Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the world's largest pork producer and processor. Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, it runs facilities in 26 U.S. states, including the largest slaughterhouse and meat-processing plant in the world, located in Tar Heel, North Carolina. It also has operations in Mexico and in 10 European countries, with a global total of over 46,000 employees and an annual revenue of $13billion. Smithfield was founded in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter and his son as the Smithfield Packing Company, now its largest subsidiary. From 1981 it began to purchase companies such as Eckrich, Farmland Foods of Kansas, Gwaltney of Smithfield, John Morrell, Murphy Family Farms of North Carolina, and Premium Standard Farms. It was able to grow as a result of its highly industrialized pig production, raising the animals using a vertical integration system of production that enables the company to control their development from conception to packing.