Whole Foods Market recognized 42 local, regional and national suppliers in May as part of the company's ninth-annual Supplier Awards.
Award recipients span all product categories and were selected by Whole Foods Market leaders, category experts and buyers who work closely with suppliers every day.
"It is Whole Foods Market's honor to celebrate our suppliers who have demonstrated fantastic cooperation, resilience, creativity and commitment to quality, rising to excellence in a year unlike any other," said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing & communications officer at Whole Foods Market. "This year, we are proud to add the Regenerative Agriculture Commitment award to congratulate suppliers that are making strides to improve farming practices."
Supplier of the Year
Supplier of the Year is awarded to Whole Foods Market suppliers who rise to the top in overall excellence.
Regional winners: Rainforest Distribution (Mid-Atlantic), NAPI (Navajo Agricultural Products Industry)/Navajo Pride Organics (Rocky Mountain), Spinster Sisters Co (Rocky Mountain), Nana Joes Granola (Northern California), Adams Ranch (Florida), Iggy's Bread of the World (North Atlantic), Mill-King Market & Creamery (Southwest), Sacred Serve (Midwest), Big Spoon Roasters (South), Island Spring Organics (Pacific Northwest), IWON Organics (Southern Pacific), Bread Alone Bakery (Northeast), The Gluten Free Bakery (United Kingdom)
Special Recognition is awarded to suppliers that go above and beyond in helping Whole Foods Market grow and drive business as well as inspire and delight customers. This year's global winners are Great Range Bison, Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Diageo, Pact Apparel, Pastry Star, Kettle Cuisine and Agritalia.
Rookie of the Year—awarded only to new global suppliers in 2020—is presented to new global suppliers who provide products to three or more Whole Foods Market regions with strong overall performance and execution. This year's winners are Milk Bar, Greenbar Distillery and Yonges Island Fish Company.
Quality and innovation
Raising the Bar for Quality awards recognize suppliers that help us advance Whole Foods Market standards and take an actionable part in moving the industry forward. This year's global winners have displayed innovative manufacturing or agricultural techniques: LaBelle Patrimoine Heritage Chickens, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Sun Pacific, Bianco DiNapoli, New Yorker Bagels and MegaFood.
Outstanding Innovation is awarded to suppliers leading disruptive innovation, positioned boldly at the forefront of industry trends. This year's global winner is Primal Kitchen.
Supply Chain Support awards recognize suppliers that find creative solutions to logistical challenges and prioritize Whole Foods Market's customer demand. This year's global winners are Rao's, Applegate Farms and Emmi Roth.
Purpose and core values
Environmental Stewardship is awarded to suppliers who have established environmentally conscious business methods and models, such as reducing carbon footprint and incorporating ecofriendly packaging. This year's global winner is GoMacro.
Purpose Driven Empowerment awards honor brands aligned with Whole Foods Market's core value to care for our communities. This year's global winners are Bloomia, Subject to Change Wine Co. and Tony's Chocolonely.
Regenerative Agriculture Commitment award recognizes brands that are committed to holistic farming and grazing management practices that improve soil, enhance biodiversity and increase carbon capture. This year's global winners are Atkins Ranch and Alexandre Family Farms.
Service and Partnership award goes to key suppliers who support and share Whole Foods Market business initiatives and win-win-win outcomes. This year's winner is Taylor Farms.
Source: Whole Foods Market