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Will Smithfield’s ‘clean pens’ lift China standards?

Shuanghui International’s acquisition of Smithfield is certainly interesting. I would like to pose a possible theory on why the Chinese selected this company.

In 2011 Trust Across America was somewhat surprised when Smithfield rose to the top of our “Most Trustworthy Companies” research via our FACTS Framework.

Smithfield’s release about the ranking is here.

But after digging a bit deeper, it turns out that the company is a reinvention, having previously paid one of the largest environmental fines in U.S. history. Since then, they have cleaned out their pens and cleaned up their acts. Their environmental sustainability program is robust.

By purchasing Smithfield, the Chinese also acquire a model for doing good business. This is a very wise move that should bring higher standards of pork production into China.


Barbara Kimmel is the founder and executive director of the good-business think tank, Trust Across America. In 2012, she was named one of 25 Women Who are Changing the World by Good Business International. She can be contacted here.

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