Murphy-Brown LLC is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., the largest producer and processor of pork and pork products in the world with over 800,000 sow currently in production. The company was formed in 2001 to manage the wholly owned production units of Brown's of Carolina, Murphy Farms, and Carroll's Turkeys. We own and operate approximately five hundred swine production farms in eleven states in the U.S. and also have production units in Mexico, Poland, and Brazil. The company currently employs approximately 4,500 people and has an annual payroll in excess of 140 million dollars. At Murphy-Brown we recognize and accept our responsibility to protect the environment and the commitment to sound environmental management is at the core of our business philosophy. We are not content to merely be in compliance with all relevant permitting and legal requirements for our business, we have made additional commitments, through our EMS, to pollution prevention and to continual improvement in the environmental arena.
I first learned about EMS during social conversations with Ms. Suzanne Sessoms of Wilmington, NC in 1996. She is a professional consultant who works with businesses all over the world to develop and implement EMSs. The more we talked about the concept of an EMS the more it seemed that this tool would be valuable in the management of our business. In February 1997, Carroll's Foods had not yet been acquired by Smithfield Foods and was a privately held corporation. When I first presented the concept of EMS to Carroll's president Sonny Faison, he immediately saw the potential benefits to the business and decided that the company would commit to develop and implement an EMS sufficient to achieve the prestigious ISO 14001 certification, the gold standard for EMS. For those of you who may not have heard of ISO, ISO stands for the International Organization for Standards, an international standards body based in Geneva, Switzerland. The ISO 14001 Standard is a set of requirements developed in 1996 by experts from around the world to approach environmental management in a comprehensive and organized way. In order to become ISO 14001 "certified" an organization must meet, and have verified by independent auditors, all of the requirements in the Standard. You may have heard of the ISO 9000 Standard for quality management. ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management. ISO 14001 EMSs have become the tool of choice for many leading companies throughout the world (DuPont, Burroughs Wellcome, Hewlett Packard, General Motors, and IBM to name a few). We hired Suzanne Sessoms who had been the principal EMS consultant to IBM and Hewlett Packard, as our consultant to assist with the development of our EMS.
I am not going to go into detail here about the Standard, but I want you to get a look at an outline of its requirements here.
I was appointed by Mr.Faison as the project manager for this ambitious undertaking. In addition to working with Suzanne Sessoms, I was ably assisted by my colleague Carolyn Strickland who quickly assumed the key position of EMS Coordinator. Before the process was over, many other people were involved in the effort but in the beginning, we were it. Since there were no existing models for EMS development for a livestock production operation for us to follow, the task before us seemed daunting. The single most important thing we had going for us in the early days of EMS was the fact that the president of the company had made a rock solid commitment to do this thing and do it right. I helped him prepare a letter, to be sent to all the employees, describing the concept of an EMS and clearly articulating his support, not just in words but also indicating that the necessary financial and human resources would be committed and made available toward the achievement of our goal.
Over the next few months we, along with key personnel from various disciplines within the company, examined all of the "aspects " of our business that had, or could have, an impact on the environment. This process is central to the development of a credible EMS Once we had identified all of our environmental "aspects", we conducted an evaluation to determine their "significance". The significance of each aspect was, in our case, determined by considering legal and regulatory requirements, severity and consequences, relative or perceived risk, and the concerns of external interested parties. Our EMS is designed to manage, in an organized and verifiable way, each of the "significant aspects".
Once the "aspects" have been identified, the Standard requires the organization to develop a system to manage all of the significant aspects. The EMS concept is based on the PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT approach outlined in the well established Shewart/Deming Improvement Cycle.
Once we had developed an EMS which we felt would meet the Standard's requirements we employed an accredited third party audit company to come in and conduct a pre-assessment of our EMS to verify that our EMS documentation and proposed approach did in fact meet the requirements.
Murphy-Brown LLC is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., the largest producer and processor of pork and pork products in the world with over 800,000 sow currently in production. The company was formed in 2001 to manage the wholly owned production units of Brown's of Carolina, Murphy Farms, and Carroll's Turkeys. We own and operate approximately five hundred swine production farms in eleven states in the U.S. and also have production units in Mexico, Poland, and Brazil. The company currently employs approximately 4,500 people and has an annual payroll in excess of 140 million