In an era where diets change often for the average consumer, the OSI Food Solutions has made the groundbreaking move to join the sustainable food movement. Under the guidance of Chairman and CEO Sheldon Lavin, this change entails integrating new technological advancements in production that are environmentally friendly. He’s also been working on new relationships that will retain the company’s hold in the food manufacturing industry.
Most notable to date is the co-manufacturing partnership with Impossible Foods. Impossible Foods is a Silicon Valley-based company that manufactures plant-based meat alternatives. In recent, it has supplied to chain restaurants like Burger King, Del Taco, and most recently, neighborhood supermarkets. This partnership has allowed Impossible Foods to expand and develop new products.
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Both Lavin and OSI Food Solutions have also received numerous industry awards for their sustainable efforts. Most notably, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) recognized two of its facilities, one in Geneva, IL, for its innovative environmental practices. Lavin himself has also received individual accolades for his accomplishments within the company.
Using technology in production is something that OSI Food Solutions has been doing for more than a half-century when they began as one of the main suppliers for McDonald’s. While operating as Otto & Sons in the late 1960s, a system using liquid nitrogen cryogenic freezing was implemented as a way to increase food production. It would also help to expedite the process of safe storage and transportation of meat products across the nation.
It was also around this period Lavin came on board as an investor. His previous banking experience played a solid role in financing the new West Chicago building, which was dedicated to servicing McDonald’s. Afterward, he would become a partner, as Otto & Sons became the OSI Group, known today as OSI Food Solutions.
When it comes to success, Lavin credits OSI’s 20,000 workers that work at 65 facilities in 17 countries. While humbly mentioning that his workers are the most important part of a business, he also boasts that employee turnover is minimal. In addition to a busy schedule, Lavin is also dedicated to a number of causes, which include The Ronald McDonald House and numerous charities in the Chicago area.