For its 2021 Supplier of the Year Awards, Whole Foods Market honored 30 suppliers in the United States, U.K. and Canada in categories such as Outstanding Innovation, Environmental Stewardship, Purpose Driven Empowerment and Supplier of the Year. The awards go to “suppliers that exemplify the company’s mission and core values,” Austin-based Whole Foods said.
“We’re incredibly proud to showcase the exceptional achievements of our suppliers who work so hard to serve our customers and support our mission,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing and communications officer for Whole Foods Market, in a release. “Our suppliers are essential to our business. On this 10th anniversary of the awards program, we are particularly grateful for the partnership and dedication of this extraordinary group who continues to raise the industry bar for quality, innovation and social responsibility.”
Supplier of the Year is given to suppliers who "rise to the top in overall excellence,” Whole Foods said. American Tuna, Willamette Valley Pie Co. and Campos Borquez won in the category.
The regional Supplier of the Year winners were The Backyard Food Co. (North Atlantic); Talea Beer Co. (Northeast); Tsiona Foods (Mid-Atlantic); Murphy’s Naturals (Southeast); Every Body Eat (Midwest); Calyan Wax Co. (Southwest); SpudLove Potato Chips (Pacific Northwest); Barebottle Brewing Co. (Northern California); Asha Pops (Southern Pacific); Karaway (U.K.); and Ruby Jean’s Juicery (Rocky Mountain).
The Rookie of the Year award, given to new global suppliers who provide products to three or more Whole Foods Market regions and have "strong overall performance and execution,” Whole Foods said, went to Mary Ruth’s, Willamette Valley Pie Co., Juneshine and The Organic Rancher.
The Raising the Bar for Quality award, given to suppliers that help advance Whole Foods Market's standards and "take an actionable part in moving the industry,” went to Organic Valley, Golden West Food Group and Driscoll’s.
The winners in the Outstanding Innovation category—given to suppliers "leading disruptive innovation, positioned boldly at the forefront of industry trends”—are Hoplark and Cypress Grove.
The Supply Chain Support winners—awarded to suppliers that "find creative solutions to logistical challenges and prioritize Whole Foods Market’s customer demand”—are Koch Turkey Farm, John J. Jerue Truck Broker Inc. and Raw Seafoods.
The Environmental Stewardship award, given to suppliers that have "established environmentally conscious business methods and models,” went to Serenity Kids and American Tuna.
The Purpose Driven Empowerment award, given to brands aligned with Whole Foods Market’s core value to care for its communities, went to McBride Sisters and Alter Eco.
The winner in the Regenerative Agriculture Commitment category, given to suppliers committed to holistic farming and grazing management practices, was Campos Borquez.
The winner in the Service and Partnership category, awarded to suppliers who support and share Whole Foods Market business initiatives, went to Keto Krisp.
“I was thrilled to see each of the regional winners for the 2021 Supplier of the Year Awards. It was a year of great growth for the local program in our communities and stores, and it set the stage for some of the incredibly important work that our local program will be doing in 2022," Will Betts, VP of local merchandising for Whole Foods Market, said in a release.
Whole Foods Market has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.