Whole Foods Market has announced the winners of its 2013 Supplier Awards, recognized at a May 7 awards dinner in Austin, Texas.
The honorees, according to a Whole Foods press release, are:
Supplier of the year
Frontier Natural Products Co-op for outstanding overall product performance, exceptional quality, commitment to transparency and strong contribution to Whole Planet Foundation, which funds poverty alleviation in communities where Whole Foods Market sources products.
Best new product
Tom’s of Maine for its Grab and Go Toothpaste in Fresh Mint (Fluoride and Fluoride Free), a product launched exclusively for Whole Foods Market shoppers that has delivered unmatched value and quality in the category, while using packaging that lowers waste without raising costs.
Excellence in cheese
FoodMatch Inc. for honoring traditional methods of olive and antipasti production, for forming direct alliances with farmers in the Mediterranean and in the U.S., and for delivering premium quality products with a commitment to recycling and waste management.
Nature’s Path Foods for the company’s commitment to non-GMO agriculture and pioneering role in environmental sustainability and organic food production in the competitive cereal category; and for the company’s deep commitment to fair trade sourcing, exclusivity and product innovation with Whole Foods Market.
AgStrong for its instrumental role in bringing Non-GMO Winter Canola to the Southeast as a new high-value crop; and for working to reduce the risk and costs associated with non-GMO cultivation to help farmers bring more profitable crops to market.
Excellence in product quality
Frontier Natural Products Co-op for consistently delivering premium quality products that not only meet but exceed Whole Foods Market shoppers’ high expectations in a competitive category.
Hidden Villa (and its exclusive Nature’s Fed brand) for its groundbreaking commitment to non-GMO verification and supply chain development through the launch of the industry’s first non-GMO fed eggs—eggs laid by chickens that are fed only non-GMO Project Verified feed.
Green Seal for the organization’s integral involvement in the development, launch and execution of Whole Foods Market’s Eco-Scal Rating System for household cleaners; for creating win-win solutions for suppliers during the auditing and rating process; and for consistent, exemplary customer service.
Bay State Milling for embracing the challenge to customize flour blends and grades that achieve cost and performance goals that meet Whole Foods Market’s growing needs; and for superior customer service to the company’s regional bakehouses and distribution centers.
Outstanding wine or beer supplier
The Winery Exchange for delivering diverse, complex and high-quality varietal wines at great value prices that satisfy and delight shoppers time and time again.
Whole Trade Guarantee ethical sourcing
Divine Chocolate USA for its leadership in ethical sourcing and use of fair trade ingredients; and for the company’s support of the Kuapa KoKoo cocoa co-op, which is empowering impoverished women in Ghana with an opportunity to improve their own lives while helping to make delicious, high-quality products.
Jim Bail, director, consulting and technical services at NSF International, for his integrity, innovation, flexibility, problem-solving expertise and overall incredible support for the Food Safety and Quality Assurance Programs at Whole Foods over the years; and for his work helping thousands of companies improve their food safety and quality assurance programs.