Largest Pork Producer in U.S. Owned by Chinese Meat Company

The largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, located in the United States, is owned by a $22 billion Chinese meat processing company.

Pork Producer Smithfield Food Owned By China

This might be old news to some, but given the recent news about China, the world’s food supply and the increasing influence of of communist societies in America, it’s worth talking about again.

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, was acquired by a Chinese firm in 2013 for nearly $5 billion.

Smithfield, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WH Group of China, formerly known as the Shuanghui Group is based out of Smithfield, Virginia. The company has 55,000 employees, 40,000 in the U.S. and 15,000 in Europe.

A PBS investigation showed this ownership relationship risks Smithfield Foods having to take marching orders from the Chinese Communist Party.

Largest Pork Producing Companies in US

In early 2020, China-based companies owned almost 200,000 acres of U.S. soil.

The Pork Industry’s Impact on America

An economic report from 2022 by The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) highlights how America’s swine farmers significantly contribute to agricultural and overall economy. The report highlights the pork industry value chain contributions and growth over the past five years.

“From farm to fork, the combined economic contribution from hog production and pork processing supports more than 600,000 American jobs and generates $178 billion of direct, indirect and induced sales that equate to $57 billion in value-added GDP.”

An estimated 613,823 U.S. jobs are involved in various aspects of the pork value chain, ranging from input suppliers to producers to processors and handlers as well as main street businesses that benefit from purchases by people in these industries. 

In 2021, more than 66,000 U.S. pork producers marketed 140 million hogs valued at over $28 billion in gross cash receipts.

The sales generated from hog marketing and pork processing support a total economic contribution of $35 billion in personal income and $57 billion in value-added.

Major Pork Producing Companies

Major pork companies in the USA The major US pork companies include Tyson Foods, JBS USA, Cargill, Sysco and Smithfield Foods.

The United States has been either the world’s largest or second largest exporter of pork and pork products, with exports averaging over 20 percent of commercial pork production in most years. Currently, U.S. hog operations are heavily concentrated in the Midwest and in eastern North Carolina.

Last year Smithfield closed it’s largest pork processing plant, located in Vernon, California. They also said they will scale back operations in California, Utah, and Arizona.

Smithfield “will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. We are taking these steps due to the escalating cost of doing business in California,” the company said.

The WH Group, who owns Smithfield Foods, also partners with these brands:

WH Group US Products and Brands 2023

Recently lawmakers have been trying to ban additional land grab’s from China on American soil.

According to reports, China has recently announced it has moved some of their processing from North Carolina to China. For example, America would still raise the pigs and send to China for processing, then would be sent back to the US for consumption.

According to Reuters,

Since late spring, pigs trucked to the plant have been slaughtered and sliced into thirds for shipment to China, where Chinese workers process the carcasses further, company employees and industry sources told Reuters.

Arnold Silver, Smithfield’s director of raw materials procurement, said at a recent industry conference that sales to China could eventually create bacon and ham shortages for American consumers.

The United States exported 294.5 million kilograms of pork to China between January and August, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, more than in the whole of 2018.

Smithfield Foods declined to comment on the change or allow a reporter to visit the Virginia plant, which slaughters about 10,000 pigs a day.

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