Raoul Baxter is a 30-year veteran of the meat industry whose global career has included tours at Sara Lee Meat Group, John Morrell and 15 years at Smithfield Foods.
As president of Smithfield International, Baxter grew the company’s first foreign pork brands in Asia under the Smithfield All Natural umbrella brand. He was the first president of Smithfield Europe, where he was instrumental in Smithfield purchasing and developing companies outside the United States in anticipation of an expanded European Union and emerging market access.
Prior to Smithfield, Baxter joined John Morrell, which was owned by Chiquita at the time. Baxter helped launch their first brand-identified fresh meat program. He also worked in the legal department and on union- related issues.
At Sara Lee’s Meat Group, Baxter became the company’s youngest vice president, responsible for labor relations and negotiation, human resources, customer relations and business development and acquisitions.
He joined Sara Lee as a manager of live pig and cattle operations, proceeding on to manage livestock, raw material procurement and sales, fresh meat sales and low cost formulations for processed meats. Baxter started Sara Lee’s first American branded pork program in 1984 with the Fresh and Lean program and instituted some of the company’s first modern grade and yield programs.
Baxter worked with Temple Grandin to implement new humane handling systems in the pork industry in the mid 1980s.
Baxter has a Juris Doctorate Degree from the Chase College of Law, a Master of Arts degree in equine nutrition from the University of Kentucky and Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and biology from Centre College of Kentucky.
Currently, as president of World Food and Agriculture Business Development, Baxter works with clients in Brazil, Korea, China, Japan and the EU on pork and beef development projects.