OSI Group Busy in the Developing World

OSI Group, one of McDonald’s Corp.’s biggest (and lowest-profile) suppliers, has been busy building overseas, putting up three plants this year in developing markets.

Vista Processed Foods Pvt. Ltd., a wholly owned member of the OSI Group, on October 23 opened a frozen vegetable processing plant in northern India, in the state of Punjab. It’s Vista’s third facility in the country, after opening its second location in southern India, in Madanapalle near Bangalore, in January. The company’s first plant opened in 1995 in Taloja, Navi Mumbai.

The Punjab facility will focus on producing value-added frozen vegetable products for quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and retail outlets for both the domestic and export markets (especially Middle East). This new plant makes Vista one of the largest value-added food companies in the country, supplying a variety of processed vegetables, chicken, dairy and fresh produce items.

Located 155 miles north of New Delhi and 18 miles from Chandigarh International Airport, the facility sits in India’s largest vegetable production and consumption region. The facility also houses one of the country’s largest fresh vegetable processing lines, which is owned and operated by Pagro Frozen Foods Pvt. Ltd., long one of Vista’s key raw material vegetable suppliers.

The Madanapalle plant, opened in January, also will focus initially on vegetable products for QSRs.

OSI Food Solutions Poland broke ground in September for a new production facility in Ostroda, Poland. The new beef processing plant will replace an older facility in the area.

“The production of hamburgers started in Ostroda in 1993. Today the hamburgers produced in the Polish plant are delivered to Poland, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic states,” said John Gray, OSI Europe’s commercial director. The investment of €25 million ($32 million) will begin with phase one of the project, which includes a three-story, 64,600-sq.-ft. processing and storage building. The plant is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2013, with an estimated production capacity of approximately 25,000 tonnes (55 million lbs.), which could expand if customer volume requirements increase.

“OSI has been working alongside McDonald’s in Poland since the beginning, and with this investment we are creating the capacity to continue to support growth well into the future,” said Phil Marsden, managing director for OSI Food Solutions Europe. “We see this plant as an important strategic investment in a country with a strong agricultural future.”

OSI Group is a $4.5 billion worldwide food supplier with headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Ill.

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