About Birko

About Us

Birko History

A proud legacy of protecting the food chain.

Florence Ward
Birko founders Florence and Ward Smith

In 1953, Ward and Florence Smith founded Birko Corporation in their Ogden, Utah, garage. Two of the first Birko products were an alkaline cleaner and an edible tripe washing solution. Tripe Wash is still manufactured in several formulations today and used for cleaning and whitening in federally inspected meat plants.

The Smiths relocated Birko to Denver to provide the growing number of meatpacking plants in the area with cleaning and sanitizing service for slaughter. Ward Smith died in 1977, and Florence Smith took over as President and CEO. In 1980, Birko opened its second Colorado location, an 18,000-square-foot facility in Westminster. In 1992, Birko moved to its current headquarters in Henderson, Colorado, which houses our research laboratories, chemical manufacturing facilities, warehouse and corporate offices.

In 2011, Birko purchased Kansas City-based equipment manufacturer Chad Co., which now operates as Birko’s equipment division. Chad has long delivered exceptional custom equipment and service to the protein processing industry. The acquisition of Chad allowed Birko to offer more integrated food safety solutions, combining chemicals, technology, and equipment.

Today, Diversey Holdings, Ltd. (NASDAQ: DSEY), a leading provider of hygiene, infection prevention and cleaning solutions, has completed the acquisition of Birko Corporation, a North American manufacturer of food safety chemical solutions for the food and beverage industry, and Chad Equipment LLC, a subsidiary of Birko Corporation, which manufactures food safety equipment for the protein industries, with approximately 100 employees in total. With estimated 2021 sales of more than $40 million, this acquisition strengthens Diversey’s market presence in the United States and Canada, enhancing its scale, service and product offering, and creating numerous cross-sell and revenue opportunities as a truly global provider in the food and beverage industries.

To learn more about Diversey history, click here.