questions they may have. Staff feedback is also seen as an important opportunity for the Directors to reflect on how employees view the Company, and all staff are encouraged to provide their views in an annual staff survey. The Directors are continually seeking to build, maintain and develop strong long-term relationships with customers and suppliers that are not only mutually beneficial for both parties, but are focused on ensuring that food safety and compliance are at the forefront of what we do.
Community and environment
Smithfield Foods is committed to having a positive impact on the community with the provision of quality food products while reducing its impact on the environment.
The principle corporate social responsibility efforts of the Company are focused on helping tackle food insecurity in the local community by its support of food banks, as well as reducing food waste by donating unused food wherever possible.
The transportation of goods constitutes our single greatest impact on the environment via the use of third-party logistics services. Where possible we make use of primary transport networks to reduce road miles. We are also going through the process of understanding how our logistics partners are reducing their impact on the environment, which will form an important part of our supplier selection process.
Acting fairly as between members of the company
The Directors and all other employees of the business strive to treat all external stakeholders fairly and respectively and in a manner that aligns with Company values.