OSI Group is a company not too well-known that’s played a big role in stocking meat on the shelves of supermarkets and providing inventory for fast food restaurants. OSI Group is based in Geneva, IL, a suburb of Chicago but they have offices reaching all across the globe. OSI Group has purchased thousands of production plants over the years to acquire machinery and add to its operational capabilities, and in doing so they have kept local jobs and even added to them. OSI Group has always been about bringing high quality products to their customers while at the same time adhering to strict safety standards at its processing places.
OSI Group actually began as a local butcher shop in Chicago opened by a German immigrant named Otto Kolschowsky at the turn of the 20th century. The Kolschowsky family worked hard to keep the shop open throughout the next few decades, surviving the hardships of the Great Depression but maintaining a reputation for the quality of meat they produced. The family business began growing and in 1955, they partnered up with the McDonalds corporation to become their first meat supplier. OSI Group’s first major overseas expansion came in 1978 into then West Germany, and it soon moved into Brazil, Austria, Taiwan, India and many other countries as the demand for processed meat grew.
While the company has had many different leaders from the Kolschowskys on down to its current executives, its values of quality work and family-like culture have not changed. Even current CEO Sheldon Lavin has spoken about the importance of family-like culture at this company, and how many people who’ve started their careers here have stayed with the company all through the years. While OSI Group does acquire many meat distribution companies, they usually enter into more of a partnership relationship with those companies by keeping the current staff in place and seeking to retain as many current employees as possible. Such companies they’ve acquired include Baho Foods, a Dutch meat manufacturer, and also a UK-based poultry and prebaked pie distributor.
OSI Group has also become reputable for giving back to their community and being involved on the local level with many non-profit groups. They’ve won several awards for this including the Edward C. Jones Community Service Award at the 2016 North American Meat Institute expo.