Sosland Publishing Company’s coverage of the food industry started out focusing on the grain, flour milling and baking industries for the first 50 years after its founding in 1922. During that same era, the meat-processing industry began a government-mandated transition away from being dominated by a handful of companies that developed an integrated infrastructure that made it almost impossible for outside cattle producers, feedlot operators, livestock transporters or processors to survive unless they were part of what was then, an insurmountable machine. There has always been an important link between the grain industries and commercial livestock production as feed quality and availability determines price, which is passed on to meat processors and the quality, availability and price they could demand for products on the market. A century ago, and still today, the constant has been the meat and poultry processing system’s reliance on grain-based feed to finish and sustain the herds and flocks needed to produce food for a dynamic, growing and migrating population. What has changed and continues evolving are the names in the game today versus 100 years ago.
Few if any of the pioneering companies, brands or descendants of the industry’s legendary leaders of 100 years ago are relevant or involved in today’s industry, evidence of the constant evolution and change that has made meat and poultry processing’s history a long and winding road dotted with plenty of peaks and valleys. Volatility has been a constant challenge for the meat processing industry as it has been for all segments of the food supply chain. Factors ranging from weather to labor issues to regulatory compliance to economic instability to international relations can have profound impacts on the degree of business success or failure any segment might experience.
Since Sosland’s founding, the company has expanded its portfolio of publications and websites to include a wider swath of food and beverage industries, including commercial and retail baking, global grain, meat and poultry, pet food, dairy and the supermarket perimeter. Looking closer at some of the names and companies that were prominent in the meat industry from a century ago sheds light on how the pieces complete the puzzle that is today’s industry.
To read the rest of the century of innovations click on the link here.