David McDonald began his career at Chicago-based OSI Group right out of college in 1987. He worked his way up the ladder and a number of years ago he became the president and chief operating officer. He also serves on the North American Meat Institute’s board of directors.
Because of these roles he has deep insight into the global consumption of proteins and what the ongoing trends are. He recently attended Swine Day which is an educational event that is held each year at Iowa State University. This educational event brings in over 450 attendees from across the nation each year. During David McDonald’s presentation he talked about where the global food industry is headed.
OSI Group’s presence in Europe has been a big focus for David McDonald for the past few years. One issue his company had was that there has been growing demand for chicken in Portugal and Spain for the past decade with that demand beginning to accelerate over the past two years. His company’s processing facility in Spain couldn’t keep up with this demand and so needed to be upgraded. He authorized greatly expanding this facility’s processing capabilities while also making a number of other improvements such as building a new kitchen where they can test out new recipes for their clients. After this expansion was completed it can now process 24,000 tons of chicken each year while before it could only do 12,000 tons.
Green practices and sustainability are two things that are considered to be critical at OSI Group. During the upgrade of the Spanish facility David McDonald made sure that these issues were addressed. Even though the production facility was upgraded with new equipment its energy consumption fell by 20% as new equipment was installed which is much more efficient, for instance. David McDonald also made sure that a system was put in place which recovers waste heat. Because of the focus on sustainability and green practices the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund kicked in some money to complete this project. This expansion also resulted in additional jobs being created at this plant which resulted in the Chamber of Commerce giving it an award.