OSI Group is one of the world’s largest meat supplier companies ranked number 10 on the Provisioner Top 100 Processors list. Based in Aurora, IL, OSI Group has 50 processing plants that are located in 17 different countries including the US, and they’ve been most famous for being the beef and poultry supplier for food chains like McDonalds and Papa John’s Pizza.
OSI Group not only processes its meats, it delivers finished products in packaged breakfast bacons and sausages, ready-to-order pizzas and burgers, and standalone raw meats. What sets OSI Group apart is embracing a different corporate culture that treats employees like extended family and having open doors to employee and manager concerns.
OSI Group was started way back in the early 1900s as a butcher shop that Otto Kolschowsky owned in Chicago. Kolschowsky had moved to the US from Germany in hopes of starting a better life for his family, and together he and his sons worked hard to sell quality meat. By the 1920s they had formed a wholesale meat supermarket that became known as Otto & Sons, and about 30 years later the company was chosen by McDonalds CEO Ray Kroc to become the restaurants exclusive meat supplier. Otto & Sons was doing well with their McDonalds partnership but they needed someone who could manage company finances in a way that could grow the company overseas. That’s when Sheldon Lavin came aboard as a financial consultant and was later promoted to CEO so he could do just that. In 1975 Lavin had the company renamed to OSI Group.
OSI Group is not about downsizing operations just to cut costs but has actually been about retaining jobs and adding more. Such was their goal when they acquired Flagship Europe this last year and asked CEO Russell Maddock to stay with the company and offered all employees to keep their jobs. OSI Group also has gone to great lengths to keep the dangerous jobs in processing plants as safe and environmentally-friendly as possible, and thanks to this work the British Safety Council presented them with the Globe of Honour in 2016.