US meat producer Smithfield Foods has appointed George Richter as president and chief operating officer of its pork group, a new position at the company.

Richter, who will take up the role on 28 April, has spent 34 years, most recently as president, at pork processor Farmland Industries, which Smithfield bought in 2003. James Sbarro will take up the reins at Farmland.

Meanwhile, Smithfield has named Joseph Luter, currently president of Smithfield Packing Co., will become an executive vice president at the group.

"I am very pleased with these changes, for they strengthen our overall management team," said Larry Pope, Smithfield Foods president and CEO. "These managers will help in the coordination of the pork subsidiaries to better serve our continually-growing retail and foodservice customers."