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The Winners of Our 2013 Supplier Awards

We recently recognized the winners of our 2013 Supplier Awards at a special awards ceremony, spotlighting natural and organic non-perishable suppliers who best exemplify our mission and core values.

Our buyers and experts selected this year’s recipients out of the thousands of suppliers they work beside every day to bring products to market. Frontier Natural Products Co-op, a top supplier of organic herbs and spices, earned our highest honor of Supplier of the Year.

Here’s a list of all the suppliers we honored that represent the very best in our industry:

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 just for Whole Foods Market shoppers that delivers unmatched value and quality, 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 US, and for delivering premium quality products with a commitment to recycling and waste management.

Environmental Stewardship

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 and product innovation.

Outstanding Innovation

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 and crops to market.

Excellence in Product Quality

Frontier Natural Products Co-op – for consistently delivering premium quality products that not only meet, but also exceed, Whole Foods Market shoppers’ high expectations.

Non-GMO Commitment

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-Scale™ Rating System for household cleaners; for creating win-win solutions for suppliers during the auditing and rating process; and for consistent, exemplary customer service.  

Commodity Ingredients

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.

Special Recognition

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.

We’re proud to recognize the passion, hard work and true partnership these suppliers deliver every day to support our business.

Is there a company or brand that you think deserves an award? Tell us about them in the comments below.

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marmaladesky says …

Congrats to the winners! :)

Madie Ferere says …

Hello, I am a wholefoods market faithfull shopper. I presently live in Bogota Colombia. I have a friend in the Ivory Coast who is a pharmacist and who is interested in offering natural medicine in addition to some natural foods, make-up, etc… I told her about you and she is interested in finding out if some of your suppliers can also be hers. I am helping her out because she is French speaking. We need advise. Thank you.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MADIE - Since we are a retailer, she would need to reach out to specific vendors she is interested in carrying to see if they can sell in her store.