What are some important facts about the global food company Smithfield?

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Famed for its holiday hams and turkeys, Smithfield Foods, Inc. has grown into the "world's largest pork producer and processor" since its beginnings in 1936. Also a large packing company, Smithfield operates plants in more than one-half of the United States as well as in at least eight foreign countries. Smithfield employs more than 50,000 workers worldwide and "produces over 50 brands of pork products and 200 gourmet foods." The company announced earnings of $12 billion in 2007. Based in Smithfield, Virginia, the company was founded by Joseph Luter in 1936; Joseph Luter III, his grandson, is the present chairman of the board. His son, Joseph Luter IV, heads the packing division, while the current CEO is Larry Pope. Smithfield eventually purchased other noted companies, among them Eckrich and Farmland Foods; and their Butterball turkeys may well be Smithfield's best known product.


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