For the first several years of his professional career, Sheldon Lavin was a financial advisor. He first entered the processed food industry in 1970 when he was asked to help out a company called Otto & Sons. This company was one of McDonald’s suppliers and needed to build a new processing facility solely dedicated to this part of the company. In order to build this facility, they needed a business loan which is how Sheldon Lavin got involved. He found a bank that would lend them the money and the plant was built.
A few years later Otto & Sons, now named OSI Group, asked Sheldon Lavin to join them as a partner and as the new CEO. He accepted this offer and wholly joined the food industry. Right from the start, he wanted to expand OSI Group into a far bigger company. He has been wildly successful at this endeavor over the past 40 years. His company now has facilities around the world in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, India, China, and Australia among others. His company employs over 2,000 people and is now one of the biggest food companies in the world.
He has shown himself to be someone concerned about the environmental impact of his company and other sustainability issues. He makes it a priority to introduce new strategies, efficiencies, and technology into the food processing plants so their effect on the environment is minimalized. An example of this is OSI Group’s food processing facility in Toledo, Spain. This facility was 40 years old and so in need of an upgrade for a few reasons. Sheldon Lavin took this opportunity to make it much more sustainable.
The main reason he upgraded this facility was to meet the increasing demand for chicken in that part of the world. However, Sheldon Lavin introduced new technology which reduced the plant’s energy use by 20% with plans to decrease this even farther in the near future. One way he did this was by having waste-heat recycled and turned into energy that powers the equipment.