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  • OSI Sustainability

Championing Sustainable Farming And Building A More Sustainable Supply Chain

June 30, 2019

Much has been said about living in the time of conscious consumers - especially for those of us in the food industry. Diners now seem to want to satisfy their needs and receive unforgettable experiences, all while supporting higher purposes and good causes. Increased access to information has increased awareness of which products and services should be purchased and which should be avoided to improve the overall wellbeing of individuals and society.


Companies and brands are now also looking for like-minded partners that are proactively preparing for both current and future concerns in our world. Since sustainability impacts nearly every element of our industry, OSI has brought it to the forefront of our business, ensuring we are mindful of the social, environmental and economic impacts of our company on the people and communities we serve.


In all areas of OSI’s operations, we make sustainability a business priority, which is why we have introduced the OSI Sustainability 365 Farmer Recognition Program. This program encourages and recognizes the farmers who make sustainable farming practices their top priority when producing our food.


We recognize farmers who work hard to make sustainable farming their mission and, as leaders in this area, have established it as a business priority. By shining a light on these leaders, OSI is helping show other farmers, the agriculture industry and the world that sustainable farming is much more than a feel good buzzword. OSI is taking the practices of sustainable farming and putting its champions into the spotlight to educate consumers, to help partners and to promote positive, practical activities in farming, the environment and local communities.


This program puts time, energy and resources behind sharing best practices in sustainable farming to help tackle the enormous challenge of educating the total supply chain to adopt these practices. The more common an understanding of sustainable farming becomes around the world, the more the average consumer will trust that their food was produced in a sustainable, humane way.


Being a sustainable farmer is more than a story for consumers, although education and sharing best practices is an important part of the OSI Sustainability 365 Program. We recognize farmers that practice sustainable farming and we applaud them for their tremendous contributions to our industry, as they have determined that sustainable farming is not just the right thing to do, it can also be a good business model.


With more attention placed on farmers, more information available about farming practices and the relative ease of obtaining that information, consumers and partners are seeking out businesses they consider to be stewards of the environment and the community. It is these businesses that partners are more likely to choose and on these products that consumers are spending their hard earned money.


OSI has long recognized outstanding farmers through partnerships in our customer-led programs. We are now taking the lead within our own network and supply chain to recognize the farmers implementing sustainable practices, highlight leaders in the space and encourage more farmers within the OSI network and around the world to practice sustainable farming. Given the importance of sustainable farming to OSI’s mission, it only makes sense for the OSI Sustainability 365 Farmer Recognition Program to be a pillar within the business.


BECOMING AN OSI SUSTAINABILITY 365 FARMER


Farmers recognized in the OSI Sustainability 365 program may prioritize different principles of sustainable agriculture but they share several key values. These partners approach sustainability holistically and practice sustainable farming across three distinct areas of impact: their animals and farm management, the environment and the community. Farmers implementing sustainable practices within their operation are advancing animal welfare, stewarding antibiotics and keeping good records


To act in harmony with the environment, these farmers are taking serious steps to protect water, preserve forests and grasslands, reduce waste, address climate change and increase operational efficiencies. To ensure they are having a positive social impact in the communities in which they operate, they work hard to enhance skills and management practices, provide safe and responsible working conditions for all employees, pursue strategic partnerships that benefit the social good, and implement strategies that create shared value in their communities.


Through a supplier nomination process, our program selects champions of sustainable agriculture within the supply chain who can showcase best practices and provide leadership within the industry. OSI’s Sustainability Team then conducts an interview and reviews each farm’s practices against the criteria of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and OSI’s own sustainability priorities. Because we also recognize that good partners are key to this mission, we are looking for farmers who are active within local organizations supporting sustainability initiatives.


Selected farmers will be able to proudly showcase how they are able to incorporate sustainable farming practices within their business model by adding their voices to industry-wide conversations on sustainability, such as global and regional sustainability roundtables.

This will position farmers as leaders, which can open up new doors to improve their business and also seek out more areas for positive impact within the farm and the local community.


OSI Sustainability 365 farmers will be recognized by OSI’s global leadership and be featured on the OSI website. These farmers will also receive sponsored attendance at an industry meeting or global roundtable to educate and advocate on behalf of the sustainable farming practices that were recognized through this program. Additionally, the farmers will also have opportunities to form partnerships on commercial and industry pilot programs and could be featured on OSI supply chain tours.


As a premier global food provider, OSI partners with the world’s leading foodservice and retail food brands and has the infrastructure and resources of one of the largest privately held food providers. This is a great opportunity to use our commercial and industrial strengths to effect change in a way that promotes, celebrates and encourages sustainable farming. OSI looks forward to partnering with farmers and businesses that care about the environment, animal welfare and local communities.


MEET THE OSI SUSTAINABILITY 365 FARMERS



“We try to encourage our kids that whatever they do in their lives, to make sure they know where their food comes from and to respect the environment as well as the animal, and enjoy the food that comes from a happy environment.”

Brad and Danielle Carr – Victoria, Australia


“Farming should be an aspirational profession which attracts the best minds available. After all, we have a pressing need to feed the world’s growing population. We are doing our best to create the best, most health-giving food that we can, and in so doing, leave our farm in a better state than we found it.”

Emma and Cameron Laurie – New South Wales, Australia


“We hope that we can show farmers and non-farmers out there, the practices that we’re doing to create a sustainable environment, so that they’ll be able to see what goes into the beef they get to eat.”

Mark and Kay Wells, Greg and Kathy Wells – Queensland, Australia



If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about the OSI Sustainability 365 Farmer Recognition Program, please email osisustainability@osigroup.com.