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Whole Foods Honors Suppliers Who Share Mission

Whole Foods Honors Suppliers Who Share Mission

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market, launching its first annual supplier awards program, has honored Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Waterloo, Wis., for best embodying Whole Foods’ mission and core values in the cheese category.

Crave Brothers and others were recognized at an awards dinner here last month.

Suppliers chosen for awards were those who share Whole Foods Market’s passion for, and commitment to, quality, ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship, as well as for innovation.

“Crave Brothers Farmstead was chosen for the award in the cheese category for their strongest alignment with Whole Foods Market’s mission, including [its] green practices like water conservation and achieving negative carbon status through the use of bio-digesters to power production facilities and 300 surrounding homes,” Whole Foods officials said in a statement after the awards ceremony.

Crave Brothers, which farms 2,000 acres, and is committed to sustainability, supplies Whole Foods with selected private-label cheese as well as its branded products, including mascarpone, mozzarellas and French-style cheeses.

“Whole Foods Market has a huge cheese category so it was a true honor to be chosen for the award,” Debbie Crave, vice president, Crave Brothers’ cheese business, told SN.

“There are a lot of parallels in our goals and mission.

2012 SN Top 75: Whole Foods Market Ranks No. 20

Whole Foods is very conscientious about their sources, about how things are made, and how animals are treated. We do what’s good for the environment and our cows are well taken care of, and that all fits well.”

George Crave, president of Crave Brothers’ cheese  business, pointed out that he and Debbie Crave work closely with Whole Foods when it comes to merchandising and marketing their cheeses.

“We do in-store demos and take part in other events with them, usually at their stores in Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago, but we’ve also done events in Austin and at some of their other locations,” Crave said.

Whole Foods’ global vice president of procurement, perishables, Edmund LaMacchia, said in a statement, “We launched these awards to honor partners who not only exemplify our core values, but who also demonstrate true commitment to growing with Whole Foods Market.”

Other perishables supplier awardees in various categories were Cox Seafood, OLLI Salumeria, Mood Fisheries, Lady Moon Farms, IMI Global, Durst Organic Growers/Organic Harvest Network, and The Elite Flower.

Agritalia, an Italian food exporter, was named Supplier of the Year.

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