What happens when arguably the best American food processing company merges with one of the finest food processors in Australia? Well, two great companies get even better. More importantly, the true winners are customers who get a lot of delicious food at a fair price out of the deal.
That’s what happened recently when OSI Group merged with Australia’s Turi Foods. It’s a 50/50 merger between one of the world’s largest international companies with an operation many consider the premier food processor Down Under.
Turi Foods operates plants in Thomastown and Geelong, Victoria. The company’s processed products are handled in Broadmeadows, also located in the state of Victoria. Turi is among the largest poultry processors in Australia. It customers include supermarkets, fast food restaurants, butcher shops and specialty chicken retail outfits.
Turi was established by Italian immigrant Sam Cuteri in 1976. He first shop was little more than a shed where Cuteri processed 300 chickens a week by hand. It’s a history similar to the origin of OSI Group. It was also started by an immigrant — in this case, a German immigrant who came to America in 1907.
Otto Kolschowsky set up a small retail meat market and butcher shop in a Chicago suburb in 1909. By 1928 his two sons, Arthur and Harry, had joined to create Otto & Sons, a thriving retail and wholesale operation.
Things really took off for Otto & Sons in the 1950s when the made a handshake deal with a man by the name of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds. Kroc and his revolutionary fast food model spread rapidly across the United States and the Kolschowsky boys supplied the fresh beef.
Otto & Sons became OSI Group in 1975. The rapid growth of the company has continued to present day. OSI Group operates 65 plants in 17 nations. Forbes places it as No. 58 on its list of America’s largest privately owned companies. It has revenues in excess of $6 billion annually.
The merger with Australia’s Turi Foods is yet another chapter in one of America’s most storied food processing operations.