Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE: SFD) announced yesterday that Carroll‘s Foods, a Warsaw, North Carolina subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has been recognized as the first livestock operation in the nation to receive the prestigious ISO 14001 environmental certification. ISO 14001 is a standard published by the International Organization for Standardization. It establishes a coordinated framework of controls to manage environmental protection in an organization.

The announcement made by Jerry Godwin, head of Smithfield’s hog production companies, was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Bobby McClamb, members of the North Carolina General Assembly and representatives from SGS International Certification Services, Inc. (SGS ICS) — the organization that conducted Carroll’s Foods’ ISO 14001 certification.

“ISO 14001 is an international recognition that a company is living up to their environmental responsibilities,” said Godwin. “Carroll’s Foods is the first livestock operation in the nation to achieve ISO 14001 certification. Today further shows that being good stewards of the environment will always be taken seriously by Smithfield Foods.”

Carroll’s Foods achieved ISO 14001 certification from SGS ICS on March 21, 2001. The certification includes Carroll’s Foods’ wholly owned swine production farms, including all components of its nutrient management system. To obtain ISO 14001 certification, an organization must meet a rigorous and comprehensive set of requirements and criteria developed by over 2,000 experts from all over the world. It also requires independent audits by third parties.

In addition to today’s announcement, Godwin also announced that plans are underway for Murphy Farms and Brown’s of Carolina to become ISO 14001 certified by the end of the year.

In August 2000, Smithfield Foods, Inc. voluntarily entered into a landmark agreement with the North Carolina Attorney General, the centerpiece of which is a $15 million commitment on Smithfield’s part to conduct research on new waste technologies, and a $50 million commitment to environmental enhancement programs for the state. In addition, this voluntary agreement also included the implementation of environmental management systems that fulfill ISO 14001 requirements and the certification of those systems by a third-party audit.

SGS ICS, the organization that conducted Carroll’s Foods’ certification process, is a member company of The SGS Group headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1878, the SGS Group is the world’s largest organization in the field of inspection and certification.

A luncheon honoring employees involved with the certification was held at Carroll’s Foods, Inc. in Warsaw, North Carolina, following the announcement.