It must feel pretty special to earn recognition from a retail giant like Whole Foods Market. The retailer recently announced the winners of its seventh annual Supplier Awards, created to honor suppliers that embody Whole Foods’ mission and values through proven commitment to innovation, quality, organic integrity, environmental stewardship, and partnership. The 2018 winners were honored at a reception held in Austin, Texas, on April 10.
“We’re proud to recognize these suppliers who offer outstanding products aligned with our mission, values, and the high quality standards that we’ve championed for nearly 40 years,” said A.C. Gallo, President & Chief Merchandising Officer, in a press release. “This year’s honorees were selected from thousands of brands and represent the best-in-class in sourcing, industry-leading innovation, and win-win partnership.”
In total, 30 awards were distributed, with recipients including local, regional, and national brands across perishable and non-perishable product categories. Two global suppliers and 11 regional partners were named “Supplier of the Year,” with a variety of others recognized for outstanding achievements in various categories that reflect Whole Foods’ core values. The winners and honorees were selected by the company’s category experts and buyers who work closely with suppliers.
Global Suppliers of the Year included Wild Planet Foods, named for Environmental Stewardship, and Luke’s Lobster, named for Purpose Driven Empowerment. Both were honored for elevating Whole Foods’ standards for sustainable seafood sourcing.
Among the companies receiving Special Recognition was Vive Organic, a health-conscious juice “shot” company that is in line with Whole Foods’ mission of delivering healthy foods. Forever Cheese was recognized for Raising the Bar for Quality for introducing new ways to improve the quality of its cheese, specialty products, and the transparency of its sourcing, while reducing the environmental impact of its operations. Thompson Farms was also named as a company Raising the Bar for Quality for its dedication to animal welfare and advancing quality standards.
For constantly producing innovative meat offerings, OSI Industries LLC. was recognized specifically in the Outstanding Innovation category. Nature’s Path was singled out for its Organic Commitment, bringing high-quality organic products to consumers. Bonnie’s Jams popped up in the Rookie of the Year category for creating innovative new jam flavors. Crown Finish Caves, a husband and wife cheese company, was named Local & Regional Supplier of the Year, Northwest Region, with La Farm Bakery named for the South Region. Pensieve Foods LLC got the title for the South Pacific Region for its high-quality, raw, vegan, non-GMO, and allergen-friendly foods.
Other honorees include:
Congratulations to all the companies that received this prestigious honor!