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SIXTEEN OUNCES TO THE POUND

------
The History of Schreiber Foods
This book is dedicated to the past, present andfuture
partners of Schreiber Foods.
Copyright© 2003 by Schreiber Foods Inc.

All rights reserved. No part ofthis book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any farm or by
any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission in writingfrom the
publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote a briefpassage in review.

First Edition
ISBN 1-88277 1-07-9
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 2003112442

Produced by The History Factory


14140 Parke Long Court
Chantilly, Va. 20151
www.historyfactory.com

Published by Schreiber Foods Inc.


425 Pine Street
P. 0. Box 19010
Green Bay, Wis. 54307-9010
www.schreiberfoods.com
CONTENTS

Preface XI

Part One: Origins 1


A Slice of History- The Story of" 16 Ounces to the Pound" 2
Wisconsin- T he Cheese Capital of America 3
Early Industry Leaders 4
Founding Schreiber Foods 11

Part Two: For the Record- An Overview of the Schreiber Experience 13


Building a Business Based on Values 14
Tests of W ill 23
T he Challenge of Growth 33
Taking Sch reiber to the N ext Level 39
Finding New Ways to Grow 48
Sch reiber in the New Millennium 57

Part Three: Recipe for Success 67


T he Journey Continues 68

Epilogue 77

Part Four: Timeline 79

Part Five: People and Places 87


"We wanted quality that would permit us to keep our self-

respect, and we wanted to guarantee to every customer that

he need never keep one pound of Schreiber cheese that he

didn't want. Now that was a hell of an order, because there

were some unscrupulous buyers. . . . So it cost us some

money. But remember, this was something revolutionary.

Nobody in the cheese business had that guarantee. "

Merlin G. "Mer" Bush


Schreiber Founder

l
hen we began this book project, we forward thinking; farmers don't expect the immediate

W thought we'd capture and package what


has made Schreiber the world's largest
private-label cheese company. But then we thought:
rewards that come from isolated victories and one-time
"killer" ideas. Survival and success come from what is
repeatable, and hence subject to improvement. People of
How do you take a history of honesty and integrity, the soil also have a natural humility, drawn from an under-
adherence to quality, personal accountability, creative standing of what is controllable, and what isn't. A farmer
use of technology, and the belief in people working can't plan on a freeze, drought or fluctuations in the
together, and put it in a neat little bundle? dairy markets, bur he can keep his cows healthy and his
machinery in top shape. In other words, he masters what
Well, you don't. And if Barney Schreiber and Mer Bush he can and looks for unexpected opportunities to excel.
were alive today, they'd be less than satisfied if we didn't
try harder. Instead, you tell stories with facts and Schreiber is made of these same ingredients.
anecdotes, triumphs and failures; stories that help us
understand how our business became what it is today. Much of our culture can be understood by the remarks
In the process, yo u include guideposts that illustrate made by Mer Bush more than 25 years ago, when
important concepts about our culture that you can hang he told the story of " l6 ounces to the pound."
your hat on, and incorporate into your work. He said, 'Tm always suspicious if somebody
tells you how honest he is. We decided to
AB Schreiber has grown, our customers-supermarket build, and are still building, an image for
chains, wholesalers and distributors, military commis- reliability ... never making a promise that we
saries, club and warehouse stores, drug and dollar stores, cannot keep .... I may have started it, but,
restaurants, schools and colleges, hotels, and health and after the first few months, other people kept
entertainment venues-have trusted us like they would that image going and improved on it."
the handshake of a best friend.
Those "other people" are you, Schreiber partners-the
That's because, to use an old farm expression, we are source of innovation and continuous improvement,
"people of the soil. " process excellence, tenacity, hard work and ownership
that ensure our lasting success. You are continuing to
In the dairy business of the Upper Midwest, where make Schreiber a leader in the 21 sr century.
Schreiber was born, you're never very far from the soil.
Hard work, personal restraint and accountability, hands- Larry Ferguson
on practicality, and teamwork are part of getting up in President and ChiefExecutive Officer
the morning. People close to the soil value patience and Schreiber Foods

-XJ-
INNOVATION

LEADERSHIP

COMMITMENT
ORIGINS

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment


to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."

Vince Lombardi
Former Green Bay Packers Head Coach

- 1-
A Slice ofHistory- a company that was based on honesty. That in itself
The Story of "16 Ounces to the Pound" was a novelty. "

hen L.D. "Barney" Schreiber asked To be known as honest and trustworthy could give

W Merlin G. "Mer" Bush to run the cheese


division ofL.D. Schreiber and Company
in 1945, Bush had strong ideas about how a cheese
Schreiber a competitive edge in creating relationships
with customers. But keeping promises was more than
sound business prac-
business should operate. He believed that his convictions tice. For Mer Bush,
could distinguish Schreiber from other process cheese it was personal con-
companies. But his ideas were untested, and there were viction. As he came
no other cheese companies running their organ izations to find out, it was
under the model he was about to propose. In a business an ethic in which
based on thin margins, any mistake could mean the Barney Schreiber also
end of the company. believed. In fact, when
Bush presented his
Bush journeyed to Chicago to meet with Barney "demand" to run the
Schreiber. With a sense of urgency, he set forth a num- business with strict
ber of conditions, beginning with one simple notion: honesty and integrity,
A pound of cheese would weigh one pound. Schreiber said, "Did
you ever know me to
While there were exceptions, much of the dairy and do anything else?"
cheese business in the first half of the century was
not known for its integrity. Regulatory oversight was Over the following
minimal, which meant milk was often watered and years, the company's
With its ideal agricultural conditions, Wisconsin
scales customarily weighed high. A lot of money was promise went well
quickly became synonymous with America 's
made with pencils, through doctored manifests and beyond a pound finest dairy products . This photo was taken atthe
bills of lading. weighing a pound. time of Schreiber's creation in 1945.

As Dr. Vincent L.
Mer Bush couldn't stomach such practices. As his son "Vince" Zehren , another of Schreiber's early leaders,
Robert G . "Bob" Bush later remarked, "My father once commented, "You co uld always rely on the word
talked about honesty every day of my life. And of Schreiber. [We] used to make big deals with a hand-
Schreiber Cheese Company was a chance to create shake. There were no lengthy contracts .. . because it

- 2-
was not necessary. If Schreiber said that they were
going to do something, you could be assured rhar it
would happen. "

Today, Schreiber still uses" 16 ounces to the pound"


as shorthand for two cornerstones of its character:
unquestionable integrity and an ongoing commitment
to quality.

Schreiber has come a long way from its modest begin-


nings, bur honesty and integrity are values the company
will never leave behind. To understand where Schreiber
is going, let's first look at where it's been.

Since the first trader set up his posts in 1655, Green Bay, Wis., has been
a crossroads for industry, culture and American expansion . This 1867 map
Wisconsin-The Cheese Capital ofAmerica shows the growing city around the time of the introduction of the Chicago
and Northwestern Railroad .

A
merica's first cheese factory was built in
Oneida County, N.Y., in 1851 , and upstate teenager in summertime, co nnecting nothing to noth-
New York dominated the country's early dairy ing. That's because the Badger State owes its road sys-
commerce. About that time, immigrants to America tem to the peculiar evolution of what would become
were creating their own cheese-making tradition in the the state's vast dairy business.
farmlands of W isconsin. The state's cool temperatures;
abundant water, corn and grass; and large number of The typical dairy farm was small-perhaps 25 head of
dairy-wise northern European settlers soon enabled cattle-yet what these farms lacked in size they made
Wisconsin to overtake New York as the country's up in numbers. By the late 1860s, W isconsin's 245,000
largest dairy producer. dairy cows provided enough milk to enable local manu-
facturers to turn out 3 million pounds of cheese a year,
One of the most remarkable features of the Wisconsin a figure that would quadruple over the next 10 years.
landscape is its idiosyncratic secondary road system. By 1945, the year Schreiber was fo unded, Wisconsin
Rural areas everywhere in America have winding back was producing a phenomenal 515 million pounds of
roads, but Wisconsin's often seem as aimless as a cheese an nually.

- 3-
Early Industry Leaders

T
he natural cheese made in and sold from
early facto ries resembled large, chick wheels.
Encased in stiff rinds, they could be found in
general stores and small food emporiums everywhere.
When one wanted cheese for the home, a clerk would
slice off a piece of suitable size, weigh it and wrap it
in paper. There were drawbacks to chis method: The
rind was thick and useless, and the remainder of the
wheel quickly dried out. European cheesemakers
Wisconsin has early dairy farmers to thank for its unique second-
ary road system. Deliverym en, such as these 1915 wagon drivers, had already solved chis problem by heating the cheese
found the most efficient path from one farm to the next. until it liquefied; adding seasoning, color and harmless
emulsifiers; then cooling it until it could be packaged.
Which brings us back to those winding roads. Tight packaging eliminated the need for the inedible
Wisconsin was a booming dairy state long before the rind; the addition of emulsifiers and other ingredients
gasoline engine, and hauling a heavy wagonload of milk ensured a longer-lasting product.
was time consuming and difficult. It quickly became
obvious that the answer was to place small cheese facto- James L. Kraft
ries throughout Wisconsin's hills and dells to reduce The advantages of process over natural cheese weren't
the time required for cartage. Small cheese factories lost on a young Canadian named James L. Kraft, who
spro uted like mushrooms-every crossroads of any size noticed the waste-and loss of profit-while working as
had a cheese factory and a post office (and sometimes a grocery clerk in Fon Erie, Ontario. In 1903, he moved
a church, but always a tavern). By 1922, Wisconsin to Chicago and began peddling cheese to local grocers
boasted 2,800 cheese factories. That amazing network by horse and wagon. Kraft was a skillful businessman,
of farm roads became the shortest distance between the and soon realized the potential business advantages of
family dairy farm and the nearest place to sell its milk. a product with greater uniformity, less waste and more
consistent quality. Incorporated in 1909, Kraft Cheese
From those modest beginnings, Wisconsin was soon Company would dominate the process cheese industry
selling cheese to the rest of America, and Green Bay in America for decades to come.
became the epicenter of a vast enterprise.

-4-
KRAFT E
- --~.L...I
standards got into the business. At this time, makers of
natural cheese stood staunchly against this new process
cheese idea, referring to the product as "embalmed,"
"imitation" and "moonshine." There was good reason
for their animosity: Kraft knew that the success of the
company's new product depended exclusively on the
quality of the natural cheese from which it was made,
and Kraft's high standards weren't necessarily shared
by many cheesemakers. Cheese factories were often
dirty, and the quality of their product was irregular, if
not downright poor. (In fact, early Wisconsin cheese
was sometimes dubbed "western grease" because it
was occasionally used to lubricate wagon wheels.)
Cheese markets such as this one dotted the Wisconsin landscape in the 1940s, Because of the early popularity of Kraft's high-quality
a period when the state produced 515 million pounds of cheese a year.
''American" process cheese, suppliers were forced to

upgrade their product. Thus, the entire industry can


Kraft blended and heated cheese as early as 1912, and thank Kraft for its high standards, which set the fledg-
opened his first processing plant two years later. Kraft ling industry on a steady course.
soon secured several patents covering the processes of
heating, blending, sterilization and packaging. By Kraft's original processing patents expired in 1938.
1934, the company employed 10,000 people in plants While further patents would refine the making of
located in 30 states and several foreign countries, and process cheese, the basic technology was no longer
sold a million pounds of cheese a day. restricted. There would be room now for more entre-
preneurs to enter the business. Among them would be
During Kraft's early years, other entrepreneurs were Barney Schreiber, who was willing to take a financial
attracted to the industry, and Kraft brought patent risk in this newly competitive industry, and Mer Bush,
infringement suits against any competitor who even whose leadership, values and vision would eventually
remotely seemed to be taking advantage of his methods make L.D. Schreiber Cheese Company the only
and technology. Kraft's interests went beyond protect- cheesemaker in the world that would keep Kraft
ing market share: He was well aware of the dangers of looking over its shoulder.
compromising this new industry if those with lesser

-6 -
L.D. ''Barney" Schreiber Merlin G. ''Mer" Bush
Barney Schreiber was a major trader at the Chicago Although born in the city of Buffalo, N.Y., in 1903,
Mercantile Exchange, but he always referred to himself Mer Bush was quickly-and permanently-attracted
simply as a "butter and egg man:' Thirteen years Bush's to the soil. As a teenager, Bush spent summers working
senior, Schreiber was deeply influential in the business on his uncle's dairy farm in
side of the dairy industry. (In 1935, at the invitation of upstate New York, and enrolled
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he helped write at Cornell University in 1921
quality standards for butter, standards that survived a with the idea of becoming a
half century with only slight amendment.) Schreiber farmer. In his first year in the
was, above all else, a businessman. By the mid- l 940s, dairy science department at
he had already made a considerable fortune from Cornell, he met two professors,
various produce, burrer and egg deals. Walter W Fisk and Walter V
Price. Both happened to be
While some called him friendly, those who partnered cheese men. "I liked what they AND HERE'S

with him also knew Schreiber were doing," Bush remarked in ?It t;,. (MER) ~etd,
_ _ ,M
:;:;;
•••o::::
••=· or THE GREEN IAY PUNT
as a genius with figures and a an interview, "and I liked what
At first, Mer Bush politely declined
demanding intellect. He asked I thought was the development Barney Schreiber's offer to run his
penetrating questions and of the industry. " In Bush's senior new process cheese plant.

expected well-informed answers. year, Fisk asked him if he was


Bob Bush, Mer Bush's son, later interested in working for A&P, which was looking for
recalled, "We heard a lot of 'No' a man to start a cheese processing plant. "I said, 'Fine.'
from Mr. Schreiber. We'd travel I thought that was just my oyster." At that time, A&P
back from a meeting with him was the largest chain grocery store in the United States,
in Chicago, disappointed with 3,500 stores and 96,000 employees. "You could
because we had failed to make see they had a captive market, and I wouldn't have any
our case. Barney always looked problem selling what I made, provided it was edible,"
Though he considered himself a
"butter and egg man," Barney for the pieces that were missing. Bush recalled.
Schreiber was involved in all aspects We learned a lot from that. You
of American agricultural business .
Cheese was but one of his many
had to do your homework. "
successful ventures.

-7-
Kraft's tightly held patents dictated that others getting In 1929, A&P knocked on Bush's door again with an
into the business had to start from scratch. The trial offer to join its butter and cheese department in the
and error involved in this startup proved an invaluable Midwest, a job that lasted a decade. Among the men
learning experience for the young Bush. It wasn't long, Bush came to know during this period was Harmon
however, before Wheeler, who had owned and operated process cheese
A&P's process cheese businesses in Green Bay throughout the 1930s. Wheeler
operation fell victim sold his first operation to what would become Borden
to Kraft's legal Cheese Company and was soon eager to create another.
department and was In 1939, he asked Bush to manage his new Wheeler
forced to shut down. Cheese Company. Under Bush's supervision, the com-
Nonetheless, Bush pany prospered. In 1943, the government awarded a
had gotten an oppor- $3.5 million contract to pack 12 million pounds of
tunity to get his feet process cheddar in 7-pound cans-at that time the
wet in the business largest single contract of its kind in the cheese industry.
that would becom e This association continued until the final day of 1944,
his life's work. when Bush decided to end his relationship with
Harmon Wheeler.
To support his rapidly
growing family, Bush Less than 24 hours after terminating his working rela-
THE WHEELER CORPORATION soon took a job as tionship with Wheeler, an amazing thing happened:
(;HEE'< IHl . \\ I SCO~S L\
what he later termed Bush received a phone call from Barney Schreiber,
This 1940s advertisement featured Wheeler's "assistant to the assis- whom he had first met 15 years earlier at the Chicago
Me l-0-Bit process cheese .
tant to the assistant Mercantile Exchange. Schreiber, who already had a
sales manager" at small cheese-packaging operation in Neenah, Wis. ,
the Buffalo Foundry & Machine Company, which told Bush he wanted to set up a cheese plant in Green
manufactured equipment for the dairy industry. As a Bay and asked Bush to run it. Perhaps thinking of the
Cornell graduate and a man who had, until recently, rough-and-tumble of his final year with Wheeler, Bush
run a factory for A&P, this was certainly a step down. politely promised Schreiber he'd think about it. Bush
But thi s job, like the aborted A&P operation, allowed and his family visited his father in western New York
Bush to gain valuable familiarity with machine design State, where he considered finally getting into farming.
and engineering. That didn't last long.

-10 -
Founding Schreiber Foods It would have taken a man who loved the business to
want to enter the fray at this most unstable moment.
er Bush was tempted by Barney Schreiber's Bue the opportunity

M offer, buc he was no longer the young


postgraduate who had jerry-rigged pro-
cessing equipment at A&P. He was 41, with a wife
intrigued Bush
enough to call Barney
Schreiber and say he
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HWtfW"""d • A.l~Ml-prHRI
'"°""' w
fwll
fATl AND DILS
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......
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and three teenage children, and he had just concluded, was interested. He
11 11 1l
under sometimes trying circumstances, a six-year stint also told his potential
as manager of Harmon Wheeler's cheese plant. backer that they
would have to talk.
Moreover, America was still operating by wartime Bush had unique and,
restrictions. This made operating any business, particu- in some cases, highly
larly a startup, highly difficult. "You couldn't hire a per- unorthodox convic-
son without a legal certificate from the War Manpower tions about how the
Board," Bush recalled. "You couldn't buy a pound of company should be During World War II, a point system was created
stainless steel or an electric motor without a document run. If Mr. Schreiber for rationed food products, including cheese.
from the War Production Board. We didn't have a didn't like these con-
building. " Further, the government required that com- ditions, then Bush wasn't interested. Of course, they
panies set aside a percentage of production for wartime agreed, and in early 1945, a relationship was forged that
use, and it had developed a cumbersome point system would put Bush in Green Bay at the head of Schreiber
for accounting for the volume of set-aside, which could for the rest of his professional life.
change every month according to bureaucratic whim.
With these regulations still in force, procurement for But he didn't know that in 1945. There was no doubt
the new plant would be tricky, as would keeping a dual that Barney Schreiber could capitalize the operation,
accounting system-one for the civilian business and and Bush certainly knew how to make process cheese.
another for the government. In an industry in which But then, a lot of other companies had sufficient capital
the profit margin was often less than a penny a pound, and experience in the business as well. What was going
even small additional costs could sink a company. to set Schreiber apart from the others? If they didn't
answer that question quickly, the company would
barely see the light of day.

- 11-
EXCELLENC

INNOVATION

IMPROVEMENT
FOR THE RECORD-AN OVERVIEW
OF THE SCHREIBER EXPERIENCE

"I can't make cheese by myself. "

Daniel D. "Dave" Nusbaum


Schreiber Founder

- 13 -
Building a Business Based on Values
"People Are the Key Assets of Your Business."
er Bush set up Schreiber's first plant

M on the site of the Hagemeister Brewery


adjacent to the old Atlas Wareho use &
Cold Storage Company
Mer Bush told Barn ey Sch reiber that the company could prosper only if
hum an values took precedence over strictly financial concerns . The best

chance for operating profitably in the long run was to hire the best people

available, train them well, and treat them fairly. For Bush, this was a deeply
in Green Bay. Designed
held article of faith : "People are really the key assets of your business. It is
and built to Bush's specifi-
not only reputation, it is not only money, but it is people . People are more
cations, the building was
important than the other two."
modest even by the stan-
dards of the day. Barney
Schreiber generally was Over the years, the prim acy of Schreiber's people would take many forms and

an absentee owner. His affe ct many aspects of th e company's operation. Hiring and rewarding good

chauffeur-driven limou- people who shared th e comp any's values would become a strong component
sine arrived at the door of its lea dership, manag ement style and personn el deve lopment.
Th e first Schreib er pl ant was adjace nt two or three times a year;
to th e Atl as Warehou se & Cold Storage
Comp any. It was important fo r many new otherwise, Bush held
che ese comp anie s to have a stron g pres- complete authority over
ence in Gree n Bay.
the business.

To help him run the operation, Bush built a team that


reflected and supported his vision, values and focus.
A number of these individuals would play key roles for
decades. Daniel David "Dave" Nusbaum, whom Bush
had known at Wheeler, became Plant Manager and
took charge of procurement. In 1949, Robert K. "Bob"
Deutsch, Barney Schreiber's son-in-law, joined the
company. (He woul d later follow Bush as Schreiber's
President.) Bush's two sons, Richard (Dick) and Bob,
joined the company full time in 1950, after working
summers in the late 1940s while in college. They would Early Schreiber employee s like these helped build the company's strong
eventually oversee, respectively, Sales and Operations. found ation on shared valu es.

- 14 -
Vince Zehren, who joined the Although the early leaders were
Schreiber team as Technical a small group and responsibili-
Director in 1954 and would ties often blurred, their focus
bring honor to both himself did not. They understood, for
and the company for his contri- example, that effective procure-
butions to dairy research and ment of raw materials was
development, recalled the critical. The early leaders also
headiness of those early days. quickly recognized that tech-
"We all spent a lot of time on nology could-and would-
the job," Zehren said. "Nobody be a key way to differentiate
minded too much . . .. We were from the competition. They
involved. That was just a won-
derful, very dynamic time.
Z:,, Z:,, (DAVE) ~ also understood that success
required them to fight for every
Exhilarating is the right word, Mer Bush had hired Dave Nusbaum to work for customer. Through all of that,
Whee ler back in 1942. Bush was correct in his belief
I'd say. " that Nusbaum's close ties in industry procurement
they knew that people and
would pay off for the company, as they did three years relationships were going to
later when he bro ught Nusbaum with him to work
Despite their experience and make the difference.
for Schreiber.
academic degrees, none of the
early leaders slotted themselves From past experience, Barney
into a specialty. Mer Bush had the title of Vice Schreiber and Mer Bush both knew well the challenges
President of the cheese division ofL.D. Schreiber & involved in procuring bulk cheese and other products
Co. Inc., bur in practice, as Bob Bush saw him, "He from the small dairy plants that dotted the Wisconsin
was the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, countryside. To simplify access to these products for
salesman, mechanic, bookkeeper and raw material buyer his other ventures, Barney Schreiber a couple of years
for the first several years." Zehren, as Technical Director, earlier had formed a relationship with a Green Bay
was by no means confined to his laboratory. "In those group called Marketing Association of America (MAA).
days, everybody had a wide range of responsibilities," Schreiber connected Bush with MAA as soon as he
Zehren said. Having "a wide range of responsibilities" arrived in Green Bay, launching a relationship that
had an intentional benefit: Problems were solved by a would last for 50 years in a critically important aspect
lot of mutual head scratching, and as a result, everyone of the business.
felt responsible for the overall success-or failure-
of the company.

- 15 -

Barney Schreiber's close ties to Marketing
Association of America gave his young company
n advantage. Not only did MAA supply Schreiber
all of its cheese. it also had high quality ·
rds that matched those of the company.
MAA was, in simplest terms, a co-op with five ware-
houses that served as cheese assembly points for more
than a hundred small bulk cheese factories throughout
Wisconsin. For Schreiber, MAA would receive, grade,
test and assemble the cheese into lots for delivery to
Schreiber's Green Bay plant. In those early days, all of
MAA's cheese went to Schreiber, and virtually all of
Schreiber's cheese came from MAA. An early leader
recalled, "It was much more than a buyer and a seller.
MAA really was our procurement staff, for all intents
and purposes. It was a wonderful relationship."
From its earliest days, Schreiber understood that continuous
improvement-from production technology to every other part
Quality, service and price were the key procurement of its business-would be essential to its future success.

factors then, just as they are today. Schreiber counted


on MAA for quality and service. Schreiber was an active If efficient procurement was an early Schreiber tenet,
member-and MAA a constant observer-of the so, too, was a commitment to technology. The com-
Wisconsin Cheese Exchange, which set the price of pany's decision to place technology at the foundation
bulk cheese each week at its meeting in Plymouth and of the business clearly helped to ensure its survival. In
later in Green Bay. In the context of the business then 1946, Mer Bush got an unexpected request from the
as now, fractions of a cent meant big money; it was government to bid on a contract for 7-pound cans of
simply on a different scale back then. process cheese. Assembling figures throughout the
night in his Washington hotel, Bush crafted the win-
Through the years, small farms, small dairies and small ning bid. The problem was, Schreiber had no can line.
cheese factories all gave way to large-scale operations. Working at an incredible pace and employing every-
Schreiber built up its own procurement capabilities, thing he knew from his engineering training, Bob Bush
and MAA ultimately closed its doors in 1994. Yet the and his team designed and built Schreiber's first can
importance of procurement surely endures, whether line. The system may have been primitive, but it
Schreiber is buying bulk cheese or finished goods from worked beautifully. Many millions of pounds of gov-
a co-packer. So, too, does the spirit of that early, strong ernment cheese went through that can line during the
partnership with MAA. Schreiber knew early on that next several years. And the basic operations of those
relationships go both ways. days-blending and grinding, cooking and packaging-
remain part of the basic process today.

-17 -
Good fortune brought Schreiber its first private-label They reduced prices to try to keep us away." But
business when Shefford Cheese Company, one of the Bush and his team were tenacious: "Call it stubborn,
many process cheese companies in Green Bay, was sold but we were determined not to let anybody shove us
to Standard Brands, which promptly dropped Shefford's aro und. We didn't have a chip on our shoulder, but
private-label accounts. Mer Bush moved quickly to pick we knew that if we let people sweep us under the table
up practically all of them for Schreiber, one of which once, it wouldn't be long before we were [under the
was Safeway. Almost immediately, Schreiber's emphasis table] to stay. We have always maintained that tough
on honesry and trustworthiness helped to establish a attitude toward our competitors, but not toward
strong relationship. Mer Bush wo uld later remark, our customers."
"The Safeway account got us started beautifully, because
they were growing, and so were we. T hey were fine When Dick Bush began in Sales, a highly traditional
people, reliable, honest. We tried to act as though we set of practices dominated the industry. Each processor
were a subsidiary of their company. " Developing and had its own cap tive accounts with which it deal t exclu-
strengthening those kinds of partnerships remain sively. Schreiber had Safeway and Topco. Pauly had
Schreiber's central focus today. Kroger. Borden had A&P. T here was an unwritten law
that one company wouldn't tamper with another com-
Other than government business, Safeway remained pany's acco unts. Dick Bush quickly set out to repeal
Schreiber's on ly major client. During the first few years, that law. Before long, he succeeded in getting Schreiber's
acquiring other private customers was very hard work. foot in the doors of A&P and Kroger, among others.
"Competition Soon, Grand Union in New Jersey, Food Fair in
got awfully Philadelphia, and Fairmont in Omaha became regular
to ugh," Mer customers. "It was also traditional for the big chains
Bush said later. to have buyers who were expert graders," Bush said.
"Margins were "They would come to Wisconsin several times a year to
very low, some of select product for their own use. We changed that by
them purposely going to their offices to sell to them. "
so, because we
were knocking Schreiber knew, even early on, the importance of qualiry,
In the early days, process cheese companies were
at the door of value and customer service. "We had a good reputation
only as strong as their top customers . When Safeway
became Schreiber's first big customer, it helped ele- other compa- from the beginning, through our key men, for integrity,"
vate Schre iber to the level of such competitors as
nies' customers. Dick Bush noted. "We didn't so much sell, in the sense
Pauly, which had Kroger as a customer, and Borden,
which had A&P.

-18 -
of taking individual orders, as we did convince our
customers to sign up for a program that gave them all Finding a Niche in Private Label
the services that Schreiber offered and our competitors
In his early meeting with Barney Schreiber, Mer Bush shared his belief that
didn't. In my opinion, about as much business came to
the future of the company must be in private-label production. Bush later
Schreiber as Schreiber went out and got."
remarked, "I knew that the man who tried to beat Kraft ... by selling an adver-

tised brand was doomed


As Schreiber grew- and, probably much to its benefit,
to failure." While selling to
it grew slowly- the company quickly learned the
the government would
importance of hiring people who fit the culture the
early leaders were provide relatively steady,

working to create. For though hardly luxurious,

example, in 1950, income in the company's

when Mer Bush and early years, producing


Dave Nusbaum were 5-pound loaf for Uncle
scouting for a plant in Sam should not be the Government contracts supported many
fledgling process cheese companies, espe-
Missouri to provide company's destiny. cially during the hectic years of World War II.
additional capaci ty for
the growing Safeway In hindsight, the fact that Schreiber Foods is now the world's largest maker of
relationship, they
private-label cheese makes Mer Bush a visionary. But looking forward from
chose the Carthage
1945, Bush more than likely was relying on an earthy practicality that would
Dick Bush was a key player location not for opera-
in the company's early sales often benefit the company- making private-label products for chain stores
tional advantages but
efforts. Schreiber's quality, provided the best opportunity to establish a niche. But in making that choice,
value and service have always for the man, Frank
been important to customers. Bush also knew there were challenges and obligations. As one executive said
Claxton, who had
later," A private-label partnership is as close a partnership as you'll find in
managed the plant
business. You're building their product. They're giving you their name and
under the previous owner. Mer Bush later remarked,
"Frank was worth a lot more than the plant." trusting you with it." Success in the private-label business would challenge

their productivity, their technical acumen and their business agility. They

"Our system," Bush said, "was to give [a person] a job would be dealing with large and powerful companies- no-nonsense organi-

that required a lot more hours than there were in a week, zations with high expectations and plenty of options regarding suppliers.
more responsibility than he ever expected, and all the
authority he needed." Bush and Nusbaum saw in

- 19 -
"This Company Is Never Satisfied"

The ramifi catio ns of Mer Bush's insistence on supe ri or technology went

beyond si mply capital izing on Schreiber's technical strengths. Of those early

years, Bob Bush would later note, "Technology gave [Schreiber] an advan -
tage in that we could produ ce at a lower cost. It opened up the marketto us.
We didn't undersell. Maybe we even added a premium, but we got our advan-

tage through our ability to serve the customer better. We weren't going to buy
people's busin ess. We were going to earn it. "

Th e purcha se of th e Carthage, Mo., pl ant provided additional


operati on al capac ity to assist with Schrei ber's growing relatio n- Because ofth eirtechnical background, Zehren noted, "We understood the
ship with Safewa y.
machine ry better

than most other


Claxton the kind of person they wanted at Schreiber: comp anies coming
a multi-skilled, independent and imaginative thinker up at the time ."
who respected the people who worked for him. Clarke This understand-
Thomas, who succeeded Claxton as Carthage's plant ing led to practices
manager, once said of him, "He had a knack for involv-
that disti nguished
ing you with himself. He had no technical education,
th e fledgl ing com-
but he could imagine anything. He was a great optimist.
pany from its com -
There wasn't anything he didn't think he couldn't do. "
petitors . Early on,
Schreiber form ed
Mer Bush saw h im in a similar light: "People in our
a strong mainte-
company owe a great deal to Frank Claxton. He was
nance dep artment,
even more people-minded than we were. He didn't have
much formal education, but he had an awful lot of peo- and was one of th e

ple education. He ... never made a promise he didn't first in the indu stry

keep, and he tried to see people's problems in the plant to emph asize Schreiber prides itself on a long history of eng ineering
ingenuity. Maintenance shops like this one reduced
before they saw them themselves. He set up committees preventive cost by preventing equipment malfunctions.
and groups of employees to talk with management.
He had safety meetings. He taught us many things."

- 20 -
To serve the company's customers-and provide a
maintenance. "Fix it before it breaks down" became an essential step in competitive edge-Schreiber's technicians introduced
daily operations. a rem arkable series of innovations during the 1940s
and 1950s.
But preventive maintenance wasn't enough. Virtually all basic machinery for
processing cheese was manufactured by a small shop on the west side of In 1948, Kraft came out with its first sliced cheese in

Green Bay. Everyone in the industry, including Kraft, bought and used the
an 8-ounce package. T he product's immediate success
necessitated that Schreiber provide a similar item to its
same machinery. For Schreiber, this wasn't sufficient. "This company is never
private-label customers. There was one big problem,
satisfied, " a retired executive said later. "All the early leadership hated the
and it was a familiar one: Kraft had the patents. Dave
phrase, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it."' In order to take advantage of this too-level
Nusbaum and Bob Bush moved quickly to design a
playing field, Mer Bush insisted on keeping an engineer on staff to oversee
unique slicing machine. But the trick was to find a way
mechanical design and improvements. At the time, other cheese companies
to keep the slices from sticking together, so that they
didn't bother with an eng ineer, instead relying simply on a mechanic to make
wouldn't break when the end user tried to separate them.
basic repairs.

Nusbaum arrived at work with a blowtorch, and was


The factthatthe engineer was also Mer Bush's son Bob was a convenient soon applying the device to pieces of sliced cheese. H e
coincidence . In what would become a fortuitous decision for the company, noticed that when the surface of the cheese was heated,
Bob Bush, after getting his dairy science degree atthe University of Wisconsin, some of the moisture evaporated. A very thin film of
stayed an extra year to study mechanical engineering. He kept a drawing drier cheese formed on the surface and kept the slices
board in his living room and would sketch designs for improvements at night, from sticking together. Bush worked out the engineer-
then work with his mechanics to implement them the next day. Bob Bush was, ing details for a machine that used a hot acetylene flame
in short, a born tinkerer, and no machine was safe around him. to play on the surface of the cheese as it was sliced.
O ne veteran observer of the time called it "a real Rube
Goldberg contrap tion, " but it worked. Crude as it was,
He would "bastardize the equipment," as one early partner called it, to
the slice line represented a major breakthrough for
make machines run faster or perform additional tasks. Such thinking soon
Schreiber and its customers.
became an axiom of Schreiber's business.

Schreiber's initiative and hard work made it the first


company to use vacuum packaging. Because of inade-
quate packaging materials and machin ery available

-21-
before the mid-1950s, Bush wouldn't stay
cheese would stay satisfied. He and June 28.. 1955 R. G. BUSH ETAL
DIYICI nlA CUTTI~ PUSTIC f'OOO l'RUlUC1'S Jr."TO
2,711,585
.f.llCUATE !KAP£S Of' sum.AR SIU: #JC) WEICHT
l"lled ,111" 28, ~ 2 5"•t...sii ... t l
mold-free for at most his team applied
60 days, and more this technology to
often half that time. a slightly faster
To uphold its promise machine in the
that any customer early 1960s, and
could return any prod- proceeded during
uct if it didn't measure the next several
up to qualiry standards, years to modify the
Schreiber was forced machinery to use
to buy back consider- printed film, to
able amounts of automatically
moldy cheese. weigh product and
Bob Bush led the company's efforts in techno-
logical innovation, helping realize engineering
apply labels, and to .. ROBERT G . BUSH
GIL BERT H. HANNON
JNYENTOllS
But Bob Bush had reach a speed of
breakthroughs that would support the com-
pany's early success. smartly kept close rela- over 100 packages
tionships with manu- a mmute, more
Bob Bush earned a number of patents in his efforts
facturers of packaging materials, who in turn kept him than triple the
to improve the technology of cheese production.
informed of the most recent developments. Sometime original speed. Unlike competitors, Schreiber was able to build its
in the late 1950s, a supplier came to Bush with a saran- own machinery after developing its own ideas.

coated Mylar film that was durable and extremely But for everything
resistant to oxygen transfer. Bush quickly saw its possi- that seemed good about the company in its formative
bilities as an all-purpose wrap. He and his mechanics years , there was no room for complacency. "It seemed
modified a used cracker-wrapping machine so it could like we were living almost from week to week, " recalled
use the new film to package cheese. They added a gas- Bob Bush when describing the challenges of those early
flushing device to the machine to remove the air from years . "There was no certainry on a Monday that the
each package. T he "new" machine created a product place would be there on Friday."
with a longer shelflife than any on the market, allowing
Schreiber's customers to offer a product that competed
with Kraft's.

- 22 -
Tests of Will
Bob Bush and Early Innovation

L
argely due to Schreiber's growing reputation
In interviews with key figures at Schreiber- regardless of decade- one
for quality, honesty and integrity, the company
often hears some version of "Make today better than yesterday and tomorrow
enjoyed steady, if incremental, growth.
better than today." Jack Meng coined that specific phrase during his
Nonetheless, in the early 1960s, Schreiber remained
Schreiber tenure, yetthe essence of these words has served as a Schreiber
a small company.
call to action from the beginning. In the early years in particular, fulfilling that
mandate meant technological innovation. While Mer Bush certainly under-
On Oct. 1, 1962, in perhaps the most momentous
stood the need to constantly innovate, it was his son Bob who embodied it.
event in Schreiber's history, Barney Schreiber agreed to
sell the company to 13 of its employees. The co mpany A later executive said, "Bob Bush was an 'imagineer'-an engineer with an

had been operating for 17 years. With production vol- imagination. We could make our product less expensively because of things

ume increasing steadily, each year had shown a profit. he made and processes he created." Eventually, Bob Bush held 17 patents in

By adhering to Mer Bush's original prescription of his name. Lacking such an imagineer, many competitors didn't survive .
reliability, quali ty, full weight and cleanliness, Schreiber
had built a good reputatio n in the industry. T hro ugh
an aggressive sales approach, it had wooed customers

7
away from some of its older, established competitors.

The key figures during those 17 years-Mer Bush


and his sons, Nusbaum, Zehren and others-had been
responsible for that growth, and yet they were still
salaried employees. Altho ugh they had years of "sweat
equity" in the company, Barney Schreiber technically
could have replaced chem all. In short, they wanted a
stake in the business, and Mer Bush went to Barney
Schreiber to cell him so.

Barney Schreiber's decision to sell the company was


likely prompted by the sam e instincts chat had driven
him throughout his business life: a preference for cash A young Bob Bush was rarely seen without his hands on some sort of con-
traption. Here, Bush, on the far right, transports a Doughboy sealer machine.

-23 -
over bricks and mortar. As majority stockholder,
Schreiber would still enjoy a steady cash flow and con- Integrity Pays
siderable influence and control. But for the original 13
Under the agreement with Barney Schreiber, the new corporation had to obtain
stockholders, the promise and challenge of ownership
at least $5 mil lion in ban k credit within 15 days of its organization in order to
were far more daunting. What the agreement signified
carry its cheese inventory; otherwise, the sale would be voided . Mer Bush
was that if these 13 people co uld come up with the
ap proached First National of Chicago and, with unchara cteristic bluntness,
money to purchase 49 percent of the company, they
told them that if they weren't prepared to trust the new company to stand on
and other fu ture shareholders would eventually own the
its own feet, he would go elsewhere for the money. ''I'm glad they didn't say
whole enterprise. The arrangement was the easy part;
coming up with the money would be no walk in the park. elsewhere ," Bush recalled later, "because I didn't know where to go."

1VG1,,SS~ ""~ f!ri: /7;> lttook the bank only


The original 13 were not wealthy men. Coming up
n us MUST Bl!~~Q§, ~~I! REGISTER 01' ~EEDS
with just under a half million dollars in cash would two days to decide
Wnitcll ~tatts· of ~mcrica
basically commit them to this business for their lifetimes. that Bush and com-
Most of the original stockholders visited Jake Rose at pany were a good
Ar t i c le• ot Incor po r• t l o n
Green Bay's Kellogg Bank, who knew the company and or risk for the full
many of the applicants personally. "I told [Jake] that L . D. SCHRRIBER CHC:!SB CO .• UC.
amount, but the bank
the equity in our house and my wife's fur coat was about also required per-
I• T.,_, P"--t, I -~ .,._._ .., •1 4-J-' 4'1J •1
the extent of it," N usbaum recalled. "He suggested that ..,.,""*"-. •"'• -
2nd
.,.,.._ .... C..W. ..
.., ___ 2_
d, •

Ho ve.b e':____ __ .t-D. '~-


sonal signature
14
I borrow $50,000. I didn't know that m uch money
guarantees from
existed in one spot at that time."
Bush and Deutsch.
" I was taking a real
Although these loans represented considerable personal The original L.D . Schreiber Cheese Co . articles of
incorporation, Nov. 2, 1962 chance, " Bush said.
risk, "The 13" were a determined and committed lot.
"In those days,
They were able to come up with $482,500- enough
under Wisconsin law, I would have been liable for everything I owned, includ-
to purchase 49 percent of the shares. T he firs t genera-
tion of Schreiber owner/operators was in place. From ing my house and personal possessions." Shortly thereafter, the new com-

that moment on, they were on their own and more pany, drawing on its bank cred it, pa id Barney Schreiber $5.3 million to cover

determined than ever to make the L.D. Schreiber the value of the cheese inventory. " I can vividly remember signing that check, "

Cheese Company work. Deutsch recalled later. "My hand was shaking ."

-24-
The fact that ownership was more about responsibility
than economic opportunity became quickly obvious.
In 1965, the company's existence was seriously threat-
ened when, in accord with Schreiber's guarantee,
Safeway returned about 4 million pounds of bulk cheese
believed to have been contaminated with staphylo-
coccus enterotoxin.

In 1950, when Schreiber commenced its Carthage


operation, the company agreed to accept all the cheese
manufactured by Standard Milk, a local producer.
The first stockholders of the L.D . Schreiber Cheese Company
Schreiber resold varying but often substantial amounts
had their eyes on the future when they gambled on the company's
of Standard's cheese in bulk form to Safeway, which continuing success. Taking such a bold step was not without
its risks.
continued in 1965 to be Sch reiber's biggest customer.
In essence, Schreiber acted as a middleman between
Standard Milk and Safeway. The cheese was entered in do with the inventory of Standard Milk cheese at
Schreiber's inventory for varying periods but not physi- Carthage. They think under their contract they have
cally handled by Schreiber in any way. That nominal the right to turn it back to us and they are so doing."
ownership, along with Schreiber's unconditional guar- To make matters worse, while most of the suspect
antee of quality, eventually combined to strike an cheese had come from the Safeway inventory, Schreiber
almost fatal blow to the company. also had a substantial amount of this same product in
its own warehouse, which increased the total to more
The first hint of serious trouble came on Sept. 17, than 4 million pounds.
1965. As Mer Bush recalled years later, "I got a tele-
phone call from ... Safeway saying ... that a person was From a preliminary investigation, Schreiber had tenta-
dangerously ill from cheese they had packaged, but tively concluded that only a small portion of the huge
which we had sold them and which had been made in inventory was contaminated, but that brought little
[Standard's] cheese factory. " In the following days, relief By then, a court order prevented the sale of any
more cases were reported. In a Dec. 3, 1965, letter to cheese produced by Standard Milk " ... unless and until
Barney Schreiber, Bush stated, "The top management such cheese is tested to assure it does not contain enrero-
at Safeway have [sic] decided they want nothing to toxin produced by coagulase positive staphylococcus."

- 25 -
The court was basically demanding the impossible original testing methodologies. Ten years later, Mer
because no test for the toxin existed. With that much Bush described dinner after the meeting: "You never
cheese tied up and potentially unsellable, the company saw four more defeated, dejected men in your life.
faced the very real Because if we listened to what we heard in that meeting,
prospect of bank- our company was in fact bankrupt." Suddenly Bob Bush
ruptcy. Another pitched a fit. "He threw his napkin down and said, Tm
company would not going back to Green Bay!' Then he said to Zehren,
have handled this 'You and I are going back there tomorrow. There was
predicament differ- one guy that smiled at that meeting. That was the bac-
ently. The common teriologist. ' " If there was to be a solution, it would
approach would come from conversations among scientists and techni-
have been to hire a cians, free from the noise of lawyers and bureaucrats.
squadron of lawyers
Th e Safeway issue was a blow not only to Schreiber's and blame Standard Bob Bush and Zehren returned to the FDA the next
Carthage, Mo., plant, where the product was inven-
Milk, or try other day and talked to the chief microbiologist, who saw in
to ried, but also to the company overal l.
legal means to these two men a common scientific background and
void the Safeway contract. Most within the industry a determination to solve the problem in a completely
expected Schreiber-still relatively small and finan- aboveboard manner. Trusting Schreiber's intentions,
cially vulnerable-to just fold its tent. None of those the FDA biologist named several scientists at the
options ever saw the light of day. The first two would Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta who might
have represented an unspeakable ethical compromise, have advice on creating a reliable test. In Atlanta, with
and closing Schreiber's doors would have amounted to Zehren at the table for Schreiber, it was again one
the betrayal of mutual trust and commitment estab- scientist talking to another-a rare occasion in the
lished among the original owners. food industry at the time. Zehren got the guidance he
needed. After several more weeks of research and con-
But survival was going to take a lot of hard work and sultation by Bob Bush and Zehren, the FDA approved
ingenuity. In search of a legally acceptable way to Schreiber's plan.
proceed, the company's leaders-Mer and Bob Bush,
Nusbaum and Zehren-rushed to Washington, D.C. The tenacity of Bob Bush and Zehren had gotten them
The first meeting with Food and Drug Administration over the first hurdles, bur the ordeal had just begun:
officials proved disastrous, as they rejected Schreiber's The company knew the test they had developed was

- 26 -
scientifically sound, but they still had no ass urance that
it was practicable when applied to 4 million pounds of
cheese. "At the moment," wrote Mer Bush, "my own
appraisal of our chances of proving that much of this
inventory is okay are just barely 50-50."

Zehren's wife, Virginia, herself a Ph.D. and veteran


of the Kraft laboratory, played a major role during the
months of testing. It was she who directed the painstak-
ing laboratory work, which was conducted six days a
week in two, eight-hour shifts from January through
October 1966, when the last vats were released from
the government restraining order.

As it turned out, the testing proved that very little of


the 4 million pounds of cheese was actually contami-
nated. The Bush boys went to work. Through a fortu-
itous connection with a West Coast broker, Dick Bush Schreiber has established good relationships with government
was able to sell all but 11 4, 000 pounds of the inventory. agencies overseeing the dairy industry.
Despite the expense of testing, the company actually
made a profit, because the good cheese had aged and the night the injunction was lifted, L.D. Schreiber Cheese
become more valuable. Company celebrated at Green Bay's Beaumont Hotel.

That fact made it no less an ordeal for the company. In early 1968, Schreiber faced another potential catastro-
It was not until September 1967 that the last of this phe. The U.S. government discovered brown lumps in
cheese was sold or used. The injunction against the one of Schreiber's shipments and, as a result, rejected
company was finally dissolved on Oct. 11 , 1967, two 165 carloads worth roughly $2.4 million. Two years
years and 23 days after the first reported illness. "The earlier, in May 1966, Schreiber had begun cooperative
period between January 5 and October 10 was the most experiments with Monsanto on several new phosphate
difficult in our corporate history," stated that year's cheese emulsifiers (which are blended into the cheese to
Annual Report. "That we survived is noteworthy. " On prevent fat separation during the heating and sterilizing

- 27 -
Winning Respect and Credibility

While this might be difficult to believe, before Schreiber's


efforts in the Safeway issue, the standard testing procedure
for a food product suspected of such infections was to

feed it to a cat. Schreiber set a new standard forthe entire

industry. Through an article on the testing procedures and


results published in The Journal of Dairy Science, the
Zehrens received widespread commendation throughout
the industry, which in turn distinguished Schreiber from
its competitors.

While Schreiber's focus was undoubtedly on saving itself, the


company also knew that incidents such as this could befall
any cheese company. With Schreiber's better understanding
of the problem, the entire industry benefited. "When it was
over,'' said Zehren, "the whole industry breathed a sigh of
relief." The National Cheese Institute and some competitors
asked Schreiber to maintain its laboratory after the issue
had been resolved, to run sample testing- at a charge, of
course- for Borden and even Kraft. Through its approach to

this nearly fatal challenge, Schreiber had gained extraordi-


nary respect and credibility.

Vince Zehren did for Schreiber's laboratory procedures and


quality control what Bob Bush did for Schreiber's engineering.
The innovative tests developed by Zehren and his wife Virginia
set the standard for the entire process cheese industry.

-28-
stages). Over the years, Monsanto had proved to be a no commercial filter that would do the job. In remark-
responsible supplier, and, consequently, Schreiber took ably short time, Bob Bush and his team of Schreiber
no special qualiry precautions, since none was recom- mechanics devised a filter that worked. Soon thereafter,
mended by Monsanto. Schreiber reported to Monsanto, Mer Bush was able to report, "In the last two days we
however, that the new emulsifier tended to cake, which have used over 50,000 pounds of the Monsanto cheese
resulted in brown lumps on the loaf cheese coming out in our production with good success." Eventually,
of the Carthage plant. Monsanto repeatedly assured the company devised new products from the reworked
Schreiber that it would take care of the problem. cheese and sold it all at a profit.

It didn't. When the U.S. government rejected the As in the contaminated cheese case that had shaken
$2.4 million worth of Schreiber's cheese, Monsanto Schreiber severely during the preceding two years, the
summoned its lawyers and experts and adamantly denied value of the cheese rejected by the government was
responsibiliry. "That got Mr. Bush mad," Zehren said. greater than the company's net worth. Once again,
"We sort of put on the boxing gloves after that. At Schreiber was threatened with bankruptcy. It took a
Schreiber we like to get along with other people, but year and a half of tenacity and hard work to avert that
when we think the other people aren't right, we adopt threat, and it wasn't until June 197 4-more than six
a very aggressive attitude. " Schreiber appealed directly years later-that a settlement was reached in Schreiber's
to the president of Monsanto for fair treatment. "He lawsuit against Monsanto.
politely told us to sue if we felt it was necessary,"
Bob Bush recalled. "You can imagine our outrage." Dire circumstances like the staph infection and the
brown lumps fueled some of Schreiber's innovations,
Schreiber indeed filed a suit against Monsanto. but certainly not all of them. The mid-1960s, for
Meanwhile, the company had to solve the equally example, saw the company respond to Kraft's intro-
serious problem of what to do with the 5.5 million duction of individually wrapped slices of process
pounds of cheese returned by the government. Unlike cheese by creati ng an innovative "hot pack" process.
the Safeway issue, the cheese wasn't contaminated, The first in the industry, it provided customers with
but with the brown spots and lumps, it clearly wasn't yet another product that could easily compete with
marketable. The only realistic possibility was to com- the industry giant.
bine it in some proportion into new products, but
first it would have to be filtered to remove the lumps. When Kraft and Clearfield came out with individually
A search of the market soon disclosed that there was wrapped slices of process cheese, Safeway asked

- 29 -
Schreiber for an equivalent product. Both Kraft and
April 18, 1961 0 . O. NUSBAUM 2,980,542
CHEESE TREATMENT
Clearfield closely guarded their patented manufacturing
Filed Aug. 3 , 1951 processes, which meant that Schreiber would have to
invent both a process and the machinery to support it.

Production technology is measured by two success


factors: the speed at which a new product can get to
market and the cost of manufacture. Obviously, they
must go hand in hand. It makes no sense to be a "quick
zz second"-essential to the success of a private-label
18 70 Z 3 tf '12 company-if the price isn't competitive with the
branded version. With those factors in mind, Bob Bush
'////' % -+ devised a "hot pack" process, in which the still-warm
'//,/, %
cheese was extruded into a plastic tube, which was flat-
tened, sealed and cooled. Bush would run the first
machine during the day, then implement refinements
at night, until both the extrusion process and the speed
of the machine enabled Schreiber to quickly enter
commercial production.

That Schreiber had to avoid any suggestion of duplicat-


ing Clearfield's patent turned out to be another advan-
tage. Kraft and Clearfield, running a "cold packaging"
process, were limited in the blends they could package.
Wi th the hot pack process, as Bob Bush would later say,
"We could then package anything you could pour,"
To compete with Kraft's patented individually wrapped slice technology, which provided Schreiber with new opportunities for
Schreiber had to create an entirely new machine to produce similar results.
Bob Bush and Dave Nusbaum tinkered tirelessly to find an answer. product development.

-30 -
Not all innovatio n was limited to O perations. During
the 1960s, the process cheese industry was slow to An Industry Pioneer in Computer
adopt emerging comp uter technology, but Schreiber Technology
wasn't about to turn its back on the competitive advan- M.l.T.-educated Bob Deutsch is described by many as
tages that computerization- even in its infancy- "brilliant" and "eccentric," and his fervor for early computeri-
mighr offer. Bob Deutsch led the effort. His first obstacle zation reflected both of these qua lities. He was something of
was h is father-in-law, Barney Schreiber, who, according
an early "computer nut," and broughtto Schreiber's computer
to D ick Bush, maintained that it didn't require a com-
technology what Bob Bush brought to the production line. He
puter "to figure our that if you bough t cheese for th ree
taught himself to program-not an easy task in those days-
dollars and sold it for four dollars, you'd m ake a dollar. "
and would spend weekends in his office creating programs for
Nonetheless, Deutsch prevailed, buying Schreiber's
forecasting and cost analysis. Deutsch developed Schreiber's
first computer-an IBM 1440- in 1964, one of the
fi rst computerized order-management system , which proved to
first in the industry.
be sufficiently adaptable to last many years. Largely because

As the preceding accounts ill ustrate, the company's of Deutsch's interest, Schreiber's early entry into computeriza-

growing reputation as the fastest "quick second" in the tion saved the company considerable man-hours performing

private-label business was entirely due to its readiness to tasks that competitors would continue to handle manually for

change, to innovate and to never give up. As one visit- years to come .
ing engineer told Deutsch in the late 1960s, "I know
your people are successful, and aggressive, and growing Bob Deutsch's degree
because you operate a plant like you do. The people from the Massachusetts
Institute ofTechnology
that wait for success to make their plant run like this came in handy during the
one never live to see the day-it never comes." years of early growth .

Schreiber's devotion to technological innovation


brought another unanticipated return, this time in hard
cash. Foreign firms became interested in Schreiber's
used equipment, prompting the company to form
Green Bay Machinery in 1967. Over the years, GBM
became a dependable profit center.

- 31-
As the 1960s drew to a close, the company's record of
success, even in the most daunting circumstances, had
given Schreiber increased self-confidence. As a result,
latrodutlllf 71,. N1w
GBM M.JOllS EXTRUDER the original stockholders took an important step to
~300to5DO . . . . . . . . . . . .,
~., ........ ,.....a.a. share the opportunities and responsibilities of ownership.
A..,_....,,. lletfil,,_.,1
"*",,,.,..,. ....,.,....
l. Mui. . leficudeintt.'**'-DldllllM In a Jan. 29, 1968, letter to Barney Schreiber, Mer Bush
1Millttriitnt1
2.UMot-.1olD0\1tcydeclchMM
intor.UliOll1
3.Abiliry 10 fllfl lll,tl .oistiMt lonM11, wrote, "Ten days ago we offered our stock to a some-
llOWISJiithtseo\
4. A11101111tictlict:S1Ktinrg
6. ll'IOl'ovtel~htco1mol
8. Slftit1rYst11b1l1n1lfflco11111uc1iolll
what extended list of employees, all key people. The
l . Awellpro\Otn1tlilbltproduc1ioli1Mdli11.
offering was well oversubscribed, and Dave Nusbaum,
Bob D eutsch and myself immediately withdrew so that
the newer people or smaller stockholders could buy a
reasonable amount."

At Schreiber, ownership went beyond an opportunity


L 0. Sdwtiblr C...tt to~ Inc. b !be
$1COllll l•1tll ..iul«1111• 8' prouu
chMM in tht Uliltd Sllln. Wt procillu to create a nest egg. It represented in many ways the
·-__
ovtrl00,00011111ot111ou u chttM

S,~,... Green Bay Machinery


1MUtly. Thi.1111oduc1.ill bot11alictllld

___ =-=--
...._
,;;;/II I~ ~~-''-'~""""'~· ""·
llo!lilldlo1flOf•,il . . ln01119Ddt11
IKIOrit1ontqtlipt1tllldni9'1tdby
..... ... values and practices for which the company had always

--
Sclwtibtt. GfH1181yMldlinery, 1
......
(
llbtl&•yofSdweibtt.l1cltdict1td11


stlill( lhitlllli..-Sdveibtr~
Mlttcblolorl'lll'Ofldwidt. stood: hard work, sacrifice, collective thinking over
Ow...,M11t is -linothett11ot
. .......... ""-... '"
··-
111111-.-
~dtl011t1MiMdt!lr011fift
contiflt .. 1. Kyo11 1111od.iagt.rproct1Mll u~
personal dominance, and placing the well-being of the
,,.-.:z
•. -.2..... ,
~,iodwctitn. klcittoC8M. W1 h t • l • <tlJ.1'101
ofllrfnuhL ~ lllll• JoW.I,.

company ahead of personal gain. Also, like many other


decisions over the years, broader ownership would
represent a "win-win" for all: If L.D. Schreiber Cheese
Company prospered, so would its many new owners.

As he reflected on that era, Bob Bush noted, "I think


it was 1970 or 1975 ... before I went to sleep at night
knowing we'd be there the next morning. By then we
had reached enough mass so that .. . it was highly
unlikely that anything would come along and knock
us out of the saddle. We had survived some big blows
Green Bay Machinery was a natural outgrowth of Schreiber's by that point. "
increasing success in mechanical engineering. At the time,
this subsidiary supplied the company with all of its own custom-
made machines.

- 32-
The Challenge of Growth

n the late 1960s, Schreiber began what would

I be a long and successful partnership with the fast-


food industry. As one former executive noted,
"Schreiber was the right company, at the right time
and place for the fast-food business."

In Schreiber's 197 1 Annual Report, Bob Deutsch,


who was named President in 1969, noted, "The most
important single achievement in our operations this
year was our ability to handle a 25 percent higher
volume with no apparent difficulty. " Schreiber felt
prepared to go toe-to-toe with its most aggressive
Extending ownership of the company was an important step for Schreiber
competitors. partners. It underscored the benefit of placing the needs of the company above
one's own professional interests.

Until the early 1970s, Schreiber's volume for


McDonald's remained relatively small, as the ham-
burger giant tested Schreiber against the "big boys" - By 1975, sales to fast-food chains would account for
Kraft, Pauly and Borden. But despite the seemingly roughly half of the company's business, and within a
endless distractions of the previous few years, Schreiber year Schreiber was selling to seven of the top 10 chains.
had been, as usual, sharpening the saw. Sales numbers
from that period clearly indicated the company was To accommodate the need for expanded capacity,
gradually convincing McDonald's that it was a worthy Schreiber opened a new plant in Logan, Utah, in 1972,
partner. In 1970, McDonald's wasn't even among and another in Monett, Mo., in 1976. Between 1970
Schreiber's top 20 customers. The following year, it and 1979, pounds produced increased 246 percent, and
ranked seventh, and the year after that, fo urth. In 197 4, sales dollars soared 614 percent. The form ula value of
McDonald's became Schreiber's number one customer a share of stock, adjusted for a 20-for- l split in 1976,
and would remain at the top spot for many years. rose from $11.78 to $85 .84. The number of employees
tripled to 2, 110.

-33-
TRY 'EM TODAY
\o~e
cheeseb~rgers.
Motn .. . Pop ... and kiddies toO . . . you'll
McDonald's rich, delicioUS Th•Y re
mad• wilh rich, crear<W cheese, iuicY 100'P>. pur•
bee! hamburger on a watlll tastY bun ... with all
the trillllllinll'• and still only 191· Pack the l<!ddies
in th• car and eotn• as you are to McDonald s.

apleasure every tamilY can afford!


you'\\ get rich, de\iClOUS Cheeseburgers, onlY 19f
.. . 100'7• pure bee! l!atnburgers, only 15i : .. rich,
triple thicl< Mill< Shal<e5, onlY 20i · · · crlSP• deli-
cious French Fries, onlY 101 . You'\\ get f.,t, .c heer-
lul cour1e0u• ser•ice ... p\en\Y ol {ree par\<lilS ;,.;.i
c\\EESE8U!\GlR ... Sll~l\E . . . no 'car hopS . . . no \ippin& ... plus lh• ta>tiest I
ff\EllCll f!\\tS ... i.1coOM~lO'S
"~ll ~t.1t!\IC~M". ~ 11\E~l fO!\ in town~
Olll1 49< ., . f0!\ ~ f~t.lll1 Of

tic~o\\a\«s
S Olll1 \2.4S.

the drive-in with the arches !.lle;c•- . ~


McDonald's may not have created the
cheeseburger, but it certainly capitalized on
its popularity early on in the emergence of the
fast-food industry. In the 1970s, as McDonald's
looked to Schreiber for its cheese, both
compani s ros ered.
With this growth, Schreiber knew that it had to be not
only bigger but also better. Remember: Continuous Marching to the Beat of the Customer's Drum
improvement was a way of life from the beginning, What accounts for Schreiber's phenomenal succe ss in the fast-food industry? In many
particularly as it related to manufacturing technology, ways, Schreiber had an ironic advantage over its more well-known competitors. In the
and the 1970s were no exception. With the new branded -c heese business, one marches to one's own drummer, while the private-label
Monett plant, for example, Schreiber brought on line industry knows it must march to the customer's drum beat. Schreiber had long ago
new processing technology that allowed for continuous proved it knew what that meant: providing quality products, keeping one's promises, and
vs. batch cooking. This improved throughput, elimi- creating relationships built on honesty and trust. Those traits exactly matched the fast-
nated moisture control and vas tly reduced variation in food industry's expectation s, and in Schreiber they had found a reliable partner.
the fini shed product.
An apt example of
"What we introduced in Monett was additional science," this increasingly vital
a senior leader recalled. "It really was the beginning of partnership was

Schreiber's inven-

tion of the E-Z Pick™

package for sliced

cheese . The industry

standard for restau -

rant chains had been

a rectangular pack-

age with straight,

uniform edges. By Schreiber's E-Z Pick slice, seen here with 1976 "Alice
in Dairyland" Janice Findlay, became the company's
happenstance, Bob
competitive edge in the growing fast-food industry.
Bush noti ce d a

short-order cook peeling these individual slices and splaying the edges so they were

ea sier to pick up . Jack Meng, then manager of the Green Bay plant, discovered that by

offsetting the rollers on the casting line, he could slightly skew the slices. Meng was

granted a patent on the process, and sales of the E-Z Pick package soared.
Clearing the road of sheep was hardly a sight Schreiber's founders had in mind
when starting the company. But with rapid domestic expansion, occurrences
like this one atthe Logan, Utah, plant became part of everyday business .

-36-
process excellence in casting. The benefits were obvious,
and we moved quickly to bring MGB, Carthage and
Logan up to snuff. It was a quantum leap. W ithout the
processing technology we introduced at Monett, we
could not have made the formulation improvements
we've been able to make over the years since then. We're
just now doing this with natural cheese."

Meanwhile, in Green Bay, offi ces were bursting at the


seams. Schreiber's headquarters personnel were dis-
persed in half a dozen G reen Bay locations-a situation
that was becoming increasingly inefficient and costly.
Being in different places was also undermining the
team spirit that was possible when everyone was under
the sam e roof In response, the company consolidated
the Home O ffice in 1977, bringing the corporate
administrative staff back together under one roof in
what was then the new First W isconsin Bank building
on Pine Street in downtown Green Bay.

Reassembling the Green Bay troops in one location


" Our People Do Big Things" was Schreiber's motto as the
clearly had benefits, but it was not a panacea. One company went through a pe riod of great growth. These partners
increasingly obvious and troublesome issue was insular show just how big things could get atthe 1978 International
Cheese and Deli Seminar.
thinking. As one executive described it, "The plant
managers ran each plant like a little kingdom . Sales and
O perations-even at the senior leadership level-didn't "I went to my dad and said, 'We have to do something
talk. When they did, it was oftentimes not productive." about this,"' Bob Bush recalled years later, and they did.
W ith so many units guarding their piece of the business, W ith the help of an independent, external consultant,
productive comm unication was severely hampered. they began a deliberate re-examination of communica-

-37 -
Mutual respect. Mutual benefit." Larry Ferguson, who
was named President and Chief Executive Officer in
1999, homed in on the idea and said, "Yes. We are nice
to each other. We want people to get along and be
friendly. But what we're really talking about from a busi-
ness perspective is the ability to raise and resolve issues
rapidly. That's how we get results."

The interpersonal communication-related efforts of


the 1970s-which Bob Bush recalled as some of
Schreiber's first formal steps into developing people-
extended throughout the ranks. Senior leadership
brought in an outside advisor to provide objective
input on ways they could better communicate and
resolve issues. Those efforts-and the emerging
The creation of Schreiber Transit in 1981 was just another manifestation of
great success as the company answered the need for better delivery and parallel growth in professionalism in other business
greater reach . practices related to Finance, Human Resources,
Information
tion styles and behaviors among the senior leadership Services and
ranks. They broke down barriers, built trust and put the Marketing-were
focus back on results. "That work took an organization possible because
that was becoming more and more dysfunctional and of increasing busi-
taught it to work together as a team. I believe it had a ness and the result-
lasting impact, not just on that group, but on Schreiber ing profits. They
as a whole yet today." were also required
if Schreiber was
The value of that lesson-if not the lesson itself to meet the SCHREIBER FOODS, INC.
entirely- has endured. Jack Meng, who would ulti- challenges of a The 1980 change of the company's name to
mately become Chairman of the Board, captured the rapidly expanding Schreiber Foods signified the broadening of
the company's horizons.
essence of it in an often-recited litany: "Mutual trust. orga01zauon.

- 38-
Taking Schreiber to the Next Level

A
s the L.D. Schreiber Cheese Company
entered the 1980s, it was a considerably
larger company than it had been a decade
earlier. Increased volume meant more plants, more
people and a wider range of products. To reflect this
increased variety of offerings, in 1980 the company
changed its name to Schreiber Foods.

With this rapid growth came a new set of challenges.


Given the relative prosperity of the 1970s, there may
have been some impulse to simply ride the fast-food
horse as far as it would travel. Business, after all, could The look of the Home Office building has changed several times
harc!Jy have been better, and production for McDonald's since Schreiber moved in late in the 1970s. Those changes have
included a new facade, different names and logos for the
et al. seemed to cure any ills. For example, in 1980, landlord, and a new Schreiber logo.
Schreiber lost two key customers (Safeway and Topco) ,
but by 1982, the company had made up for the lost
volume with new business from the fast-food industry. Bob Bush, who had become President in 1978, realized
So, some might have thought, don't change the oats that taking Schreiber to the next level would require
on a winning horse. leadership outside his expertise. "I needed to step aside,"
Bush remarked. "The technical side was well developed,
The people who had risen to key leadership positions and the company needed a business leader. I was more
in the mid-1970s and early 1980s saw differently. interested in seeing the company well-run than in
They shared the instincts and principles of Schreiber's running it myself " Largely due to Bush's careful atten-
founders, who adamantly opposed the "If it ain't broke, tion to hiring and development, a new generation of
don't fix it" mentality. Anything-including the organ- leaders was ready to take over.
ization itself-could and should be continuously
improved. What's more, the world was changing faster When Jack Meng succeeded Bob Bush in 1985, it rep-
than ever, and falling behind would put any company- resented more than a changing of the guard. Meng had
including Schreiber-at risk. been with Schreiber for 17 years and clearly understood

- 39 -
Developing Schreiber People Moreover, such a process respects the individual and attracts the kind of

person who wants the expanded tool kitthat comes from a wide variety of
Schreiber has always taken an innovative approach to developing its people .
work experiences. "I was an engineer, but I was never slotted as an engineer,"
Common practice in the industry was to hire specialists and keep them in their
said another Schreiber leader. "There was never a time when something that
area of specialization-accountants stayed in Finance, marketers in
I really wanted to do was denied me. Instead, the company is always pushing
Marketing. Schreiber believed in a far more comprehensive approach. As Bob
people to have other experiences, gain other skills. If you show an interest,
Bush observed, "Smart people grow and do amazing things if you push them
the senior leadership will give you the chance, because they see you gaining
into the water."
skills, building an arsenal."

Being "pushed into the water" is an apt phrase, because for many individuals

at Schreiber, their rise through the organization has been one long stretch U.S . Patent Sept. 6, 1977 4,046,923

assignment. Among Tom Badciong's early assignments were engineering,


packaging, the techni-
cal group, operations

research, Green Bay


Machinery, and pro- 28
duction scheduling . *fl2X't Jf.2 f!J R4 KPX'6' ;f7RB
And this was a man

who came to Schreiber

with a human
resources background.
Tom Badciong, left, and Jack Meng are two of Jack Meng, whose
Schreiber's leaders who benefited from a variety
of assignments during their tenure atthe company. education, including

an M.B.A.. was in
finance, started as a night-shift supervisor in a plant and worked in a half-
dozen different functions within the company on the way to the presidency in

1985. "Rotation gives the individual a bigger tool kit, experience adapting to
new situations," remarked one executive.
Future CEO Jack Meng's ideas were not confined to the
boardroom, as illustrated in this 1977 patent.

- 40 -
the culture, but he Meng and his leadership team saw a world of opportu-
was the first person nity based in large measure on quality management
outside the found- principles espoused by Philip Crosby and others. Most
ing families to hold important among those principles was an emphasis on
the top job (Mer customer requirements. Prevention, zero defects and
and Bob Bush were the elimination of waste were other key concepts of
father and son; Crosby's model. Meng immediately set out on a mission
Bob D eutsch was to transform the organization along those lines. To do
Barney Schreiber's otherwise, he believed, would jeopardize the future of
son-in-law). the company.
After almost four decades of strong leadership, the
Though Meng
first generation of Schreiber leaders (including Dave
Nusbaum, left, and Mer Bush) had selected and had worked in "Quality" had long been a cornerstone of Schreiber's
trained their successors to build on the strong foun- Schreiber's plants culture, but historically the term was used only in the
dation they had established .
and had served as context of product quality. One executive provided the
a plant manager, following analogy:
his background and focus , unlike earlier leaders, was "We had always
outside of Operations. Meng was, first and foremost, a thought we were Partners in profit
Schreiber Foods ,__.,,,..,..,.. _
businessman, and he quickly began driving change that serving the customer, rewards workers
who value quality
would further define the character of Schreiber Foods. but we really weren't.
Customers don't
From the beginning, technology-in addition, of always want a Rolex;
course, to the very nature of the people-had been they may want
Schreiber's key differe ntiator. "I was always looking at a simple, cheap
problems and trying to solve them with technology," watch to wear while
Bob Bush recalled. "I was so deeply involved in day-to- they work in the
day things that I wasn't seeing the real needs. Jack came yard. We kept show-
from a completely different perspective. He introduced ing them Rolexes
a new era of emphasis on the customer. He was seeing because we weren't
Jack Meng's focus on the needs of the customer
the big picture, the issues, the future of the company, listening to them. ushered in Schreiber's modern age. His approach
in ways I never could." Quality, as we made headlines in Green Bay and beyond .

-41-
Meeting Customer Requirements

Fulfilling cu stomer requirements begins with careful attention to the voice of


the customer. The customer, naturally, employs his own language to express

needs and sometimes leaps to solutions. Schreiber learned that it must listen

to those need s and "tran slate " them into actionable requirements. These
discipl ined acts of listening and translation ensure that Schreiber truly under-
stand s the customer and provides the best solutions.

Another important point is that requ irements can be operationally defined and
me as ure d. Understa nding requ irem ents enables Schre iberto align its internal
The purch ase of We stla nd Foo ds in 1985 was an exam ple of
processes with customers' requirements. Once the processes are defined,
Schreiber's desire to branch out into oth er foo d service products
whi le keep ing its prim ary focus on che ese . Westlan d was known everyone at Schreiber can act on the m and mea sure them t he same way in
for its precooke d bac on.
every plant in every part
ofth e world . Lin king
redefined it, means providing the customer what the customer requi rements
customer wants."
directly to Schreiber

processes heighte ns
T he Rolex analogy, however, should by no means indi-
the comp any's ability
cate a downgradi ng of the quali ty of the product. It
to satisfy the customer.
simply meant that what Sch reiber thought the customer
If the processes are
wanted was not important. W h en Schreiber learned to
aligned and in control,
listen to its customers, truly understand their needs,
Schreiber sh ould be
and translate those needs into actionable requirements,
growth accelerated . meeting the customer's

requirements every time.

"We said where we h ad to start was in the extern al


world-with th e consumer," M eng recalled years Schreiber's products are created in direct
response to the customers' requ irements.
later. "Th in k about thi s: Fifty-five percent of the work
fo rce today is women with a career. They're time-
sh ort. How is someone like Wal-Mart or M cDonald's

-42 -
responding to that? What is your competition doing?
You have to think about all that, and then you pick
out your strategies. You don't pick out a strategy
and force it on the market. That's the old produc-
tion mentality. "

This direction would require a new organizational struc-


ture that would open up the internal and external lines of
communication. In the mid-1980s, the company formed
distinct divisions for Retail and Foodservice, each with
dedicated Sales and Marketing functions. T his reorgani-
zation by customer type would ultimately focus all of
Schreiber's business functions on customer requirements.

Schreiber's leadership knew that to make this new


structure work, it must be seen not simply as an organi-
zational reshuffling. It had to be seen as a shift of focus
from a manufacturing-driven company to one devoted
9CHRSmmRPOOD•,INC.
exclusively to meeting customer requirements. "We P.O. BOX 18010
~ llAV, WI 84307.. 8010

had to become as innovative in other parts of the busi-


ness as we had always been with technology," a former
leader recalled . "We had to find ways to deliver on
value more than price, while continuing to be the
lowest-cost producer."

The ultimate purpose behind all this was, pure and sim-
ple, to create a competitive advantage that would enable
Schreiber to improve its bottom line. "We liked to
think we had been bottom-line driven, but I would
suggest at that point we were worried more about In the mid-1980s, Schreiber decided to align its marketing by
customer segment, separating the Retail and Foodservice
pounds sold," Meng said later. To reinforce this change markets. Promotional materials such as these 1987 marketing
in thinking, h e and his team spoke more often about kits were created to appeal to retail customers.

-43-
increasing shareholder value as a central purpose of
To Get Results, Start with Information both the company and its new quality initiatives.

The final measure of any effort is results. In the late 1980s, the key drivers essen-
Among the total quality lessons Schreiber learned at
tial to achieving results were linked through this formula: "Information drives
the time were the identification and sharing of best
beliefs, which drive attitudes, which drive behaviors, which drive results."
practices, and benchmarking with its own and other
Beginning with the right information, therefore, is critical.
industries. "Plants represent huge investments, but
back then we were running them only one or two shifts
The changes that were taking place in the late 1980s required partners to think
a day, five days a week," a leader remembered. "Other
and behave differently, if results were to improve. True to the preceding formula, industries were already running 24/7. Obviously, you
Schreiber began investing heavily in education, commun ication and information need enough volume to do that, but in a business with
systems. New symbols, acronyms and other devices were introduced to help razor-thin margins, that's where we needed to be."
with the effort.
As these fundamental changes in thinking about quality
To support this change of behaviors, Schreiber and efficiency were being learned, Schreiber acquired
introduced TQC 2: "Total Quality Commitment C learfield C heese Company. Clearfield produced an
from a Thinking Quality Culture." To build under- array of popular products for a range of customers,

standing of the expectations entailed in this including many in the Northeast-where Schreiber
previously had little penetration.
new generation of quality management, 100 top-
level leaders wentto "quality college," and the
In short order, Schreiber announced that it would
remaining partners took in-house training .
transfer most of the volume to its existing operations
and close several C learfield plants. About the same
"We started the monthly SCOPE videos as a way
Jack Meng and his time, to further enhance efficiency and sharpen focus,
team devised a series of to getthe word out," Meng recalled. "First, to
the company announced that it would eliminate jobs at
educational programs to getthe same message to everyone, and second,
reinforce quality standards. Home Office and in other parts of the company as well.
One of the key tools in this to bring the outside world in. The vast majority Over the next 18 months, more than 600 people would
effort was the Strategic
of our partners were not involved with the cus- leave the company in this unprecedented reduction
Thinking Cube .
tomer, but we needed them to hear from the in force .
customer how we were doing - how we were
doing compared to our competition."

-44-
"That was probably the most difficult time on my What would make the new culture a business reality
watch," Meng recalled. "I went home one night, and could only be gauged by a demonstration of how such
our oldest daughter said, 'You don't look very good.' thinking affected every individual in the company. It
I said, 'I closed a plant today. You're getting ready to was clear that for this cultural change to gain traction,
go away to college. I know there's a guy going home these new beliefs, attitudes and behaviors had to be
tonight in Curwensville, Pa., telling his daughter she's shared by everyone.
not going to be able to, because we closed that plant.'"
Schreiber had always thrived on continuous improvement,
Those actions truly were gut-wrenching for a company and during this period, "Continuous Improvement"
known for being supremely "nice." At the same time, became an official
they underscored that Schreiber's leadership had the anthem. Seen in
courage and fortitude to do what was right to ensure this context,
the long-term viability of the enterprise for the good involving all
of the entire team. To the rest of the industry in an era employees only
of "eat or be eaten," Schreiber had given notice that made sense: Those
it was in it for the long haul. on the line were
closest to the basic
"That was a crucible," one leader later claimed. processes. Tapping
"The steel was hardened. We had to make some tough into their knowl-
decisions, and we did. After that, really, Schreiber edge and experi-
became a corporation more than a family business. ence helped to As part of the company's ongoing pursuit of quality,
We were starting to realize the folly of 'false kindness. ' ensure that daily the principle of continuous improvement was applied
to every aspect of Schreiber's operations.
We began to understand that simply being nice to operations were
people wasn't enough." actually serving
the customer. From this point on, employees would be
While the late 1980s and early 1990s saw many adjust- known as "partners"-an altogether appropriate new
ments to how Schreiber did business, in essence these title, as continuous improvement would be driven as
changes were simply the next and necessary phases in much from the line as from the boardroom. That level
Schreiber's ongoing pursuit of quality. "We started talk- of engagement would intensify as Schreiber moved into
ing about the quality of the culture, rather than just the the next century.
quality of the products," a senior leader explained.

- 45-
Schreiber's CAPRI plant in Clinton, ~roduces
....
a variety of flexible film .9IU& res and packaging
- 7
solutions fo~9111Piiiiy's own products and for
other customers. \
__........~
~-
,,..-,.,,..
Put the
profits in our bank,
To compete against Kraft's Velveeta, Schreiber offered
a 2-pound loaf to its private-label customers. The
2-pound loaf generally garnered little respect within
the industry at large, and Schreiber had for years paid
little attention to the product, other than to be sure its
customers had a ready supply. Schreiber's customer-
not theirs ... driven quality management prompted the company to
rethink its attitude. What the company thought of the
product wasn't relevant; what mattered was that, among
many consumers, Velveeta was virtually a staple. Until
this time, the same could not be said of Schreiber's
equivalent. What Schreiber's customers required-
and what the company had until then ignored-was
with Schreiber's
2 lb. cheese spread. a 2-pound loaf designed to compete with Velveeta.
Schreiber began to reformulate its product until it met
those expectations, which soon resulted in increased
sales and happier customers.
SCHRl!IBEA fl"OODS, INC .

Schreiber challenged Kraft's 2-pound Velveeta loaf with its With every partner responsible for Schreiber's success,
own similar product as part of the effort to provide the customer the company felt strongly that everyone, not just share-
with what it truly wanted, rather than what Schreiber simply
holders, should directly benefit. Although some finan-
thought it wanted.
cial incentives had been in place previously, the late
1980s saw Schreiber introduce a more elaborate series of
"The term 'partner' put everyone on the same footing," performance-based pay incentives that reached virtually
a retired senior leader remembered. "It did much to every individual in the company, regardless oflevel.
break down artificial barriers set up by the old 'manage- Those on salary in the Foodservice and Retail divisions
ment-vs.-employee' thinking. Everyone was a partner. saw increased earnings from the Sales Incentive Plan,
That was very different thinking and a most signifi- where payouts were determined by increases in gross
cant change. " profit afrer divisional expenses. Other salaried partners
would see more income through the Partnership
One of the signature improvements from this period Profitsharing Plan, initiated in the late 1980s.
exactly reflected the Rolex analogy recounted earlier.

- 47-
Through such programs, virtually every partner
stood to benefit directly from an increasingly healthy
bottom line. While the actual instruments may have
been new, they were in many ways more sophisticated
and comprehensive reflections of Schreiber's long-
standing owner-operator heritage. Mer Bush, Dave
Nusbaum and other early shareholders saw such value
in ownership that they quickly-and unselfishly-
made sure that others in the company could share in
Schreiber's success. Gradually, the number of share-
holders expanded to more than 300. The other pay-for-
performance initiatives oflater decades wisely began to
connect pay incentives to daily, line-of-sight actions
The introduction of Gainsharing and the Partnership Profitsharing
Plan was a tangible way of rewarding and improving the quality
and behaviors. These incentives not only allowed more
of Schreiber's internal culture. Success continues to come from partners to share the wealth, but also directly linked
every individual's attention to quality, in turn benefiting the whole .
each partner's work-and income-to the success
of the company as a whole.
In the mid-1980s, hourly partners began to reap the
benefits of "Gainsharing." Under this system, if per-
formance improved and costs were reduced without Finding New 'Ways to Grow
compromising quality, the company shared the profits

B
directly with those who made it happen. In the first y the early 1990s, Schreiber's new customer-
year of the Gainshare program, hourly partners received focused directives began to pay off. Overall
checks averaging 4 percent of their annual income. As performance was extraordinary. Among the
a measure of the success of new quality management clearest indications of Schreiber's success came when
applications, three years later that number was up to McDonald's named the company "World Standard."
12 percent, representing an outlay of $3 .2 million. In 1991, Schreiber had 3.1 complaints per million
Additional "line-of-sight" incentives were later intro- packages shipped, in an industry where five complaints
duced, wherein partners could increase earn ings per million was considered "world class. " In 1992,
through various certification programs. Federated Foods selected Schreiber as "Supplier of the
Year" in both Retail and Foodservice. Perhaps the clearest

- 48 -
Innovations in Customer Service

Early in the 1990s, Schreiber introduced "sheph erding ." Und er th is program,
when Schreiber acquired a new customer, that customer was assigned a

team to monitor its fi rst order from the moment it was received until it arrived

atthe customer's loading dock. Most remarkably, this team included not only
Operations but also Sales, Finance, Accounting , Logistics, Information
Servi ces and other divisions. If any aspect of Schreiber's service wasn't

adeq uate, a re presentative was there to address it immediately.


Thro ughout the 1990s, Schreiber's commitmentto exce llence
earn ed indu stry-wide re cognition . Unwilling to rest on its " Shepherding,"
successes, th e comp any aim ed for furth er improvement as rem arks one
it entered a new ce ntury.
leader, "says we

care about your


signal that Sch reiber's quality management was working business, and we
came in 1992, when the company successfully entered
care about getting
the club store market. Schreiber also began worki ng
it right. "
with Wal-Mart during this period, a partnership that
would eventually make the supercenter giant one of
During this same
Schreiber's largest customers.
period , Schreiber
made an extraord i- Good communication is a key part of the shepherding
By the mid-1990s, Schreiber's cultural immersion in
process and ongoing Schreiber customer support.
nary prom ise to its
quality management had enabled it to become, despite
its size, increasingly agile and innovative. For example, customers. The

as the fast-food business flattened in the United States, no rmal indu stry practi ce on large deliveries is thatthe shipment would

many chains introduced customized items to garner be delivered plus or minus 10 percent of the order. Schreiber rai sed the bar

market share. Tighter customer-centered teamwork by promising to deliver exact amounts. Only a company with Schreiber's
among Sales, R&D and Operations enabled the company technologi cal expertise and customer focus would dare commit to such
to quickly develop new and different cheeses necessary a standard.
for these value-added menu items.

-49-
As the company approached the millennium, the most importantly, its customers. The company reached
groundwork laid by continuous improvement prepared out to artisanal cheesemakers-both domestic and inter-
Schreiber for new challenges and new ways to grow. national-with a unique proposition. Schreiber would
Growth focused on three areas: expanded product take specialty cheeses on consignment and store the
offerings, acquisitions and international expansion. products in its warehouses. Through Schreiber's huge
distribution network, the company would then place
To meet customer demand for an array of high-quality this array of fine cheeses on its "menu" to large-scale
specialty cheeses, Schreiber had co solve a series of issues customers such as chain scores.
emerging from
matters of scale. Schreiber could market these cheeses nationwide,
Schreiber's often reaching far more potential customers than the artisans
huge customers could ever hope to approach, while also freeing artisans
were not set up to do what they did best: make fine cheese. Meanwhile,
to accommodate Schreiber's large-scale customers had ready access to an
small-scale suppli- array of more than 800 items of domestic and imported
ers purveymg fine cheeses from more than 20 countries, without hav-
perhaps only one ing to manage relationships with dozens of different
kind of cheese and specialty cheese suppliers. Further, customers knew that
manufacturing at these cheeses were backed by all the assurances associated
a scale that couldn't with any Schreiber product. Very quickly, this creative
supply all outlets. solution made Schreiber, as one partner described it,
And at the other "The Wal-Mart of specialty cheese." This was the kind
Since 1973, Schreiber has relied on its in-house
design department to create packaging for its own end of the chain, of customer-driven, strategic thinking that would
products and those of its private-la bel customers. the artisans who propel growth.
made specialty
cheese rarely had the time, skills or interest in the Another way the company grew was through interna-
extensive marketing, sales and distribution necessary tional expansion. From prior experience, Schreiber
to effectively serve these customers. knew that increasing its international presence would
be a tricky proposition. Green Bay Machinery, a
Schreiber saw an opportunity to create a significant Schreiber subsidiary, had been selling the company's
"win-win" for itself, the specialty manufacturers and, equipment overseas since the late 1960s, and as a result,

- 52 -
Caring That caring spirit has always extended beyond the company itself. In
Schreiber's early years, Mer Bush partnered with Green Bay banker Jake
When Mer Bush agreed to create and run the cheese division of L. D.
Rose and others to found local chapters of United Fund, the Red Cross and the
Schreibe r & Co. in 1945, on e of his conditions was thatthe company would
Salvation Army, as well as economic development projects. More recently,
put people at the center of its culture . Schreiber's history offers abundant
Schreiber helped create " Partners in Education." This group of local Green
examples of partners caring for each othe r and each other's families,
Bay business leaders is dedicated to finding ways to help local school districts
particularly in time of need.
improve student learning and - typical of Schreiber's own values- define

goals and achieve results.

Thanks, Schreiber Foods, for Schreiber has contributed in similar ways in other communities where it has

helping us tee off on our new a presence. At its cluster of plants in southwestern Missouri, for example,

YMCA West Side Building! the company has supported the communities and encouraged its partners to

get involved in numerous community development efforts- everything from


cleaning streets and rehabbing houses to helping to recruit a new superin-
tendent of schools.

In sum, caring at Schreiber is about


relationships- not just among
colleagues and Schreiber communi-

ties- but ultimately with customers

as well. That same caring spirit that


Through yesterday's Charity Golf Classic, Schreiber Foods raised
over $115,000 for The Greater Green Bay YMCA Inc. in support of the comes naturally among family and
"Focus on Family" Capital Campaign. Thanks to all who generously
made this event such a big success. friends, colleagues and communities,
Perhaps the most visible of all Schreiber events to benefit the community is serves well with customers. In a busi-
the annual Charity Golf Classic , held in Green Bay. But the mission to give back
to its neighbors is not limited to the Schreiber Home Office area. Locations ness built on relationships, it fu rther
Schreiber's commitment to the
from Monett, Mo .. to Logan, Utah, work to improve the communities that have distinguishes Schreiber and provides community includes a great sense
welcomed them over the years.
an extra business benefit. of patriotism. Love of country has
rema ined ve ry much a part of the
company's character.

- 53-
Sch reiber's firs t international exposure grew from its
reputation for technological excellence. In th e early
1980s, that expertise had allowed Schreiber to enter
the international m arket by setting up plants and joint
venture operations in Brazil, Ireland and Mexico.

But Schreiber's tech nology and operations foc us of


that period was also a limitation, in that once the plants
were operatio nal, the company discovered it had no
ready customer base. Lacking, at that point, the cus-
tomer-driven attitudes and behaviors it would develop
later in the decade, Schreiber experienced a rare lapse
in its customary tenacity. As Larry Ferguson noted,
"We didn't get clear about our long-term vision, and we
didn't have people tenaciously going after our business
opportunities." As a result, the plants themselves were
eventually sold to local owners.

Schreiber wasn't about to let that happen again. In the


early 1990s, the company's vision was virtually identical
to that of its customers, and both saw enormous global
growth potential. "Ir's simple," said one Sch reiber
leader. "T hey're now outside the U.S. T hat's where the
growth opportunity is, and we need to be there, too. "
Further, he added, Sch reiber knew that, while these
companies have a presence both inside and outside the
In many ways, Schreiber's engineering company, Gre en Bay United States, their requirements are generally the
Ma chinery, paved th e way for future intern ati onal endeavors.
same. Wherever they are located internationally, "Our
Here, Green Bay Machinery representatives explored the
opportun ities of dai ries in So uth Korea. customers don't have to develop a supplier of cheese.
T hey may have to develop a supplier oflettuce, but not
cheese." T herefo re, Schreiber wasn't merely leveraging

-54-
relationships, but leveraging the customer-focused
expertise gained over the past decade. "We still get our Follow the Customer
edge from our technology, but now we link it to cus-
By the mid- 1990s, McDonald's domestic growth had fl attened, and an increas-
tomer requirements," remarked Ferguson.
ing pe rc entage of its profits came from international ope rations. By late in
the de cade, McDonald's was generating roughly 70 percent of its profits
At the international level, fulfilling the customer's
intern ationally. McDonald's wasn't alone: Throughoutthis period, U.S. food
expectations-even customers with whom the com-
chain s were realizing an international growth rate between 10 and 30 percent,
pany had enj oyed longstanding relationships-was
numbe rs far in excess of their domestic perform ance. Schreiber responded,
hardly doing "business as usual." For example, when
Schreiber began a small venture in India in 1996, that using its "follow the customer" strategy fo r international development, with

country was the largest and lowest-cost milk producer new ve ntu res in Mexi co and Germany, followed by Sa udi Arabia, India

in the world, and therefore represented an enormous and Brazil.

opportun ity. While there was a notable increase in


demand for cheese, there was little infrastructure to Schreibe r's effort to
expan d its internatio nal
support the business. Refrigeration was uncommon in
operations represents
stores, and an even greater rarity in vehicles, making a long -term growth
distribution a huge challenge. opportun ity, one that
taps into the company's
abil ity to und erstand its
Capitalizing on this opportunity required tenacity, customers' requirements.

patience and a long-range vision. "Our customers value


the fact that we're willing to expand our international
capabilities, because that's where their growth is,"
remarked one international executive. "The payoff may
not be today, but for the next generation of the company."

While realizing success on its expanded international


business wo uld require patience, Schreiber enjoyed
exceptional domestic performance late in the decade.
On numerous occasions, Schreiber's customers, incl ud-
ing SYSCO, Ahold and others, expressed their appreci-
ation by naming Schreiber "Supplier of the Year." Sales

- 55 -
records were set in virtually every period, resulting in original 13 to 300, still a small number, and most would
healthy increases in stock value, a stark contrast to the have profited greatly by retaining the financial arrange-
feeble performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 dur- ment in place at the time. Private ownership had by this
ing many of the same years. point in Schreiber's history become a cornerstone of the
culture. As one leader said, "We love being privately
"We are all just building on what's been here before us," held. Good decisions or bad, it's us. " One could argue
Jack Meng said after he retired. "We're building on a that private ownership had allowed the company to
really solid fo undation, established originally by Mer become unique not only within the industry, but among
Bush and Dave Nusbaum. Larry Ferguson and his team virtually all American business cultures. Partner owner-
today are taking it to the next, higher level. T hat's what ship through the ESOP would ensure that Schreiber's
continuous improvement is all about. It's been here culture would remain in the company's control.
from the beginning. It's thriving today."

Schreiber in the New Millennium

0
n Sept. 17, 1999, Schreiber created an
employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
While technically the ESOP was put in place
prior to the millennium, no single event would define
the company more significantly as it moved into the
new century. To this point owned by roughly 300
shareholders, Schreiber would henceforth be owned
by the vast majoriry of partners. Most importantly, the
ESOP would underscore for partners the opportu-
ni ry-and responsibiliry-to continue the legacy of
Mer Bush and the other original stockholders.

The ESOP didn't have to happen. Over the years, From a single owner to broad employee ownership, Schreiber has retained its
core values since its doors opened in 1945. The employee stock ownership plan
the number of stockholders had expanded from the of Sept. 17, 1999, marked a significant transformation for the company, which
was named for one man, but now represents the hard work of thousands.

- 57 -
During the very first years of the new millennium, Raskas was a good fit culturally, with a long tradition
Schreiber's improvements and innovations in supply of excellent customer service and product innovation.
chain, distribution and technology were becoming key Schreiber and Raskas had already enjoyed a long-term
factors in supporting both domestic and overseas relationship, wherein the St. Louis-based company
growth. With the supplied cream cheese to Schreiber.
addition of another
distribution center in As Schreiber's customers grew, so did their demand
2001, Schreiber came for cream cheese, which meant that Schreiber had to
very close to its goal of expand its presence in that segment if it were to main-
being able to deliver tam its growing reputation as its customers' "one-stop
to every U.S. cus- shop" for cheese. Raskas, at the time of purchase a
tomer within one day, roughly $150-million-a-year business, didn't have the
further widening the distribution or customer network Schreiber could offer.
Schreiber has continuously set industry standards, gap between Schreiber
such as its decision to be the first producer in the and its competitors.
cheese industry to include Universal Produ ct Codes on
its packaging . New information
technologies and
processes like quick response, category management
and vendor-managed inventory helped Schreiber serve
customers in ways unmatched by its competition. The
company's implementation of the Oracle enterprise
management system began providing vital cross-func-
tional linkages to help manage and measure Schreiber's
processes and business practices, and better serve its
customers.

In November 2002, Schreiber continued its expansion


strategy with the acquisition of Raskas Foods, then the
largest private-label cream cheese manufacturer in the Schreiber's 2002 purchase of Raskas Foods widened the company's presence
in the cream cheese market. Raskas shared many of the same "people of the
United States. Founded in 1888 and still owned and soil" values that had made Schreiber an institution in process cheese. (Larry
run by the fourth generation of the founding family, Ferguson, left, and Dr. Hesch el Raskas)

-58-
Quality has always been one of Schreiber's top priorities. That concept was embodied in Mer Bush's insistence on the best natural cheese
available, and it continues with a commitment to standardized processes that ensure such quality.

Adding cream cheese to Schreiber's own list of products take hold because they are driven by a strong attach-
filled a gap in fulfilling customers' expectations. ment to the foundations of its culture. In fact, virtually
all of them are simply updated interpretations of earlier
One of Schreiber's great strengths has been that virtu- thinking. Thus, Schreiber's "quality journey" has no
ally none of its change initiatives over the years has suf- end: It began with "16 ounces to the pound" and pro-
fered from the "flavor of the month" approach that has gressed through quality management in the 1980s and
hobbled many other companies. Schreiber's changes 1990s. As the company entered the new millennium,

- 59 -
quality was given a new dimension: process manage- quality, teamwork quality, production quality, leader-
ment. With the prospect of Schreiber plants, offices and ship quality, and so on. From its efforts to continually
people being situated around the world, the best way to sharpen its capabilities in these areas emerged a new
make continuous improvement pervasive and unrelent- goal: "Process Excellence."
ing was to standardize processes throughout the com-
pany, and thereby eliminate waste and variation. In many ways, Process Excellence began building upon
the previous generation of quality management. The
In practice, process management amounted to a metic- customer-driven initiatives of the late 1980s and 1990s
ulous examination of every aspect of how Schreiber had helped Schreiber eliminate practices and procedures
operated. "All work is a process," stated Ferguson, the that weren't focused on meeting customer require-
chief architect of this initiative. "The important word ments. But as the company expanded globally, quality
here is not 'process' but demanded a more expansive definition. According to
'all.' To reduce variation, Schreiber's Total Quality Commitment Policy, "Schreiber
you have to define the defines continuous improvement as the elimination of
process first and make waste, reduction of process variation, and implementation
sure people are trained of innovative processes." This definition gave continu-
according to that defini- ous improvement a greater concentration on point-of-
tion. Then similar inputs contact, line-of-sight activity. Such an approach reduces
should create similar cost by eliminating waste and increases productivity by
outputs. Only then can making processes more uniform-an essential factor
you measure outputs. when plants and offices are located anywhere from
Locating discrepancies Green Bay, Wis., to Baramati, India.
then allows us to contin-
ually drive waste from With rapid domestic and international expansion
the process." When one under way, Schreiber further ramped up its efforts
thinks of all work as part toward developing the kind ofleaders who could
of a process, Schreiber's create and support sustained growth. Schreiber's con-
As President and Chief Executive Officer, new quality initiative tinued success would be fueled by leaders committed
Larry Ferguson has spearheaded "Process
Exce llence," the next step in Schreiber's
embraced every part of to ensuring that continuous improvement was both
quality journey. the company: system pervasive and unrelenting.

- 60 -
Beginning with Mer Bush, Schreiber's leaders person-
ified the company's character and culture. Of equal The Culture of Da i ry Farming
importance, they planned, hired and developed part-
"Farm sensibi lity" conti nues to make a strong imprint on the work habits
ners, and made business decisions in ways that served as
and mental disposition of Schre iber's culture . It's not by coincidence that
a kind of informal, ongoing cultural ed ucation. W hile
Schreiber's President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ferguson was himself
certainly a significant achievement, such cultural rein-
born on an Oklahoma dairy farm . " People who have grown up on a dairy farm
forcement was clearly an easier task when the company
understand it's a way of life," Ferguson said. "You grow up involved in life-
had only a handful of plants and a few hundred people.
sustaining activities. If you don 't feed the cows or milk them every day, there
To maintain the culture while simultaneously meeting
the challenges of growth required a new vision of what are consequen ces. The family wouldn't have mil k to drink, or money from

Schreiber leadership looks like in action. selling the extra milk to buy other necessities. You understood that you had
ownership in the enterprise. People knew they were doing someth ing

"Good leadership is the key to growth, and as owners, that mattered ."
every partner should think of themselves as leaders,"
Ferguson said abo ut Schreiber in the new m illennium .
"We're not in control of the markets, not in control of
the milk supply. Bur we can do the very best with what
we can control, and one of those things is the quality of
our leaders at every level of the organization. Any com-
pany can buy casting lines, bur they can't buy leader-
ship." According to Ferguson, build the right leadership,
and the growth will come. "My vision isn't tactical; it's
about growing the people who can carry a bigger load,
whatever that tactical load may be. It's about developing
courageous leaders who have the tenacity to get results."
Schreiber has taken great care to identify those leader-
ship characteristics that drive results.

Most of Sch reiber's founde rs and executives grew up immersed in the


practices of dairy farming and food science. Several of them participated in
th e University of Wis consin's pioneering dairy program, which began in the
1940s and educated thousands of future dairymen.

-61 -
Four generations of Schreiber leadership in 2003: (from left) Larry Ferguson, Bob Bush, Dave Nusbaum and Jack Meng.

The Character Traits ofSchreiber Leaders who knew as much about the company as any man
Lifelong Learning. Schreiber has always sought to iden- alive when he assumed the presidency in 1978,
tify and develop leaders who, said Ferguson, "have the nonetheless took courses at Stanford Business School
capabiliry, ambition and motivation to grow. " Personal the summer before taking the job. As one former leader
growth, in turn, derives from an earnest interest in and aptly put it, "We need people who are going to thrive
excitement about lifelong learning. This trait has always on continuous improvement. "
been part of Schreiber's leadership tradition. Bob Bush,

- 62-
THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
COLLEGE OF: AGRI CULTUR E

Mediton 6

O'PAATHHlT OF DAIRY AHO FOOO IHOUSTQ."S


April l.4, l9SS
"'8COCK HALL

Leaders Develop Leaders. Beginning with Bob Bush in Dr. V. L. Zobren


L. D. Schreiber I< Co ., Inc.
21i6 M. Ma1n 811'11.
the 1960s, Schreiber has had a tradition of"hiring two P.O. Box 2)
<&-ea Bq, W1eoaui1n
levels above" and then stretching the partner through
a series of challenging and varied assignments. Indeed,
many of Ferguson's senior team members arrived at
Dear Vincei

-nt
Ma,..- thaJlb tor your i.tter ot l.pr1l 12th Uld th• cwetlll anaqe1"
ot thio prob1'1a ot deterred tor qualitJ. Iou cert..J.nl.T haft
qritied ecma ot. t.bl 1nton1&tion I haft, and baTe coatirwed •OM ot .,.
guu .. a. Your obeerwtiona an t.he cbMH 700. ba'ft aeen are 908t int.91"-
..,tl.ng and thought pr~oki.Dc• I hope that I can ..-er to hrl.oc up
their present positions through this exact process. One thi.e question with Dr. Whitehead men ho 'rieitt ....

.l.nd opeakl.ng ot Dr. Whitehead, I aa wondarl.ng it he hu •de Mir


executive, for example, joined Schreiber as a second- de!init. ......_ntl to "181 t you at the plant 1n Green Bq. I still
hnon't hoard juat ldlen ho Will be here. I •-•ted that i t he could
-.Jee it during tho tint !ft dqa ot tho week, I llicht be Ible to belp
shift supervisor. After a brief departure to get an Ilia 90t around and aeo aoae or the pl&coa 1n llhich be llicbt be 1nten•ted•
I con 1-cin• that Ile lligllt Y•rJ J1Uoh lln to •Ille hie headquartera 1n
M.B.A., he returned to Schreiber in marketing, after Green Bq where be can aM 10 aucb of tba 1ndust17 ao •••11¥.
GiYe .,. regarde t.o the rest. ot the taaiq, inoludillg th• young etodc.
which he spent four years as Green Bay Plant Manager,
and then oversaw the precooked foods group before Sim;~Ci1z
llaltC' v. Price
leading a business function. With the excep tion of Profoaoor ot Da1rJ Indutry

Deutsch, every Schreiber President, regardless of back- WVP/jo

gro und and expertise, has run a plant and more than
likely spent time on the line. Bur then, it was always
Bob Bush's notion that one could tell a great deal about
the potential of a person by having them run the night
shift. He or she might be 27 years old and responsible
I
for purring out a half million pounds on a shift and
Walter V. Pric e was an important dairy innovator in the early days of the University
keeping 30 people engaged and productive.
of Wisconsin's agricultural program. As this 1955 letter to Vince Zehren illustrates,
he shared the same commitmentto quality that he instilled in his students. Not
Schreiber's present leadership program thus formalizes surprisingly, two of his former students-Mer Bush and Dave Nusbaum- went
on to form Schreiber.
a longstan ding tradition. Leaders are encouraged not
to hoard good performers, but rather to support devel-
opment plans by identifyi ng opportunities to accelerate Potential Leaders Own Their Future. Growth as a leader
learning and growth. The emphasis is always on "grow- at Schreiber doesn't mean that partners need only to
ing another leader, " rather than merely promoting wait for their supervisor to hand them a development
an individual. plan. "We value people who take ownership of their
careers," said one senior leader. "That's why we have no

-63 -
the courage to raise and resolve issues, to be forthright
with those one leads. If leaders are responsible for devel-
oping other leaders, then honest development requires
that everyone knows how they're measuring up. This is
not easy in a culture that in many ways still retains a fam-
ily atmosphere, but personal and professional growth
depends on honesty.

Schreiber has always respected those willing to take


risks. Particularly today, with global expansion a core
piece of Schreiber's growth strategy, those willing to
take risks are of particular value. Risks entail the poten-
tial of failure, and honest feedback is the best possible
means of turning those occasions into learning experi-
ences. Again, Schreiber's present leadership training
echoes decades of tradition. Bob Bush once said, "Every
encounter with a subordinate was a chance for coach-
ing. You coach every day, not once a year. I would tell
someone ifI thought they could improve as quickly as
Bus iness leadership is one of four important dimensions of leadership at
Schreiber. It incl udes technical/functional competence. I would compliment them. "

Ownership Inspires Leadership. Because of the ESOP,


formally structured career path. We want people to step everyone benefits from the success of the business, and
up and say, 'I want this challenge or that experience.' therefore has a stake in creating strong leaders to drive
Each person has to want to do it. They have to be growth. As one leader put it, "You want to hire people
keenly committed to the stretch. " better than you because someday you'll retire, and you'll
want good people still at the company who'll increase
Leaders Give Honest Feedback. Honesty has always had a the value of your ownership share." In many ways, these
complex definition at Schreiber. Certainly, nothing can words reflect those Bob Bush uttered: "I think this team
derail one's career faster than common dishonesty, but of managers, officers [and] technicians are all extremely
Schreiber's definition goes beyond that. Honesty demands capable people .... One of the things I am most proud

- 64-
of is the hand I had in assembling that team, because parry at large. They must foster teamwork among those
it's a team that's going to take the company places far who work for them, and connect daily business prac-
beyond my dreams, and I'm looking forward to sitting tices to the company's purpose, beliefs and values, and
back on the sideline and watching." strategic direction. As part of their ongoing "stretch
assignments," Schreiber's partners need to develop
Later, Bush added: "If you hire people better than you ever-increasing proficiency in technology, finance, and
are, they will carry you upwards, lift you up. If you program and project management. And every leader is
don't, the quality of the leadership will wane. Soon, responsible for teaching about process management
competitors will pass you by, and you will wonder why. " and continuous improvement.

In addition to the personal characteristics noted previ- This more comprehensive definition ofleadership is
ously, Schreiber expects its present and future partners nothing new, but rather a more systematic means of
to embrace a vision of leadership that encompasses the creating the kinds of leaders that brought Schreiber to
entire business-its processes, its people and the com- prominence. In addition to their daily responsibilities,
Mer Bush, Dave Nusbaum and others knew they must
also coach, foster teamwork, continuously improve,
and link daily business decisions and actions to the
goals of the entire company.

Schreiber expects its partners to embrace the concept of teamwork, one of the
core tenets of the company's vision of leadership.

- 65-
r oMMITMENT

RELATIONSHIPS

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

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"Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."

Thomas A. Edison
Inventor

-67-
The journey Continues asked. At its core, Mer Bush's dictum embodies the
promise to deliver a quality product. Again, Bush was

T
oday, Schreiber Foods looks very different wisely linking integrity and high standards to the com-
from the small cheese company that began in petitive edge. Nobody in the cheese business had that
1945. But looks, as they say, are deceiving. guarantee. Today, Schreiber still holds "quality manage-
Schreiber is that rare company that truly respects val- ment" as the key to competitive advantage, but it all
ues, and has worked hard from the beginning to build began with " 16 ounces to the pound."
and retain them at the core of its culture.
Take the Long View
For the company's culture to have endured-even The prevailing practices of the process cheese business
thrived-while embracing increasingly ambitious goals at the time of Schreiber's founding were to hire cheap,
has required a deep belief that its values provide a true touch a machine only when it's broken, and lose little
competitive edge. These values have been formalized, sleep if most of your "pounds" are a half-ounce short.
codified, framed by different words and communicated That's how most cheese companies made money, and
in different ways, but they essentially haven't changed. Mer Bush knew his determination to operate Schreiber
In sum, they represent according to vastly different standards was, at least
Schreiber's "Recipe for according to many, a recipe for disaster.
Results. " Let's revisit
the ingredients. None of Bush's principles put money on the bottom
line right away. Technology was costly, as was investing
Put Quality at in technicians and engineers. And Bush's insistence
the Center of on taking the long view didn't end with his approach
Everything You Do to technology. Even his vow to run an honest com-
Along with "16 ounces pany was counterintuitive: "It was a struggle for many
to the pound," there years to differentiate ourselves from the competition.
Schreiber's cheese plant in Green Bay, Wis.,
during the 1960s was another promise Our ' 16 ounces to the pound' helped us do that, but
that went out to every it was also part of a competitive disadvantage. It was
early customer at Schreiber, and it still does: If customers an additional cost." With this risky but courageous
don't think the product measures up in any way, they approach, Bush later said, "We didn't start ro see
can send it back at no charge and with no questions money for many years."

- 68 -
how to blend cheese, but nobody had decent cookers,
·Nov. 24, 1970 R. G. BUSH ETAL 3,542,570 blending machines or mixers. Nobody had respectable
PROCESS OP KAHUf'ACTURIMO tlCDIYIOUALLY WRAPPED SLICES
OP El11lUDABLB PRODUCTS
Filed F•b. 10. 1967
packaging machines .. . . Anybody who continued to
wrap cheese by hand was crazy." By applying the best
engineering to the production line from start to finish,
Schreiber found a competitive edge.

That attitude was handed down through generations.


As one former executive recalled, "With Bob Bush,
it was always, 'How can we make it' -and 'it' could
mean anything-'better?'" Without labeling this atti-
tude as such, these early leaders introduced "continuous
improvement" as a company value long before these
more contemporary words became a formal part of
Schreiber's culture.

Today, "make it better" has expanded well beyond


machinery, as Schreiber explores ways to make contin-
uous improvement pervasive and unrelenting.

Trust Each Other


Schreiber has always stayed ahead of even the most current Since its founding, Schreiber leaders have known that
technology. This ability has kept the company on the cutting if they were going to build a company around people
edge, designing the future instead of reacting to the present.
and technological innovation, then it followed that
trust must be an essential part of Schreiber's character.
Make It Better ''After [my previous employer], where everything had
By the time Mer Bush met with Barney Schreiber, Bush been tightly con trolled from above, it was great to be in
had been around cheese-processing plants enough to a plant where you could try anything," said Clarke Thomas
know that "we had to distinguish ourselves through about the Carthage plant after Schreiber acquired it in
technology." At the time, Bush saw the process cheese 1950. "The Schreiber people . . . were very open, and
business as still in its "blacksmith stage. People knew ideas flowed. "

-69-
Today, with almost every Schreiber partner an owner- While there is greater discipline built into today's appli-
of both the company and its processes-trusting and cation of teamwork to process management, in practice
respecting each other remain essential contributions to it looks and feels very much like the company of old.
the company's continued success. As Larry Ferguson said, It, too , has simply been continuously improved.
"We need people's minds, not just their backs and hands."
Stretch Your Capabilities
Manage the Processes By modern business standards, the L.D. Schreiber
Processes don't run themselves; people run them- Cheese Company should not have succeeded. None
from the owners of the processes to those who perform of the early leaders was in any formal sense a business-
them. Schreiber has devoted considerable time to defin- man. (Vince Zehren would later say, "When I joined
ing how that "connectedness" berween process and peo- Schreiber, I didn't know what a memo was.") But as a
ple can best be leveraged to provide a competitive edge. group, they nonetheless possessed a unique mixture of
attitudes and behaviors that quickly became embedded
One of the chief benefits of process management is in the character of the company as a whole. Many of
that it gives everyone a common understanding of the these traits arose from the fact that these early leaders
process, which allows performers to execute according came from dairy farming backgrounds, and yet were
to expectations of uniformity. Defining the process also educated as technicians and scientists. Zehren was liter-
defines the desired result, which consequently empow- ally born in a Wisconsin cheese factory, and had a
ers everyone involved in the process- the team-to doctorate in food science. Nusbaum grew up in Kaiser,
think, act and make decisions according to a common Wis., (where his father managed a small farmer-owned
goal. Further, this approach allows every team member cheese factory) and proceeded to become a postgraduate
at every level to share responsibility for continuous research assistant at the University of Wisconsin before
improvement. With the entire team responsible for Mer Bush hired him at Wheeler.
removing roadblocks and improving the process, every-
one is accountable for its results. The common owner- Because they knew so much, and so little, about the
ship of the process itselfleverages the strengths of the business of the cheese business, those leaders, and even-
entire team, which facilitates quicker identification of tually the company at large, quickly learned the value
problems and a comprehensive approach to solving them. of acquiring new skills to ensure Schreiber's growth
and success. For the founders, every day brought a new
"stretch assignment." Today, Schreiber values those
who embrace new learning opportunities.

-70-
Don't Ever Tell the Customer "Wi! Can't Handle It"
D ave N usbaum once said, "I don't think we've ever
turned a customer down .. .. We never told a customer,
'We just plain can't handle it.'" Saying "Yes" to the fast-
food industry challenged Nusbaum's assertion. It
required levels of service far beyond anything Schreiber
had ever delivered. The company knew it would have to
ratchet up productivity in its plants, and that the sales
people would be facing buyers with extraordinarily high
expectations for consistent quality, dependable delivery
and fai r price.

A less-determined company of Schreiber's size might


well have said, "N o thanks,'' and stood pat with the
modest growth it had enjoyed since its fo unding. As
one executive later said, "Everybody in the industry said
we co uldn't do it. " But emboldened by the challenges
of the 1960s and technologically sharper than ever,
Schreiber leapt at the opportunity. Today's more sophis-
ticated continuous improvement initiatives are simply
ways to ensure that Schreiber never has to say "N o."

Be Prepared
In many ways, Schreiber's heightened focus on leader-
ship refl ects its ongoing belief in "being prepared." One
of the most remarkable aspects of the co mpany in its
early years was the absence of a formal "business plan."
Rather, Schreiber simply made sure that it was ready
when opportunities presented themselves. For example,
1966's "Alice In Dairyland, " Jo Ann Cupery, surveys Schreiber products. early leaders didn't say, "We're going to be the major
Over the years, many "Alic es" have visited Schreiber, a stamp of approval
from what was Wisconsin's agricultural spokesperson . supplier to the fast-foo d industry." Instead, they devel-

-72-
oped technologically to the point that Schreiber was ownership makes everyone responsible for the success
among the few companies that could serve that vast of the company, and creates a top-to-bottom urgency
industry. They were prepared. around getting cash flow up, debt down, and results.
As Ferguson said, "Hard work comes from the roots
Never Rest of personal ownership."
Schreiber has never come to rest. While the initiatives
around continuous improvement driven by Jack Meng Quietly Serve
in the 1980s and early 1990s created greater discipline Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Schreiber's
behind the idea, Schreiber has always been comfortable community service is the lack of self-promotion that
with change. Looking back over the earlier years, one accompanies such efforts. While remaining a depend-
long-term partner said, "My impression of the company able resource for its communities, Schreiber has always
in those days was that we were constantly changing. insisted upon maintaining a low profile. For example,
Nothing ever stood still. The idea was, if you quit chang- in 1976, with some financial help from the company,
ing, you're dead." While at first glance this approach may Schreiber partners built an elaborate float commemo-
simply appear to be sound business sense, one need only rating the American Bicentennial. Mer Bush wrote
look at the myriad companies that have either failed or to Barney Schreiber, "The float made a hit at the
drifted into insignificance precisely because they froze Green Bay Memorial Day parade and at the 'Alice in
their thinking and practices in time. "Other companies Dairyland' pageant ... early in June. Our name was on
look at new ideas and processes as disruptions to their the float, but not so conspicuous as to be officious or
systems. We don't," observed one Schreiber partner. offending," Bush wrote. ''All in all, it was done in
"We build flexibility into our systems. " excellent taste and highly successful." That admirable
modesty-so uncharacteristic of contemporary corpo-
With Ownership Comes Responsibility rate America-and love of country remain very much
As Schreiber's original 13 owners knew very well, with part of the Schreiber character today.
the benefits of ownership come enormous responsibilities.
Ownership gave the original partners an added motiva- Years later, Mer's son Bob added, "The showboats don't
tion to work hard. In fact, one could argue that this logic last long at Schreiber, because they are not team players,
motivated Barney Schreiber in his sale to the original 13: and we are, first and always, a team."
Having more people invested in the company's success
would make them more productive-again, an uncanny
"win-win" for the company. Most importantly, partner

-73-
S
chreiber has achieved something rare in the people who help and depend on one another. From
history of American business: It has managed to those relationships spring trust and a respect for fair
grow and change while, at its core, remaining play. Farmers understand that no success comes easily,
constant. The primary contributor to this remarkable and that truly worthy achievements most often result
accomplishment is that its character remains in touch from equal amounts of tenacity and patience.
with its origins-close to the soil.
Accomplishments are kept in proportion-no matter
A successful dairy farmer knows that his livelihood is how well the milking went today, it still has to be done
directly linked to the quality of his product and his tomorrow. Perhaps between then and now, the farmer
work. He welcomes change when he knows it improves can find a way to do it a little better. Most importantly,
his work. H e abandoned the draft horse the moment a farmer knows who he is, and goes about his business
he was convinced that a good tractor would make his according to his values.
farm more productive. Farmers make down-to-earth,
sensible choices: A dependable tractor is preferred over These sam e traits define the Schreiber spirit. They have
a fancy one any day. been part of Schreiber from the beginning, as the kin-
dling for aspirations and safe harbor from the storms.
People of the so il are keenly aware that barns are built And just as they have served Schreiber well through its
not by solitary individuals, but by communities of past, they surely will serve it well in its future.

-77 -
PROCESS EXCELLENCE

INTEGRITY

OWNERSHIP
PART FOU
TIMELINE

"The secret of success is constancy of purpose. "

Benjamin Disraeli
British Statesman

- 79-
1945 1977
September3
1945 The cheese division of L.D. Schreiber and Co. is officially established. It is based on the
site of the Hagemeister Brewery adjacent to Atlas Warehouse & Cold Storage Company
in Green Bay, Wis.

September 9
Production begins on the first Schreiber cheese products. The company's initial machinery
consists of a Damrow cheese grinder with a 100-horsepower motor, a horizontal "lay down"
cooker designed by Mer Bush and Aron Boehm, and a Nelson filling machine that works
on both 2-pound and 5-pound packages.

1950 Schreiber acquires a cheese processing plant in Carthage, Mo. , from Shefford Cheese Co.

1962 L.D. Schreiber Cheese Co. incorporates with the purchase of 49 percent of company
stock by 13 employees. Original owner L.D. Schreiber maintains majority control by
holding onto 51 percent of the company.

1964 The company purchases its first computer, an IBM 1440.

1965 Safeway returns about 4 million pounds of product due to fear of staphylococcus
enterotoxin. The cheese was manufactured by Standard Milk, a local producer whose
product was resold by Schreiber.

1966 March
The prototype machine for individually wrapped slices is completed, and plans for
a second machine begin.

-80 -
1967 Schreiber establishes Green Bay Machinery for the purpose of selling the company's
machinery and technology to non-competing companies outside the United States.

The company begins the first small shipment of individually wrapped singles.

1968 January
For the first time, the company allows employees other than the original 13 owners
to purchase company stock.

DecemberB
M er Bush reports that McDonald's has just given the go-ahead " to start on formal tests
for supplying them with their institutional sliced process. "

1969 September 28
Mer Bush retires as President and is named Chairman of the Board.

Robert Deutsch is named President.

1973 The Design Center opens, offering design-on-demand for customer labels and packaging.

1976 November30
L.D. Schreiber dies at the age of 86. By this time, his holding in the company has dropped
to less than 20 percent of all outstanding shares.

March
1977 Corporate offices are officially moved to the First Wisconsin Bank building on Pine Street
in downtown Green Bay, Wis.

- 81-
1978 1993
1978 Bob Bush is named President and Chief Executive Officer.

1980 December6
L.D. Schreiber Cheese Co. becomes Schreiber Foods Inc.

1982 Marchl
Mer Bush retires.

December31
Dave Nusbaum retires.

Electronic mail is installed in the corporate offices.

1983 March
The Schreiber Computerized Order Processing Environment (SCOPE) is installed for
controlling orders and invoices.

1984 Sales incentive plans are introduced.

1985 Jack Meng is named President and Chief Operating Officer.

Bob Bush becomes Chairman of the Board and continues as Chief Executive Officer.

Schreiber acquires Clearfield Cheese Co.

Schreiber purchases Westland Foods, which specializes in bacon and bacon bits precooked
in continuous microwave ovens.

Schreiber's Robert G. Bush plant in Tempe, Ariz., begins production of cheddar cheese,
utilizing a new manufacturing process.

- 82 -
1986 A 401 (k) savings program debuts for Schreiber partners.

Gainsharing is introduced to extend the opportunity for employees to share in


Schreiber's continued success.

May27
1987 Mer Bush dies.

1988 Schreiber sets the standard by changing its distribution to "exact shipment" from "plus or
minus 10 percent," which was typical of the industry.

1989 Jack Meng retains the position of President and is named Chief Executive Officer.

Schreiber adopts a formal Total Quality Commitment policy.

The company initiates the Partnership Profitsharing Plan.

1990 Schreiber is named the "World Standard" for McDonald's cheese.

1991 Schreiber introduces the "shepherding" process for new customers.

Schreiber introduces safe work and safe food certifications.

1992 March
The Schreiber Board of Directors approves a new joint venture in Germany and
a new plant in Mexico.

1993 For the first time, Schreiber's annual sales surpass $1 billion.

-83 -
1994 2003
1994 Schreiber acquires Arden International Kitchens. It becomes the cornerstone in the
company's plans to build a prepared entrees business.

Schreiber builds the CAPRI plant in Clinton, Mo., providing the company with
a high-quality, reliable source for its printed packaging materials.

1996 Schreiber develops a licensing agreement with Dynamix Dairy Industries in India.

Larry Ferguson is named President and Chief Executive Officer.


1999
Jack Meng becomes Chairman of the Board.

Schreiber acquires Tate Cheese Co.

February2
The Logan plant breaks Kraft's industry record of more than 4,988,216 hours without
a lost-time accident.

September 17
Schreiber creates an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

After receiving notice that Hill & Valley bulk cheese tested positive for listeria mono-
2000 cytogenes, Schreiber voluntarily initiates a Class I recall of more than 1.4 million pounds
of cheese. In response to the public notification of the recall, the company receives over
5,000 phone consumer calls, and hires a nurse to advise consumers and physicians
about specific health questions. The company is praised by the FDA for the accuracy
of its records and by customers and consumers who complimented the company on its
conscientious service.

- 84 -
2001 Schreiber acquires Lov-lt Creamery.

For the first time, Schreiber's annual sales surpass $2 billion.

2002 Schreiber acquires the assets of Deep South Products Inc. in Gainesville, Ga.

Schreiber acquires Raskas Foods, the leading private-label cream cheese maker.

2003 Schreiber acquires cream cheese assets from ConAgra Foods in Fredericksburg, Iowa.

-85-
INTEGRITY

LEARNING

NEVER SATISFIED
PEOPLE AND PLACES

"People are really the key assets of your business."

Merlin G. "Mer" Bush


Schreiber Founder

- 87 -
Origi.nal 13 Owners Richard F. Jaacks
Secretary
Merlin G. Bush
President Daniel D. "Dave" Nusbaum
Vice President
Richard M. Bush
Sales P. Clarke Thomas
Assistant Plant Manager, Carthage, Mo.
Robert G. Bush
Operations Dr. Vincent L. Zehren
Technical Director
Jesse F. "Frank'' Claxton
Plant Manager, Carthage, Mo.
Schreiber Board ofDirectors
Edward W. Collins, Jr.
Sales Dates represent tenure on board or first year
ofservice on boardfor members since 1962.
George K. Cornell, Jr.
Procurement Nancy K. Armbrust
1998-Present
Lawrence R. Davis, Jr.
Sales Thomas F. Badciong
1980-Present
Robert K. Deutsch
Vice President and Treasurer Merlin G. Bush
1962-1987
William H. Gwinner Chairman ofthe Board, 1969- 1977
Sales Chairman Emeritus, 1978-1987

-88 -
Richard M. Bush Thomas L. Krautkramer
1969-Present 1990-2000

Robert G. Bush Brian P. Liddy


1969-Present 2000-Present
Chairman ofthe Board, 1985-1999
Chairman Emeritus, 1999-Present John C. "Jack'' Meng
1978-Present
George W. Cawman Chairman ofthe Board, 1999-Present
1989-2003
Daniel D. "Dave" Nusbaum
George K. Cornell, Jr. 1962-Present
1978-1983 Chairman ofthe Board, 1980-1985
Chairman Emeritus, 1985-Present
Robert K. Deutsch
1962-1980 Timothy T. Opel
Chairman ofthe Board, 1978-1980 1996-2003

Ronald]. Dunford Mark A. Peterson


2003-Present 2001 - Present

Larry P. Ferguson David P. Pozniak


1995-Present 1999-Present

Ed Gossner Alan L. Reinstein


1970-1972 1969-1981

Gary E. Hanman Gunnar T. Scholer


1985-1989 2003-Present

-89-
L.D. "Barney" Schreiber John C. "Jack'' Meng
1962-1976 1985-1999
Chairman ofthe Board, 1962-1969
Larry P. Ferguson
Roger C. Schreiber 1999- Present
1989- 1996

Richard C. Ward Officers


1994-1997 Dates represent overa!L tenure at Schreiber.

Jay Winston Nancy K. Armbrust


1962-1978 1982-Present

Dr. Vincent L. Zehren Thomas F. Badciong


1988-1994 1973-1995
Director Emeritus, 1994-Present
James E. Buenger
1984-1988
A History ofSchreiber Leadership
Merlin G. Bush
Presidents 1945-1982
Dates represent tenure as President.
Richard M. Bush
Merlin G. Bush 1950- 1981
1962- 1969
Robert G. Bush
Robert K. Deutsch 1948-1991
1969-1978
Roy E. Cartwright
Robert G. Bush 1998-Present
1978-1985

- 90 -
George W. Cawman Donald}. Kelly
1983-2003 1972-1997

George K. Cornell, Jr. Thomas L. Krautkramer


1958-1984 1980-1999

Robert K. Deutsch David B. Leonhardt


1949-1980 1967-1983

Ronald J. Dunford Brian P. Liddy


1996-Present 1996-Present

Larry P. Ferguson John C. "Jack'' Meng


1975- Present 1968-2003

Roger L. Gereau Sherry W. Maier


1972-1991 1990-1997

Richard W. Gochnauer Daniel D. "Dave" Nusbaum


1974-1982 1945-1983

Ronald S. Godfrey Timothy T. Opel


1977-1999 1976-2002

Jay R. Hamann Jeffrey M. Ottum


1978-1994 1979-Present

Charles A. Hutchison Frederick J. Parker


1990-Present 1979-2003

-91-
Mark A. Peterson Richard H. Thompson
1975-Present 2001-Present

David P. Pozniak Deborah A. Van Dyk


197 4-Present 1979-Present

Jerome D. Rogers Richard C. Ward


1969-1978 1987-1997

Kenneth D. Sampson Dr. Vincent L. Zehren


1962-1979 1954-1989

Gunnar T. Scholer Business Acquisitions


1996- Present
Stella Cheese Company
Roger C. Schreiber 1950
1974-1 996
Clearfield Cheese Company
Nancy L. Schwenke 1985
1972-Present
Westland Foods
Stephen E. Shelley 1985-1998
1993-Present
Empire Foods
Susan M. Staed 1990
1987-Present
Arden International Kitchens
David A. Strohman 1994-2002
1986- 2001

- 92 -
Tate Cheese Company Schreiber Plant Locations
1999
Dates represent year opened or acquired, or years of
DFA Cheese Plant operation as a Schreiber plant.
1999
Arizona
Pinnacle Cheese Robert G. Bush Plant
2000 Tempe
1985
Beatrice Cheese
(partial assets) California
2000 Stockton
1986-1991
Lov-lt Creamery
2001 Georgia
Gainesville
Deep South Products Inc. 2002
(partial assets)
2002 Illinois
Dixon
Raskas Foods 1985-1998
2002
Missouri
ConAgra Foods CAPRI Plant
(partial assets) Clinton
2003 1994

Carthage
1950

- 93-
Clearfield Plant Shippensburg
Clinton 2002
1985-1 987; 1999
Texas
D aniel David Nusbaum Plant Stephenville
Clinton 2002
1995
Utah
Fairview Plant Wellsville
Carthage 1985-1987
1993
Smithfield
Monett 1996
1976
Logan
Mt. Vernon 1972
1997
Wisconsin
St. Louis Alaska
2002 1981-2000

Pennsylvania Green Bay Creamery


Curwensville Green Bay
1985-1988 200 1

Pittsburgh Merlin G. Bush Plant


2000-2003 Green Bay
1945

- 94 -
Waukesha Promiter Queso Fino (joint venture)
2000-2002 Mexico City
1980-1982
Wisconsin Rapids
1980 Northern Ireland
DDP-Schreiber Cheese (joint venture with RHM)
Brazil Coleraine
RioAzul 1980-1985
1999
Saudi Arabia
Germany United Food Industries Corp. (joint venture)
Schreiber Rupp (jo int venture) Dhahran
Neder Wangen 1992
1992

India
Dynamix Dairy Industries (equity partner)
Baramari
1996

Japan
Nippon Schreiber Foods (joint venture)
Tokyo
1981

Mexico
Leon
1992

-95-
Image Credits Page 34 inset: Used with permission from
McDonald's Corporation.
All other images are courtesy ofSchreiber Foods archives.
Pages 34-35: Used with permission from
Pagex: © CORBIS McDonald's Corporation.

Page 2: Wisconsin Historical Society Page 36, right: Courtesy of the Neville Public Museum
of Brown County, Green Bay Press-Gazette Collection
Page 3: Courtesy of the Library of Congress,
Geography and Map Division Page 37: Courtesy of the Neville Public Museum
of Brown County, Green Bay Press-Gazette Collection
Page 4: Wisconsin Historical Society
Page 41, right: Courtesy of the Neville Public Museum
Page 5: Wisconsin Historical Society of Brown County, Green Bay Press-Gazette Collection

Page 6: Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Page 49, top left:© 1995 VNU Business Media, Inc.
Prints & Photograph Division Used by permission.

Page 11: Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Page 49, top center: Courtesy of Marketplace
Prints & Photograph Division Magazine, Apple Photography Ltd.

Page 14, left: Courtesy of the Brown County Public Page 61: Courtesy of the Library of Congress,
Library Prints & Photograph Division

Page 18: Photo © 1994, David Gwynn, Groceteria.net. Page 63: Courtesy of Dr. Vincent L. Zehren
Used by permission.
Page 71: Wisconsin Historical Society, photo by
Page 19, right: Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Milwaukee Journal Seminal
Prints & Photograph Division
Page 72: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum,
Green Bay Press-Gazette Collection

-96 -
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