All large companies begin small. They all have small beginnings and because of their hard work and determination grow into large corporations. But only some of them still maintain the nature and tradition of a small company. Only some companies recognize the advantage of being small.
Smithfield Foods started as a small meat packaging company in Smithfield, Virginia, in the year 1936. After eighty years of hard work, they have grown into the largest processor of pork and producer of hogs. They are also the market leaders in many varieties of packed meat in the US. Their operations are spread across North America and Europe.
Smithfield owns most of the top brands of packed meat that is available in the market today. Most of us have probably eaten and are still eating at least one of their brands every day. From the small start in Virginia, the company has grown step by step acquiring many great brands and growing in strength. In the first three decades, the company grew to great heights but failed badly in the 70s.
With the return of the founder to the company, it began expanding again. The company recognized the importance of integrating vertically and went on to acquire many of the packaged meat sellers who were market leaders. They also ensured their supplies by purchasing pig farms.
As they grew the company never forgot about maintaining the quality and about preserving the environment. They were the first in the meat producing industry to get an ISO 14001 certification for environmental management systems.
In the year 2007 Smithfield entered the Europe market. They purchased a famous meat packaging brand in Europe through a joint venture. They continued to acquire famous brands of various meat products that gave them a market for their products and put Smithfield on the dining tables of most households in the US.
By the second decade of the new millennium, Smithfield had got almost all the major brands of meat products with them. This helped them to spread more in the market. They also continued to acquired farms to keep up their supplies of meat.
Though they had grown into a world leader, the company still prefers to say they act like a small company. Keeping people close and taking care of them is one way. They produce their food responsibly by taking care of the animals. They are actively involved in the development of the community they have their operations in.
Surprisingly Smithfield which started in Smithfield, Virginia still operates from the same place. That should say a lot about the culture and tradition of the company. We started by saying only some companies know the advantage of being small, and Smithfield is one of them.
Though Smithfield employs around fifty thousand people and has operations in around 40 countries, all their operations are small. They are based in small countries and they take an active part in developing these small communities and taking care of them. They know the strength of these small communities and they know their responsibilities to these communities.