When Henry Davis, chief executive officer of Omaha, Nebraska-headquartered Greater Omaha Packing, saw photos of the devastation in war-torn Ukraine, his meat company was quickly mobilized to provide humanitarian food aid. Thus far 27,600 pounds of ground beef have arrived on Ukrainian soil in two separate shipments, and an additional delivery of 40,000 pounds will be dispatched in July.
In total, three emergency consignments will feed more than 270,000 soldiers and civilians as they fight against and resist the invasion of their country by Russian military forces. Additionally, the company has donated $105,000 to support Ukrainian relief efforts.
Greater Omaha Packing employees embraced the logistical feat of delivering beef to struggling Ukrainians. Each shipment is specially packaged and shipped frozen as humanitarian aid, in adherence with strict food safety standards. The first delivery arrived in late April, via air freight delivery, and the second was received in Ukraine on June 13.
“We live in the United States, where freedom and opportunity enable us to produce the finest beef and for our employees to provide for their families,” said Davis. “It is a natural extension of our company’s mission to help Ukrainians fight for those same opportunities in their own country.”
Greater Omaha Packing has engaged partners in each step of the supply chain, from ensuring the meat was marked as humanitarian aid to recommending preservation practices to keep beef safe if temporarily in unreliable links of cold chain distribution. For many Ukrainians, this may be their first time eating meat in months.
“It was a privilege to put our familiarity with the supply chain to good use while delivering beef to Ukraine,” said Mike Drury, Greater Omaha Packing’s president. “We have customers in 70 countries around the world, and our employees mobilized those networks to accomplish this job.”
Founded in 1920, Greater Omaha Packing is a single-source supplier of beef. Processing 2,400 head of high-quality cattle each day for customers in retail, foodservice and manufacturing sectors, the company employs nearly 1,450 people and generates sales exceeding $1.8 billion per year.