Tyson Food Plant, a large meat processing factory was about to close down nearly a year ago when another local company came in and saved the day.
That company was OSI Group, one of Chicago’s most known meat distribution companies that has been in business over 100 years. Tyson Food Plant’s owners had been unable to keep funding essential operations and a shutdown seemed imminent, but employees who had begun looking for other jobs were soon greeted with the good news that new owners were coming who offered them a chance to keep their current jobs. OSI Group has always looked to retain employees when making mergers and has had many employees stay for their entire careers.
OSI Group was originally just a small butcher shop located in a suburb of Chicago and was started by German immigrant Otto Kolschowsky. The Kolschowsky family ran the business all the way through the 1970s and became the chief supplier for McDonalds and later Pizza Hut and KFC. They later chose Sheldon Lavin, a former banker and financial consultant to run the company, and soon he began expanding its reach into the European and Asian markets. OSI Group would later purchase several European meat distribution centers including Baho Foods and Flagship Europe.
OSI Group has made employee safety and clean food a top priority and has won several awards for their practice including the Globe of Honour from the British Safety Council. Their OSI Duisburg subsidiary also won the Prize of Honor for Food Products due to its environmentally safe procedures in manufacturing. OSI Group also gives to local communities and is a supporter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Foundation.