Johnsonville Foods

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Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
Private
IndustryFood processing
Founded1945
FounderRalph F. Stayer
Alice Stayer
HeadquartersSheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
ProductsSausage
Websitewww.johnsonville.com
 
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Johnsonville Sausage, LLC
Private
IndustryFood processing
Founded1945
FounderRalph F. Stayer
Alice Stayer
HeadquartersSheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, U.S.
ProductsSausage
Websitewww.johnsonville.com
Johnsonville "Beddar with Cheddar" from wellcome

Johnsonville Sausage is a sausage company headquartered in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.[1] Founded in 1945, it is one of the largest sausage producers in the United States[2] and the largest sausage brand by revenue in the United States.[3] Johnsonville sausage is available in more than 35 countries. Privately owned, the company has approximately 1,400 employees.[4]

History[edit]

In 1945, Ralph F. and Alice Stayer opened a butcher shop and named it after their hometown, Johnsonville, Wisconsin. The sausage made in their butcher shop came from an old family recipe, which originated from the family tree from 19th-century Austria. [5]

Corporate headquarters

Products[edit]

Johnsonville Sausage produces a variety of sausage products, including: brats, grillers, Italian sausage, smoked-cooked links, breakfast sausage in fully cooked and fresh varieties, chicken sausage, meatballs and summer sausage. [6]

Company Culture[edit]

In 1980, Johnsonville CEO Ralph C. Stayer – son of founders Ralph C. and Alice Stayer – was proud of the company’s success, as it was growing in the U.S. and internationally, with sales on the rise. But Stayer was also troubled after witnessing bad attitudes among his management team and their subordinates. He saw managers who, while in supervisory roles and considered leaders, seemed to be leading others the wrong way. He saw managers who were micro-managers, making all company decisions because they didn't trust anyone else to do things right. Stayer also noticed this was his management style.

The employees just simply did what they were told. If Stayer didn't tell his employees what to do, they waited around for the next set of instructions. Worse, he saw that the workers only did what they were told, and nothing more. He also noticed that at that same time, the company’s product quality started to decline. [7]

To build more individual commitment and accountability, Stayer worked with his team to create The Johnsonville Way, a new foundation for the company that would build ownership among everyone working at Johnsonville. Instead of using people to build the business, Johnsonville made a cultural shift where the business would help build its people. Later, Stayer shared this learning and the results he saw within the company, in a business management book. Stayer co-authored “Flight of the Buffalo” with James Belasco in 1993. [8]

Slaughterhouses[edit]

In 2009, the National Pork Board ranked Johnsonville Foods first in sow slaughter capacity. The company had the facilities to slaughter 3,250 pigs every day, 400 more than the next largest company. [9]

Animal welfare controversy[edit]

In March 2013, Johnsonville Foods came under public pressure to drop gestation crates when Wisconsin resident Gina Steussy started a Change.org petition asking Johnsonville Sausage CEO Ralph Stayer to stop sourcing pork products from suppliers that confine breeding pigs to cages that restrict their ability to turn around during the 4 month period of their pregnancy. The petition was supported by The Humane League and acquired over 73,000 signatures, gaining wide public attention.[10] Two months later, Johnsonville Foods posted on its website, “It is our moral and ethical obligation to ensure our animals are treated humanely at all times. As part of our active pursuit of enhanced handling practices, we will be working with our pork suppliers to transition from traditional gestation stall housing, to alternative pregnant sow housing, by 2025.”[11]

With this decision, Johnsonville joined many other American pork purchasers such as Oscar Mayer, Jimmy Dean, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, and Denny's in pledging to phase out gestation crates.[12]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]