OSI Group Facilities Receive Environmental Awards

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) recently singled out two processing facilities operated by OSI Group, recognizing them for their excellence in superior environmental management and sustainability practices.

The OSI plant in Geneva, Illinois, was awarded the “Tier 1 Environmental Recognition Award” for launching a concentrated process that will improve sustainability practices across all aspect of the facility’s function. The OSI plant in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, was given a “Tier 2 Award” for further advancement in environmental and sustainability practices and improvements.

These two operation join four other OSI Group facilities that have received NAMI awards. The others are located in Chicago, West Chicago, Oakland, Iowa, and West Jordan, Utah. In all, NAMI handed out 96 environmental recognition awards across the United States in 2018.

The recognition for the OSI Group facility is nothing new for a company which has placed sustainability and sound environmental management at the core of its operating philosophy. The vision to produce and process food with sustainability is the driven by OSI Group CEO Sheldon Lavin and President David McDonald. These two decades-long leaders of the company realized early on that, when it comes to food production in a world that must feed 7 billion people, finding ways to do so without damaging the environment is critical. A sustainable way is the only way.

OSI is based in Aurora, Illinois. It’s a company with more than 100 years of operation after being established in 1909 by a German immigrant. Otto Kolschowsky had no idea that his humble butcher shop would one day become one of America’s largest privately owned companies with annual profits in excess of $6 billion. Today, OSI has 65 facilities operating in 17 countries around the world. Forbes magazine recently listed OSI Group as the 58th largest privately owned company in the U.S.

Aggressive growth and expansion has been the hallmark of the OSI philosophy, but one always tied to sustainability and sound environmental management practice. The recent NAMI awards issued to the OSI facilities in Geneva and Fort Atkinson are a demonstration of that commitment now and in the future.

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The Emergence of OSI Industries

OSI Industries is currently one of the biggest food producers in the whole world. It has more than 20,000 employees in their 65 stores located in 17 countries. OSI Industries emerged as a small business to a big corporate business in the country. The history of the global food provider is engrained in the United States immigrant experience. In the 20th century, Otto Kolshcowsky was a member of the German immigrant community living in Chicago, Illinois State. Immigrants of the German origin made a quarter of the population of Chicago city. During this time, Chicago was an industrial center and also an entry point for immigrants moving into the city to cultivate lands.

In 1909, Otto Kolschcowsky established a meat retail store and a butcher shop to cater for the needs of his community. He managed his business very well and within a period of ten years his business had developed into a wholesale business. It expended its business to Maywood, Chicago. In the next one decade, the business emerged as a family business owned by immigrants. In 1928, the business was rebranded and named Otto & Sons. Otto & Sons became stable and continued to properly serve its customers.

During the postwar economic expansion period, a significant business alliance was formed with two tiny family businesses. In 1995, Ray Kroc established the very first McDonald’s hotel in Des Plaines. Prior to opening the official McDonalds, he made a handshake agreement with Arthur and Harry, the sons of Otto Kolschcowsky to open the first franchise supply of fresh ground beef. Later on, Kroc acquired McDonalds and made himself the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the business. In the new business the sons of Otto became the official suppliers of the McDonald restaurants in the region. The family business was thriving and developing into one of the best brands in the world.

In the next twenty years, Otto & Sons, a regional supplier transformed into a global corporation and was named OSI Industries. The main aim of the franchising business was supplying. The main products of the McDonalds were the hamburgers. An increase in demand pressured Otto & Sons as well as other suppliers to produce quality and affordable products that could be ferried to the various restaurants owned by McDonalds. In the late 1960s, technological advancements made the Otto & Sons task easier. Otto & Sons developed into two-track company. The company changed its name to OSI Industries in 1975 and continued with its supply of food products to customers all over the world.