Smithfield Foods recently announced that Don Butler will be promoted to director of corporate affairs, and will be dedicated to stakeholder engagement in North Carolina. Butler is a native North Carolinian and has served the company for 24 years, most recently as director of government relations and public affairs.

In his new role, Butler will focus his efforts in North Carolina where Smithfield has its largest investment and over 10,000 employees – the most in any state. Headquartered in Raleigh, Butler will engage with a variety of stakeholders including elected officials, governmental and non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, private businesses, the media and other interested parties. In addition, he will serve as a Smithfield spokesperson in the state.

During his tenure with the company, Butler has been responsible for the development and implementation of the world's first Environmental Management System for a livestock operation, in order to achieve certification under the ISO 14001 Standard, considered to be the international gold standard for environmental management. All of the company's farms and processing facilities worldwide are now ISO 14001 certified. Smithfield is the only company in the pork industry to achieve this distinction.


Butler also led the development of a comprehensive animal care program for the company using the management system approach. Smithfield is widely considered to be the leader in responsible animal care within the U.S. pork industry. In addition, he has served as sustainability officer for the company's Hog Production Division.

Butler is past president of the National Pork Producers Council and the North Carolina Pork Council.