The renaming underscores the company's aspirations to solidify its leading position in the global pork industry, offering consumers worldwide animal protein products meeting high standards in quality, taste, variety and safety. The new name also serves to better differentiate the company as a corporate brand from its numerous product brands.
The WH Group name is derived from "Wanzhou Holdings" where the Chinese characters "Wan" and "Zhou" connote eternity and continents respectively, while the WH Group logo design depicts four streams representing the Earth's four major oceans, separating the space into five parts to represent the world's continents.
As the largest pork enterprise in the world, WH Group's mission will continue to be delivering quality, tasty and nutritious animal protein products worldwide, anchored on a safety-first priority. The company's strategy remains focused on creating sustainable value by embracing a visionary management philosophy rooted in continuous innovation, with a long-term and forward-thinking perspective.
"The renaming of our corporate brand to WH Group reflects the increasingly global reach of our operations, which combine the largest pork production companies in China and the United States and cater to consumers globally," said WH Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wan Long. "It also symbolizes our ambition to be a world-leading company known for food products that meet best-in-class standards of quality, nutrition and safety."
WH Group is the controlling shareholder of Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. Ltd., China's largest meat processing business, and owns Smithfield Foods, Inc., the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development and Smithfield will retain their respective brand names, and their consumer-facing brands will remain the same.
WH Group's acquisition of Smithfield, which was completed in September 2013, is the largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese company to date. The transaction merged the best technology, resources, practices, market access and operational expertise of the two companies to create a leading global pork company across the industry value chain, with an unmatched set of assets, branded products and geographic reach.Among its growth initiatives, WH Group is focused on increasing exports from the United States to Asia, building a global trading platform and exploring opportunities to work with Smithfield to develop premium products for the Chinese market.