Posts in Category: Food Industry

Waiakea Water: Responsibly Sourcing Healthy Water

In 2012, Ryan Emmons decided to take his love of nature and his desire to preserve the environment and created a bottled water company called Waiakea. Emmons originally had the idea for Waiakea while at a family member’s home, which was near the base of a volcano, as well as a water source with incredibly clean and fresh tasting water. Emmons noticed the volcanic water benefits and after he had finished college formed his company, Waiakea. He was excited about the notion of a natural, pure and sustainable water source.

Waiakea Water is one of many bottled water companies on the market today, but it has some different attributes to set it apart. The company prides itself on its conservation efforts, which include using one hundred percent RPET bottles, participating in reforestation, using low emission shipping methods and of course responsibly sourcing the water that is bottled. In 2015, Waiakea was one of the prominent beverages in North America.

Waiakea Water is an alkaline water, having a pH of 8.2, while 7 is neutral. This natural alkalinity gives the water a naturally sweet taste which is attractive to those athletes who are accustomed to sports drinks. The Hawaii volcanic water Waiakea uses is naturally alkaline and is filtered through 14,000 feet of volcanic rock. Waiakea is sourced in an area of Hawaii that rains a majority of the year, making it not only healthy, but also sustainable. When filtering through the volcanic rock, the water absorbs minerals like calcium and magnesium. The Waiakea water pH and its mineral content can help people with conditions such as acid reflux, promote hydration and possibly delay cognitive issues associated with aging.

Emmons and his company of Waiakea Water has created a healthy and fantastic tasting beverage that is sourced from natural and sustainable sources. The natural filtration system they take advantage of is not only good for those consuming the water, but is a responsible way to conserve the environment. Waiakea Water is a pioneer in the bottled water industry, using innovative and yet sustainable ways to create their popular product.

Sheldon Lavin’s Community Service Award Accomplishments

Sheldon Lavin, the Chairman of OSI Industries and its subsidiaries was presented the Edward C. Jones award for community service several years ago because his outreach extended beyond making billions in the meat processing industry to supporting philanthropy in OSI Industries’ communities. The main organization that Lavin presides over is the Ronald McDonald House Charities, a scholarship and healthcare wing of the McDonald’s Corporation, but he’s also a sponsor of the Chicago Inner City Foundation, the Jewish United Fund, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Boys & Girls Club. Lavin has been proud to support the communities OSI Industries operates in, and he believes the company is about greater things than just meat production.

Sheldon Lavin had his beginnings in investment banking and making deals between big companies such as mergers and acquisitions and debt restructuring. But after he established his own consulting firm, he was asked by the owners of Otto & Sons meat market to help them get a loan for a new high volume meat plant. In the process of acquiring the loan and offering financial advice to Otto & Sons, Lavin was asked if he’d consider becoming an owner in the company. He initially said no because he didn’t know much about the food industry, and he wanted to remain in financial consulting. But he did continue to work with the company in more deals and also giving its owners advice on how to manage their growth investments. Later on Lavin had a change of heart and agreed to become Chairman and CEO of the company and buy the owner’s shares when the current owners of Otto & Sons retired.

In 1978, Lavin had the company’s name changed to OSI Industries because it was now building factories not only across the US, but also into new countries like Brazil and Germany and today it now has over 55 plants in 17 different countries. The company has made its beef and chicken products the center of its operations, but it’s also acquired several produce farms and added vegetable and baked goods to its portfolio. The companies Lavin has made partnerships with include OSI China, Select Ready Foods in Canada, Flagship Europe in the UK and Baho Food in the Netherlands. But even with these big acquisitions, Lavin has kept OSI Industries running like a family company and he views its most important mission as adding jobs to the regions it expands into, and every company OSI has acquired has seen very little turnover as a result of the acquisition.

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OSI Brings Advanced Plant Design To Poland

Ostroda is a city of about 33,000 in the historic Masuria region of northern Poland and the site of a $36 million state-of-the-art beef processing plant built by OSI Group. It opened operations in 2013.

The plant not only represents the importance which OSI Group places on European Union member countries such as Poland, but also illustrates the company’s ongoing commitment to world-wide sustainability, environmentally-friendly operations — and facilities that employ resource-efficient measure functions.

The Ostroda beef plant is a model for all of the above. It was fitted with water-saving faucets, highly efficient indoor and outdoor lighting using LED technology while also drawing heavily upon renewable energy sources such as wind and solar for power. This is coupled with advanced insulation materials and cutting-edge energy monitoring systems.

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Considering its advanced design, it’s not surprising the plant achieved Gold LEED certification, a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council to determine the environmental performance of a building. Gold Certification is the highest level of certification.

Additionally, the Ostroda plant site used a high percentage of recycled and regional materials in construction, and even incorporated a parking area for ride-share buses and bicycles.

Hamburger produced at the Ostroda location supplies quick-service restaurants, such as McDonald’s, not only in Poland but also the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltic States, Sweden and Finland. While the primary focus of the plant is beef production, the site is geared up to handle other protein product processing as well.

The city of Ostroda was delighted to be chosen by OSI as a location for one of the most modern, energy-efficient and sustainable food processing operations in Europe. The state-of-the-art OSI beef facility replaced an older, aging processing plant. It was a key factor in preserving some 93 jobs for the city at the time of construction. OSI officials predicted plant employment will grow by about 30%.

OSI Group has maintained a presence in Poland since 1992.

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