Whole Foods' Supplier Awards Winners Announced
- by Maggie Mead
AUSTIN, TX - Earning recognition from a retail giant like Whole Foods must feel extra special. The winners of the retailer’s seventh annual Supplier Awards have been announced, and it’s a fine group of companies. The Supplier Awards were created to honor suppliers that embody Whole Foods’ values and mission through proven commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, innovation, organic integrity, and partnership. The 2018 winners were honored at a reception held in Austin, TX, 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.
Forever Cheese was recognized for Raising the Bar for Quality
Among the companies receiving Special Recognition was Vive Organic, a health-conscious juice “shot” company, working in line with Whole Foods’ mission of delivering healthy foods. Driscoll’s was another company that received Special Recognition for its outstanding efforts to provide consumers with access to more fresh, delicious berries.
Awe Sum Organics was honored for its Organic Commitment to ensuring great tasting organic fruit supplies are plentiful. In the Rookie of the Year category, Alpine Fresh Inc. received honors for bringing fresh fruits and vegetables from its farms to Whole Foods customers. The coveted Local & Regional Supplier of the Year, Southwest region, went to Val Verde Vegetable Co., Inc., a company whose cutting-edge farming and ranching operations supply Whole Foods with more than 50 produce items year-round.
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.
Other honorees include:
- Forever Cheese - Raising the Bar for Quality
- Thompson Farms - Raising the bar for Qualtiy
- SmithFoods - Outstanding Innovation
- OSI Industries LLC - Outstanding Innovation
- Nature’s Path - Organic Commitment
- Cocokind - Purpose Driven Empowerment
- SmartSweets - Rookie of the Year
- Bonnie’s Jams - Rookie of the Year
- Tsar Nicoulai Caviar - Environmental Stewardship
- 4 x 400 Consulting - Service and Partnership
- Inno-Pak, LLC - Service & Partnership
- Aramouni International, Inc. & Nature’s Healthy Gourmet, Inc. - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Florida Region
- Inspire Pure Botanicals - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Mid-Atlantic Region
- FILLO’S Americas Made - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Midwest Region
- UTEC, Inc. - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, North Atlantic Region
- Humphry Slocombe - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Northern California Region
- Crown Finish Caves - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Northeast Region
- Woodlot - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Pacific Northwest Region
- SoulRise Tribe - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, Rocky Mountain Region
- La Farm Bakery - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, South Region
- Pensieve Foods LLC - Local & Regional Suppliers of the Year, South Pacific Region
Congratulations to all the winners!