Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Logo.png

Added May 11, 2020

Smithfield Foods is a meat-processing company headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia. Smithfield Foods was founded in 1936 and is now the largest pig and pork producer in the world. Smithfield owns over 500 farms in the US and also has contracts with another 2,000 independent farms. Internationally, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom. In 2013 the WH Group of China purchased Smithfield Foods for $4.72 billion, the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.

Company Behavior Summary

  • The meatpacking industry has always had a notorious reputation for poor working conditions and Covid-19 has only made this more apparent. Currently meat and poultry employees have among the highest illness rates of all manufacturing employees and are the least likely to report said illnesses for fear of repercussions. It has even been reported that some of the Smithfield locations have been refusing to let their employees use the bathroom, even to wash their hands, which is of the biggest ways to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
  • A 50-year-old employee at Smithfield’s Sioux Falls plant told USA TODAY that there’s no way to stay 6 feet from co-workers on the production line, in the cafeteria or in the locker room. Further, when he started feeling sick (after multiple employees he worked with tested positive for Covid-19) and approached his supervisor, he was told that “he was ok and needed to work”. Soon after he tested positive for Covid-19. Many workers have shared similar stories, stating that they do not believe Smithfield’s cares about them or their health during this time, only their bottom line.
  • Smithfield’s Sioux Falls Plant shut down its operations on April 12. By this point the plant already had more than 200 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Soon after their numbers swelled to nearly 900 infected employees.


About The NoGo List

Which companies put profits over people? What is the latest big business scandal? Who's taking inappropriate handouts from the government?

The NOGO List was formed as a way for consumers to see what companies have been up to and make informed decisions about which companies deserve their business. We believe these actions should be public, and should not simply disappear with the next news cycle.

Our goal is to present as accurate a picture of each company as we can, so that consumers can make their own decisions. The NOGO list can be used on its own, or as a starting point for further research. Use it however you like.

Sleep better with the knowledge that you are supporting companies aligned with your values.

And, if you see that we are missing a company that belongs on this site, please submit it. We review all submissions and will include them on the site as soon as we can.