In today’s world, businesses must do more than sell products to seek top revenue. For companies today to compete, they need to be concerned with the community and environment if they want to thrive. Many communities now demand that their products are sustainably sourced and that companies find ways to give back. OSI Group is committed to sustainable practices in how it produces its products, impacts the environment, and empowers its employees.
OSI is a global premier food provider that can source, develop, produce, and distribute custom food items just about anywhere in the world. This century-old food company has a passion for entrepreneurialism, focusing on ethical practices and agility. The collaborations they seek out help provide next-generation food solutions that will empower menus and meals everywhere. The company has a list of core values it promises to uphold to its employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. These values include:
- Act with integrity
- Steward our resources for future generations
- Explore innovative solutions
- Put people first
- Strive to continuously Improve
- Seek partnering relationships
- Work together as a team
It only makes sense that a company dedicated to healthy business partnerships would act responsibly in all aspects of its business. OSI clearly states, “At OSI we’re concerned with the impact of our business activity on our world. We strive to maintain a positive and sustainable relationship with the people, the communities, and the environments we contact. We work to responsibly manage our business within the social, economic, and environmental frameworks in which we operate while continually exploring ways to improve our sustainability impact.”
OSI publishes a sustainability blog that covers the sustainable efforts of its plants, suppliers, and related companies, along with experts in the foodservice industry. The blog covers sustainable supply, environmental news, and social responsibility topics.
In 2019, OSI started the Sustainability 365 Recognition Program to recognize the farmers that supply the raw materials for the food the company produces. The goal of the program is to help build a link between the hardworking farmers that maintain sustainable farming practices and OSI’s clients, who use it to feed consumers all over the world.
Human rights is a huge and complicated issue for major corporations around the globe.
Large manufacturers and retailers have to consider the proper labor conditions of their employees and the ethical rights policies they uphold. OSI issued a clear policy that communicates its commitment to provide work that follows guiding principles in line with human rights. The company has declared that it fosters inclusive, fair, and respectful workplaces and respects the fundamental rights of its employees, which include freedom from slavery and child labor. Founded on the right to collectively bargain, work in a safe environment, and obtain equal opportunities, OSI sets an example of how a major company needs to properly manage a large workforce.
OSI depends on partners all over the globe for sourcing and processing its food. More than 20,000 employees participate in the operation of the business, including the production of that food. OSI believes that every employee shares a responsibility to uphold those human rights and that reports should be made if there is even a suspicion of a violation. OSI also expects suppliers to uphold its stringent rules for employee rights. The OSI Board of Managers and OSI Global Sustainability Team are two of the mechanisms OSI has in place to provide oversight in these areas.
In 2020, OSI celebrated Global Food Safety Week with the theme “Food Safety Begins with Me.” During that event, staff from all locations were encouraged to participate in games and activities that supported food safety—both on-site and virtually. This year, food safety included COVID-19 policy changes, like PPE use and employee temperature checks, as part of the safety factors covered. Typical safety topics, like allergy safety and key food production practices, were also included within the activities.
OSI President and COO Dave McDonald said, “Just as global best practices in food safety continually improve, so must our global food safety culture. This is critical to our continuing success and the success of our customers.”
OSI believes responsible sourcing includes care and respect towards animals.
As a part of its mission to provide environmental improvements, OSI has looked for creative solutions to producing healthy and sustainable foods. OSI teamed up with Impossible Foods to reach a wider audience with its plant-based meat substitutes. The Impossible Burger, Impossible Pork, and Impossible Sausage products reduce some of the current demand on the overextended meat industry by offering a high-quality, plant-based substitute. Their options have a taste and texture that is very similar to meat, without the same environmental impact of the current meat industry.
This shift in demand towards vegetables is an important move to help reduce strain on the meat industry and encourage better care for animals currently raised for food purposes. OSI has a Global Animal Welfare Policy that demands higher expectations for its suppliers in the care and processing of all animals. It includes requirements for respecting the freedoms and needs of animals, as well as compliance with all regulatory requirements.
OSI is committed to reducing energy use and has adapted several plants to reduce power requirements. OSI Europe set out targets in 2018 to increase renewable electricity usage to 75% by 2025. By 2019, the group had already achieved 72% in green electricity. OSI Europe’s plant in Ostróda, Poland has been using 100% green electricity generated through wind turbines and on-site solar panels. Nearly all of OSI’s Food Solutions and Food Works sites in Europe are using 100% renewable energy to reduce climate change impact.
The company has strong goals to use water sustainably, reduce waste, protect natural resources, and support resiliency in a changing environment. OSI wants to provide safe, high-quality food for people everywhere and the company believes communities should be enriched by the businesses that serve them. Individuals that are impacted by food shortages are among some of the most vulnerable in the world, and OSI wants to help change that.
OSI continues to promote a workplace that extends the importance of sustainability throughout every part of its processes.