KANSAS CITY — Annual sales for the meat and poultry industry’s top 100 companies ranged from just over $34.4 billion down to $193 million, according to Meat & Poultry magazine, a publication owned and operated by Sosland Publishing, the parent company of Food Business News.

The top 10 spots in the 2014 ranking were occupied by the same 10 companies as 2013, with nine of them staying in the same ranking positions. Hormel Foods Corp. and ConAgra Foods Inc. – Consumer Foods Segment switched positions from 2013 to 2014 with Hormel now taking the No. 6 spot with $8.8 billion in sales (up from the reported $8.2 billion in sales the previous year); and ConAgra moving to No. 7 with $8.2 billion in sales.

The biggest news for the meat industry in the past year was undoubtedly the purchase of Smithfield Foods by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. last September. After months of negotiations, Shuanghui acquired Smithfield for approximately $7.1 billion, including assumption of debt. Under the terms of the agreement, Shuanghui acquired all of Smithfield’s outstanding shares for $34 per share in cash.

C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield, expressed positive sentiments about the sale.

“This is a great transaction for all Smithfield stakeholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture,” he said. “The partnership is all about growth, and about doing more business at home and abroad. It will remain business as usual — only better — at Smithfield, and we look forward to embarking on this new chapter.”

Smithfield maintains its No. 4 ranking with $13.09 billion in sales. The true impact of the acquisition may not be reflected until the next fiscal year after debts and fees have been paid and adjustments are made to production practices.

Meat & Poultry’s annual Top 100 Ranking of the leading companies reflects the industry’s evolution during challenging times. 

Click here for the full list of the leading companies in the animal protein segment.