OSI Group's Spain Plant Doubles Chicken Output with Recent Expansion

Spain's OSI Food Solutions added a high-capacity production line to boost its output of chicken products. This plant in Toledo, Spain completed its improvements in 2017 at a cost of 17 million euros. Before the new line was added, the plant had an annual capacity of about 12,000 tons of chicken products. With the improvement in place, that number has doubled.

Improved Production Means More Jobs

The increased chicken production capacity also contributes to a higher overall output, which is an important metric for the company. An executive from OSI Food Solutions Spain estimated that the company will have the capacity to produces 45,000 tons of chicken, beef and pork products annually. In addition to benefiting the company, the new addition boosted the local economy by adding 20 jobs. The plant had 140 workers prior to the addition of the high-capacity production line. One of the 20 new jobs is a managerial position for product development, and this product development manager will be responsible for improving existing products as well as developing new ones.

Why the Increase?

Recently, economic and food consumption trends showed an increase in demand for chicken products throughout Portugal and Spain. OSI's managing director of the Spain plant said that chicken demand in those countries increased by more than eight percent during the past three years alone. Since demand is expected to grow, OSI wants to be prepared and retain its position as an industry leader.

The new addition to the Spain plant added 22,600 square feet of working space. One of the highlights of the improvement is a new production hall. There are also new facilities for supplies storage, shipping and receiving, refrigerated rooms for waste container storage, service areas for oil, hot water and nitrogen tanks, and a social area for employees. As part of the initiative to add a new product development manager, the company also created a new testing kitchen specifically for developing or improving products.

OSI's chief operating officer, David McDonald, said that the expansion will give the company a chance to add innovative products to its portfolio, gain new accounts and grow with the food service industry. Also, the COO said that he was pleased that the company was adding more job opportunities.

New Designs

In addition to the new assembly line, OSI Food Solutions Spain added a new surveillance system. The system includes outdoor and indoor cameras. To heighten safety standards, OSI added a new firefighting system as well.

OSI has been focusing on sustainability in recent years, and the new improvements came with enhanced measures for reducing electricity consumption. The plant’s energy consumption is reportedly down by 20 percent by utilizing these improvements. For example, the plant now recycles machine-created heat. Since the refrigeration and co-generation systems produce heat, the innovative design of their new system recycles that warmth to heat the water used during the night shift.

For its commitment to agricultural development, OSI received 1.5 million euros from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund. In early 2016, the Toledo Chamber of Commerce granted OSI Food Solutions an award for creating jobs. In addition to being certified to the Environmental Standard ISO 14001, OSI Food Solutions Spain holds certification for FSSC 22000 food safety systems and also it boasts the SA 8000:2014 accreditation for social responsibility.

Other Acquisition Activity

OSI Group also bought the former Tyson plant in Chicago in 2016, expanding its North American production activities. In addition to this, OSI Group opened a plant in California in 2014 to process and distribute beans, rice and tofu products. There were expansions in Europe and the United Kingdom as well. The company acquired Flagship Europe in 2017, which is a major food supplier in the UK, and recently renamed it Creative Foods Europe. OSI also made a big move into the Netherlands by acquiring the controlling stake in Baho Food, which also has facilities in Germany.

About OSI Group's Leadership

President David McDonald and CEO Sheldon Lavin were pleased with the recent improvements to the Spain plant. Sheldon Lavin has over four decades of practical industry experience in global company growth. He has worked with OSI Group since 1970 when it was called Otto & Sons. Under Mr. Lavin's leadership, the company expanded from a small Chicago-based operation to other parts of the country. Eventually, OSI Group expanded into foreign markets because of Mr. Lavin's strategies. Today, the company has a presence in 17 countries.

Mr. Lavin is involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities and other charitable organizations. In 2016, he won the Global Visionary Award from India's Vision World Academy. The award is presented each year to a person who demonstrates perseverance in business and has succeeded in accomplishing his or her goals. He also won the Edward C. Jones Community Service Award in 2016, for his strong commitment to the communities in which the company operates.

David McDonald earned a bachelor's degree in animal science from Iowa State University in 1987. After graduating, he went to work for OSI Group. Prior to being promoted to higher positions, Mr. McDonald was a prominent project manager for OSI Group. In addition to his role as president, he serves as the company's COO. Mr. McDonald is a past chairman of the North American Meat Institute. Also, he serves on OSI Group's board of directors.

Related: Sheldon Lavin Continues Global Expansion of OSI Group With Commitment To Green Innovations

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