At Hormel Foods, we recognize that our sustainability practices directly align with our financial goals, and thus, sustainability serves as a guide to our day-to-day business operations. In this way, we excel as a company and improve our sustainability performance while adhering to the highest standards of ethics.

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Governance structure of the organization, including committees under the highest governance body responsible for decision-making on economic, environmental and social impacts.

Governance and Policies

The Board of Directors oversees all activities at Hormel Foods and assumes the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that the company’s performance is based on strong ethical practices and aligned with the Code of Ethical Business Conduct. In 2015, the Hormel Foods Board of Directors consisted of 14 members, 12 of whom were independent. Of the 2015 14-member Board of Directors, there were four women and five persons of color.

Additional information about our board structure can be found in our 2015 Proxy Statement.

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Report the process for delegating authority for economic, environmental and social topics from the highest governance body to senior executives and other employees.

Report whether the organization has appointed an executive-level position or positions with responsibility for economic, environmental and social topics, and whether post holders report directly to the highest governance body.

Report whether the Chair of the highest governance body is also an executive officer (and, if so, his or her function within the organization’s management and the reasons for this arrangement).

Report processes for the highest governance body to ensure conflicts of interest are avoided and managed. Report whether conflicts of interest are disclosed to stakeholders, including, as a minimum:

  • Cross-board membership
  • Cross-shareholding with suppliers and other stakeholders
  • Existence of controlling shareholder
  • Related party disclosures

Report the highest governance body’s and senior executives’ roles in the development, approval, and updating of the organization’s purpose, value or mission statements, strategies, policies, and goals related to economic, environmental and social impacts.

Report the measures taken to develop and enhance the highest governance body’s collective knowledge of economic, environmental and social topics.

Report the highest governance body's role in reviewing the effectiveness of the organization's risk management processes for economic, environmental and social topics.

Report the frequency of the highest governance body’s review of economic, environmental and social impacts, risks, and opportunities.

Report the highest committee or position that formally reviews and approves the organization’s sustainability report and ensures that all material Aspects are covered.

Report the process for communicating critical concerns to the highest governance body.

Corporate Responsibility Oversight

In calendar year 2015, Hormel Foods implemented a Corporate Responsibility (CR) Steering Committee. The CR Steering Committee is comprised of company executives, and the group’s role is to provide direction and approval for the company’s environmental, social and governance activities. The chair of the CR Steering Committee is Bryan Farnsworth, senior vice president of supply chain, who reports directly to the company's chief executive officer. The CR Council (comprised of cross-functional subject-matter experts) reports to the CR Steering Committee.

In addition, oversight of our sustainability, environmental and corporate social responsibility activities was added to the responsibility of the Governance Committee of our Board of Directors. Additional information about the responsibilities of this committee can be found on our corporate site.

Governance Structure


For 50 consecutive years, the company has increased its annual dividend. Since 2011, the average dividend growth rate is 18 percent per year.

Hormel Foods continues to grow, increasing earnings per share by 18 percent in 2015 to a record $2.64 per share.

To read more about additional governance topics, such as risk management, visit the corporate governance section on our corporate site.

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