OSI Group recently celebrated 100 years of food processing innovation. They currently operate 65 facilities in 17 countries and employ over 20,000 individuals. OSI Group stemmed from one man’s dream to actualize the American dream. In 1909 Otto Kolschowsky, who had moved to Chicago from Germany in 1907, opened a small butcher shop and meat market. He did well as a community serving retail butcher for over a decade. However, by the end of World War 1, he had expanded into the wholesale business. It was around this time that Otto changed the name of his business to “Otto and Sons”. Otto’s success carried on past the second World War and fortune smiled upon them.
Before Ray Kroc supervised the global explosion of McDonald’s restaurants he made a handshake deal with Otto’s sons that made them the exclusive meat supplier of McDonald’s. This shrewd business partnership spring boarded both companies to their current success. OSI Group has had success that began in the early part of the century but it endured through into the new millennium. They embraced new, cutting edge technology. This kept OSI ahead of its competition and allows them to provide the public with the best products possible. Sheldon Lavin’s leadership has been an important ingredient in their success. Lavin has committed himself, and OSI, to finding better ways to increase productivity and decrease negative effects on the environment.
Through his decades of leadership Lavin has stressed sustainability and instituted protocols to improve their performance. Sheldon Lavin has received much notoriety for his effective management. Both he, and OSI, have received multiple awards for their commitment to sustainability. These awards include Global Visionary Award, the North American Meat Institute’s Environmental Award, the British Safety Council’s Globe of Honor, and the California Green Business Award. OSI Group began as a dream for Otto Kolschowsky. He grew his business through two world wars and eventually partnered with what would become perhaps one of the most recognizable brands throughout the world. Their commitment to sustainability, environmental consciousness, and innovation has carried them for over 100 years.