AURORA, Ill. – On Sept. 27, OSI Food Solutions Poland broke ground for a new production facility in Ostroda featuring a state-of-the-art beef processing plant that will replace an older facility in the area. OSI Group LLC, parent company, is a privately held corporation operating more than 50 facilities in 17 countries.

OSI also owns an abattoir in Gora, Poland, under its Foodworks division, and it also staffs an office in this country. Principal activities of both facilities are primary and secondary processing of beef and beef products to produce beef patties for McDonald’s restaurants throughout eastern Europe.

This new facility will also benefit 93 employees OSI employs in this region. OSI has been operating in Poland since 1991, and the company wanted to retain this existing team of valued employees, said John Gray, OSI Europe’s commercial director.

“OSI has been working alongside McDonald’s in Poland since the beginning, and with this investment we are creating the capacity to continue to support growth well into the future,” said Phil Marsden, managing director for OSI Food Solutions, Europe, during the festivities. “We see this plant as an important strategic investment in a country with a strong agricultural future.”

During groundbreaking festivities, Waldemar Kowalkowski, OSI Poland's managing director, covered the history of OSI Poland during the last 20 years. Hamburger production began in Ostroda in 1993. Products produced there today are distributed to Poland, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic states.

“Taking into account the market development for the last few years, we are confident that in the new plant, more people will find job opportunities,” Kowalkowski added. Employment at [this facility] could increase by 30 percent, he said.

Phase one of the $32 million investment will include a three-story, 64,600-sq.-ft. processing and storage building on a 27-acre lot. OSI officials expect the plant to begin operations during the second quarter of 2013. Estimated production capacity is approximately 25,000 tonnes (55 million lbs.), which could expand depending on customer demand.