Smithfield Foods' employees test waterways for World Water Monitoring Day

Smithfield Foods' employees in Poland, Romania, France and the United States joined volunteers worldwide to test the quality of waterways during the month leading up to today's annual observance. The international effort involved employees from 23 Smithfield Foods' subsidiaries who recruited hundreds of local volunteers at 55 locations in 17 U.S. states and three other countries to collect water samples from more than 60 bodies of water from Romania's Bega to South Dakota's Big Sioux River...

SMITHFIELD, VA, Oct. 18, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Smithfield Foods' employees in Poland, Romania, France and the United States joined volunteers worldwide to test the quality of waterways during the month leading up to today's annual observance of World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD).

The international effort involved employees from 23 Smithfield Foods' subsidiaries who recruited hundreds of local volunteers at 55 locations in 17 U.S. states and three other countries to collect water samples from more than 60 bodies of water.

The volunteers tested samples from waterways including the Pagan River, Smithfield, Va.; Big Sioux River, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Fox River, Burlington, Wis.; Lake Sydney Lanier, Cumming, Ga.; Allegheny River, Arnold, Pa.; Edward Medard Park and Reservoir, Plant City, Fla.; Neuse River, Kinston, N.C.; Kalamazoo River, Plainwell, Mich.; and Bega River, Timisoara, Romania. Each year's official WWMD observance falls on October 18, although volunteers began the testing period a month earlier.

"Our employees here and abroad responded enthusiastically by recruiting science class students, scout troops and church groups," said Dennis H. Treacy, Smithfield's vice president of environmental and corporate affairs.

"Protecting our natural resources is everyone's duty and obligation, and participating in World Water Monitoring Day demonstrates that Smithfield is a concerned environmental steward committed to improving water quality in the communities where we live and work," Treacy said.

Treacy pointed out the importance of the event beyond the United States.

One of Smithfield's Polish subsidiaries, Prima, organized about 80 high school students to test water quality at four lakes near Prima's hog farms in the Polish countryside. Prima officials traveled with the students to the lakes to help them conduct the tests, and then assisted teachers with an environmental protection lesson back at the schools the next day. Local journalists planned to visit the schools and interview the students about their experiences.

In Romania, employees from Smithfield Procesare in Timisoara accompanied a group of local students to the Bega River to test water quality.

Earlier today Smithfield's other Polish subsidiary, Animex Group, tapped more than 200 teenagers from local high schools to simultaneously test waterways in eight cities where Animex has its pork processing facilities.

Using a simple water test kit, Smithfield employees and volunteers worldwide collected samples to perform four key tests: pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and clarity. Participants will enter their water sample data into the World Water Monitoring Day database, available to the public at www.worldwatermonitoringday.org. The data will be used to draft summary comparisons reflecting water quality conditions throughout the world.

"Smithfield Foods is proud to be a corporate sponsor of World Water Monitoring Day, but we want to do much more, and that is why we encourage our employees to conduct local water tests with their families and neighbors in the community," Treacy said.

WWMD was created by America's Clean Water Foundation to serve as a yearly platform for watershed leaders, educators and trained volunteers to help others better understand how the actions of individuals affect everyone. The goal is to increase the public's awareness of its role in protecting and preserving the quality of the world's waters by inviting a wide range of citizens to work alongside more experienced monitors to help sample water quality.

"For the third year in a row, Smithfield Foods has been a generous sponsor and volunteer, and has shown that individuals can make a difference in preserving our natural resources," said Roberta (Robbi) Savage, president of America's Clean Water Foundation as well as executive director of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA).

Smithfield Foods (www.smithfieldfoods.com) has delivered a 26% average annual compounded rate of return to investors since 1975. With sales of $11 billion, Smithfield is the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States, as well as the largest producer of hogs.

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