NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rabobank, a leading global food and agribusiness bank, today announced the recipients of its annual Rabobank Leadership awards, which recognize trailblazing companies across food and agriculture in North America that have demonstrated remarkable strides across innovation, sustainability and market leadership.
Over 300 companies were nominated across the three award categories of Emerging Leader in Innovation, Leader in Sustainability, and the marquis award of Leadership & Excellence. The five finalists for each award were reviewed by a panel of judges across industry, academia, policy, media and the investment community. Company representatives received their awards in person today at Rabobank’s annual Food & Agribusiness Summit in New York City.
“Each year we take great pride in celebrating food and agribusiness companies that set examples for the industry with their market impact, ingenuity, and stewardship as corporate leaders,” said Paul Beiboer, CEO, Rabobank North America. “This year’s recipients were chosen from hundreds of North American companies, and I congratulate them for their commitment to making a positive, lasting impact in the industry and society.”
The Rabobank Award for Leadership & Excellence is an over-arching honor that recognizes a market leader that has exhibited notable, innovative and sustainable practices during the past year. Among other achievements, the organization sets standards of excellence within the industry and continues to innovate and contribute to the sustainability of our food system.
The 2018 winner of the Leadership & Excellence award is McCormick & Company. The Maryland-based Fortune 1000 company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products. McCormick & Company has committed to source all of its branded iconic ingredients sustainably and help the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who grow McCormick’s iconic herbs and spices. The company was ranked No. 1 for two consecutive years as the most sustainable corporation in the food products industry in the Global 100 Sustainability Index by Corporate Knights and was also named to Barron’s Inaugural 100 Most Sustainable Companies List.
“We are honored to receive this award and we thank Rabobank for recognizing our efforts to deliver top-tier financial performance while protecting the long-term vitality of the people, communities and planet we share. We’re making significant progress against our 2025 Purpose-led Performance goals and we remain committed to doing well by doing good,” said Lawrence Kurzius, Chairman, President and CEO of McCormick & Company.
The Rabobank Award for Leader in Sustainability celebrates an organization that has demonstrated a deep commitment to sustainability as its core strategy across many dimensions of its business and ambitions. This year’s recipient, Clif Bar & Company, is a privately held family and employee-owned energy bar manufacturer headquartered in Emeryville, California. The company produces energy and protein bars, organic snacks and sports drinks. Among its many sustainability-focused efforts, Clif Bar & Company sources 100 percent green power for its operations, sets renewable energy goals for its suppliers and distribution centers, has pledged to dramatically reduce the amount of landfill waste it creates, and provides incentives for employees to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
“Sustainability is baked into our business model,” said Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, owners and co-CEOs of Clif Bar & Company. “We guide and measure our performance on how well we sustain our Business, Brands, People, Communities and the Planet. We’re grateful for this important recognition from Rabobank but know Clif Bar alone can’t ensure a sustainable future for food and agriculture. That requires all of us.”
The Rabobank Award for Emerging Leader in Innovation is given each year to a young company that is addressing challenges and market gaps with a novel and disruptive business model. This year, Apeel Sciences, a company preventing food waste with a plant-based solution, is the winner. Founded in 2012, Apeel Sciences produces a plant-derived product that can double the shelf life of fruit and vegetables without refrigeration, greatly reducing the amount of food waste from the farm to the kitchen. Its technology has been proven effective at reducing the rate of spoilage of more than three dozen crops, including avocados, asparagus, lemons, apples, bananas and strawberries. The Goleta, California-based company raised $70 million of funding in July 2018 and has started selling its longer-lasting fruit brand in Costco and Kroger stores, among others.
“We’re honored to be recognized by Rabobank alongside a remarkable set of companies that are making a positive impact on the world,” said James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences. “At Apeel, we’re endlessly inspired by nature and believe it holds the answers and innovations that will help the world sustainably solve just about any challenge, from food waste to food security.”