The accompanying financial statements were prepared by the management of Hormel Foods Corporation which is responsible for their integrity and objectivity. These statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles appropriate in the circumstances and, as such, include amounts that are based on our best estimates and judgments.

Hormel Foods Corporation has developed a system of internal controls designed to assure that the records reflect the transactions of the company and that the established policies and procedures are adhered to. This system is augmented by well-communicated written policies and procedures, a strong program of internal audit and well-qualified personnel.

These financial statements have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent auditors, and their report appears on page 32. Their audit is conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and includes a review of the company's accounting and financial controls and tests of transactions.

The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, composed solely of outside directors, meets periodically with the independent auditors, management and the internal auditors to assure that each is carrying out its responsibilities. Both Ernst & Young LLP and our internal auditors have full and free access to the Audit Committee, with or without the presence of management, to discuss the results of their audit work and their opinions on the adequacy of internal controls and the quality of financial reporting.

Joel W. Johnson
Chairman of the Board
President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael J. McCoy
Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer