Flagship Europe was a former branch of the American-based Flagship Food Group that serves most of the UK and has customers in France and Spain, and its products have consisted of breakfast meats, roasted chicken and chicken nuggets, baked pies and various sauces. In the years leading up to 2016, it started undergoing financial difficulties and was preparing to shutter several locations. Sheldon Lavin, the CEO of OSI Industries decided to buy Flagship Europe but decided to keep its brand name and welcomed Flagship Europe CEO Russell Maddock to the executive team as well as the rest of the company’s employees. Flagship Europe is now receiving funding to reach even more customers in its European territories.
OSI Industries was originally owned by Otto Kolschowsky and his family, but it was only a butcher shop in a Chicago suburb when it started in 1909. But the family impressed many local food service merchants that it continued running for more than 40 years in the Chicago area, and it became a well-known market store known as Otto & Sons. Otto & Sons made headlines when McDonald’s restaurant corporation asked them to become its meat supply merchant. This new partnership meant that Otto & Sons was going to need to grow at a tremendous rate in order to meet the supply capabilities of McDonald’s, and that’s when they began seeking funding for new high-technology processing plants. Sheldon Lavin, a former banker turned consultant offered his input to the company and helped them open a suburban operating plant and later more plants in Iowa, Wisconsin and California. As their holdings increased, Otto & Sons was renamed OSI Industries and Lavin was nominated CEO and Chairman as the Kolschowsky’s started retiring and exiting the company.
Since the mid-1970s, OSI Industries has invested in high quality production plants stationed in 17 different countries, and along with employees on the assembly lines most of these plants have advanced food research centers on their premises. They also have invested in clean production technology in their refrigeration and heating equipment, and it led to their receiving the Globe of Honour award from the British Safety Council around the same time that Flagship Europe was acquired. OSI Industries currently ranks at number 10 in the world’s largest meat processing companies and according to ProvisionerOnline.com also ranks at number 54 in total food production. OSI Industries has philanthropic initiatives as a supporter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and a donor to the Chicago Inner City Foundation.
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