Engaging in Legislative Affairs
As policies and regulations continue to evolve, there are many legislative issues that affect the food industry. Hormel Foods is involved in several efforts to engage in open dialogue and provide elected officials and community members with a clear understanding of the positive role and mission of our company, how we go about our business and how we impact our communities. These efforts include:
- Membership in trade organizations that conduct lobbying on behalf of the food industry. These organizations include the American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers of America, National Meat Association, National Restaurant Association and National Turkey Federation. Additionally, in 2000, Hormel Foods became a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
- Monitoring legislative and regulatory issues and conducting lobbying activity when the company determines it is vital to its operations. In 2011, our lobbying efforts and activities primarily focused on animal care, regulatory climate issues and food safety improvements. These activities vary according to the issue and may involve working with legislators, the House and Senate Agricultural Committees, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We maintain a good relationship with these parties in order to ensure candid discussion and the dissemination of accurate information on issues;
- Conducting one-on-one meetings and individual plant tours with members of Congress and regulatory agencies to help them better understand our company operations and policies; and
- Engaging in public forums by participating in panels on a variety of industry-wide issues.
Our participation in public policy and lobbying through the previously mentioned trade organizations and relationships focuses on significant issues such as:
- Food safety improvements;
- U. S. Department of Agriculture-proposed rules and regulations;
- Incentives for research and development; and
- Balanced approach regarding subsidies, tariffs and mandates for biofuels. We have encouraged lawmakers to review subsidy mandate and tariffs for biofuel policy so that all parties have fair access to the market availability of biofuels.
In 2011, we spent $387,037 in lobbying. From our Political Action Committee (PAC), we contributed $5,000 to the American Meat Institute PAC, $5,000 to the Grocery Manufacturers Association PAC, and $1,450 to the National Meat Association PAC.