OSI Group Wins Awards for Quality and Safety

In 1909, Otto Kolschowsky established a meat market and butcher shop in a Chicago suburb after arriving from Germany two years earlier. When his sons joined the business in 1928, he named the business Otto & Sons. The company grew quickly and was renamed OSI Industries in 1975; when the company began expanding its operations outside the U.S., it became known as OSI Group. Today, OSI has more than 65 facilities in 17 countries, with more than 20,000 employees worldwide.

OSI’s greatest strength through its history has been its unwavering commitment to food safety and quality assurance. Sheldon Lavin, OSI’s Chairman and CEO, feels that the entrepreneurial spirit is part of his company’s culture and the reason why OSI will continue to grow and prosper for many years to come. Lavin says, “The people who work with us and the quality of our products will always come first.” He adds that each day is a new opportunity for OSI to prove why it’s a world leader in food production and distribution. The awards that OSI has recently received show that it continues to set high standards for this industry.

Commercial Partnership Award

OSI Group acquired Flagship Europe in 2016, which it renamed Creative Foods Europe (CFE) two years later. The common vision of the two companies was a major reason for the acquisition, as both companies shared a passion for entrepreneurship and excellence in food safety and quality. CFE won the Commercial Partnership Award from Whitbread in 2019. Whitbread, the largest hospitality company in the United Kingdom (UK), offers this award to companies that demonstrate dedication, hard work and responsiveness to its extensive organizational needs. The award can apply to business operations, product development, technical aspects and collaborative efforts. CFE was also nominated for two other awards from Whitbread, including the Supplier Service Award and Force for Good Award.

Sword of Honour

The British Safety Council (BSC) awarded OSI Food Solutions UK with a five-star rating in 2019 for its impressive health and safety audit for the period from August 2018 to July 2019. This led to OSI winning a coveted Sword of Honour award. Only 84 companies in the world received such an award that year, one that recognizes excellence in workplace health and safety. OSI Food Solutions UK has received this award five times since 1988. Ian Hurley, safety, security and environmental manager for OSI, indicated the awards illustrate the company’s consistent commitment to its health and safety protocol. He added, “We highly value our workforce and work diligently to ensure our workers and workplaces are safe.”

Sustainability Award

OSI Spain received the Sustainability and Environment award from that country’s meat industry association, La Asociación Nacional de Industrias de la Carne de España (ANICE) in 2019. This award recognizes the recipient’s contributions to advance the meat industry and help in making meat supply chains more sustainable. In OSI Spain’s case, one factor that helped to secure the award was the company’s commitment to sustainability as part of OSI’s internal contract implemented in 2014 for all OSI Group’s European facilities. The project established metrics for sustainability efforts in the following key areas:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Water consumption
  • Waste management
  • Staff training and development
  • Supplier auditing
  • Safety and health

Outstanding Innovation Award

Whole Foods Market presented its Outstanding Innovation Award to OSI North America in 2019. This award recognizes companies that consistently produce quality products and demonstrate responsiveness to customer needs. OSI received this award as part of a group of 28 suppliers for their excellent product delivery and customer service. Whole Foods specifically mentioned OSI’s ability to meet dramatic increases in supply requirements on short notice while maintaining exceptional quality. These items primarily included innovative meat products with new flavor profiles.

Individual Awards

Individual members of OSI have also received awards for their individual contributions to food safety and quality assurance.

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) awarded David McDonald, OSI’s president and chief operating officer (COO) with the E. Floyd Forbes Award in 2019. This award recognizes McDonald’s service as NAMI’s chairman during its organizational merger in 2015. NAMI first elected McDonald to its board in 2003, and he continued to serve in other positions beginning in 2012.

OSI supply chain supervisor Nihreer Matani received the Future Leaders Program Award at the NAMI Meat Industry Summit in 2019. This award provides future leaders in the food industry with the opportunity to gain information on regulations and standards in the industry. It also lets them participate in discussions on labor and workforce issues. Summit attendees are also able to collaborate with industry leaders on a variety of topics. Additionally, in January 2020, Matani was recognized by the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in the organization’s “30 Under 30” program. This program’s goal is to invest in and engage promising young professionals who work in the meat and poultry industries.


OSI Group is a privately held company with a long history of partnering with its clients to bring ideas on food products to life. It’s open to new approaches for developing solutions with greater value. OSI can also consistently deliver products to its customers via a global supply chain with stringent control mechanisms.