Materiality Assessment

To decide what information to report, we listened to stakeholders and prioritized topics based on the topics’ importance to stakeholders and the importance to the business, i.e., would a topic affect whether or not we were able to operate? Our stakeholders are: employees, customers, consumers, investors, suppliers, government officials and communities. For this report, we analyzed “materiality” as defined by GRI to report on its indicators. Content and the materiality assessment was reviewed and collected from various departments and locations throughout the company from subject-matter experts. The materiality assessment below shows our analysis by stakeholder and priority.

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  • DiversityDiversity among employee workforce and Hormel Foods Board of Directors is a relatively high concern to stakeholders who see diversity as global strategic issue.
  • Employee Benefits / CompensationThe company’s competitiveness and success is influenced by the talent at Hormel Foods, and it is ethical and lawful to pay employees fairly. For these reasons, benefits and compensation are a business issue and human rights issue and of interest to stakeholders.
  • Employee SafetyEmployee safety affects employees’ livelihood, productivity and safety of products; also impacted by national and state laws.


  • Standards for SuppliersThe business practices of suppliers can directly impact Hormel Foods. For example, new technologies employed by packaging suppliers allow the company to use less material and thus reduce our materials use. Conversely, suppliers who are not upholding standards of human rights or responsible sourcing of their own materials can negatively impact the commitments of Hormel Foods.
  • Animal CareQuality brand name food and meat products for consumers start with industry-leading animal care practices, including transportation and handling. This topic is also influenced by national and state laws.
  • PackagingThe packaging of consumer goods impacts the environment, so we employ efforts to use the minimal amount of packaging necessary while maintaining food safety and quality and work with suppliers to find new solutions to use less packaging or materials that are recycled or recyclable.
  • Solid Waste / RecyclingAs part of manufacturing products, solid waste has a direct impact on the company’s environmental footprint at plants, farms and in the company’s corporate office, thus Hormel Foods factors in solid waste minimization as a company goal.
  • TransportationDue to the amount of transportation involved in shipping products to customers throughout the world, transportation environmental impacts are figured into the company’s environmental footprint and thus are an area in which Hormel Foods endeavors to find efficiencies.
  • Wastewater ManagementOperations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are monitored and evaluated for wastewater use, as wastewater is part of the company’s direct environmental footprint.
  • Water UseOperations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are under the company’s water use reduction goal, as it is part of the company’s direct environmental footprint.
  • Air EmissionsOperations in which Hormel Foods has significant (or majority) control are under the company’s air emissions goal, as it is part of the company’s direct environmental footprint.
  • Climate Change MitigationClimate change has the potential to impact our business through environmental effects to our operations and national and state regulations that could cause our operations to change. It is integrated into our multi-disciplinary companywide risk management processes at Hormel Foods. We monitor the impact national and state regulation will have on our business and plan accordingly, including setting goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use from our operations.


  • Commodity CostsMany products from Hormel Foods start with basic commodities, such as corn. Hormel Foods is affected by cost changes in these commodities, and these changes can impact product pricing.
  • Food PricesFood prices are determined by the cost of production and manufacturing and are affected by changes in commodity costs, as well as production, including sustainability efforts.
  • Healthy FoodQuality, healthy food and meat products are important to the health of the population and continued sales of products from Hormel Foods.
  • InnovationProduct innovation is key to continued sales and growth for Hormel Foods. The company monitors consumer trends and demands and continues to challenge itself to grow sales, which is spurred by new products.
  • Food SafetyFood safety directly affects the safety of our customers and integrity of our products; also influenced by national and state laws.


  • Code of ConductThe Code of Conduct represents fundamental values and rules that the company has asked all companies to comply by. Training on the Code of Conduct is of interest to stakeholders because it represents consistency and a commitment by the company to ensure all employees are following the same rules.
  • Human RightsConsistent policies of human rights, in alignment with international standards and national laws, are of interest and concern for stakeholders.
  • GovernanceEthical management, as it relates to business oversight and ethical business practices, is of importance to stakeholders.


  • PhilanthropyHormel Foods focuses philanthropy efforts on education and hunger. Intertwined in ways, philanthropy and community involvement consist of our interactions with communities and the cross-section of where our business can provide social value.
  • Community InvolvementInvolvement in communities contributes to relationships with community organizations, potential workforce and overall community members. Programs are in place for monetary or in-kind donations to plant communities around the country. Plant employees donate their time and services as well.
  • Current employees
  • Prospective employees
  • Communities where manufacturing facilities are located
  • Suppliers (independent farms, ingredient suppliers, packaging suppliers, etc.)
  • NGOs
  • Investors
  • Retailers
  • Consumers
  • Government Agencies (FDA, USDA)
  • Investors
  • Shareholders
  • Current employees
  • Investors
  • Local communities
  • Communities suffering from malnutrition