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Manufacturing Industry Updates

Smithfield Foods Cuts Water Usage in Half in Two Years

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Two-third of Smithfield Foods’ water use supports cooking and sanitation at its processing facilities, while water on its farms is used for its pigs to drink and for sanitation, cooling and biosecurity. (iStock/kadmy)

The National Association of Manufacturers recognized Smithfield Foods Inc. as a 2020 Manufacturing Leadership Awards recipient for its water reduction efforts.

At its facility in Wilson, N.C., Smithfield Foods cut water usage in half over two years through adjustments to equipment, modifications to daily procedures and the implementation of a wastewater reuse program. These initiatives helped the company surpass its 10% water reduction goal two years ahead of schedule.

Two-thirds of Smithfield Foods’ water use supports cooking and sanitation at its processing facilities, while water on its farms is used for its pigs to drink and for sanitation, cooling and biosecurity. Its 2020 water use target — to achieve a 10% reduction in water use from a 2014 normalized baseline — fuels its continued progress.

“Across our operations, we place a high priority on the protection and conservation of water, an essential natural resource for businesses and communities,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “Our Wilson facility’s water reduction project reflects just one of many ways in which we are driving sustainable progress across our business through innovative practices.”

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