Smithfield Foods is the recipient of a new Sustainability Award given by McDonald's USA. The fast-food giant made the announcement at its 2008 Supplier Summit in Oak Brook, Ill. The award, to become an annual honor, recognizes Smithfield as the best example of McDonald's vision, principles and values for sustainable supply.

To determine the award recipient, McDonald's requested suppliers to describe their vision and programs in the development of a sustainable supply chain. This included practices that ensure the health and welfare of employees and the welfare and humane treatment of animals. Suppliers were also asked to describe their programs that conserve and protect the environment and natural resources.

"We are absolutely honored to be recognized by McDonald's for our company's sustainability achievements," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield president and chief executive officer. "The credit has to go to our employees, who exemplify every day our deeply held belief that it's not enough to simply make good food — we must make it in a responsible manner."

"Smithfield Foods deserves to be recognized for [its] innovative approaches to protect the environment, to ensure the safety of [its] employees and the well-being of animals,” said Susan Forsell, vice president supply chain, McDonald's USA.