News Release:

Whole Foods Market® honors winners of its first-ever Supplier Awards

Tips hat to best in class, innovation, social responsibility and environmental leadership

AUSTIN, Texas (May 22, 2012) – Today, Whole Foods Market announced the winners of its inaugural Supplier Awards, spotlighting natural and organic vendors who best embody the grocer’s mission and core values.

Italian food exporter and expert, Agritalia, earned the grocer’s highest honor of Top Supplier of the Year for outstanding all-around performance, including commitment to quality, consistent customer service and transparency.

Awardees were chosen by Whole Foods Market global buyers and experts who work side-by-side with the grocer’s national vendors to bring products to market. In addition to the Top Supplier of the Year award, the company recognized the cream-of-the-crop supplier partners in nine other categories: Best in Class, Best New Product, Cheese, Environmental, Quality Assurance, Special Achievement, Innovation, Wine and the company’s ethical sourcing program, Whole Trade® Guarantee.

“At Whole Foods Market, we live and breathe our core values, and one of those values is creating win-win relationships with our suppliers. We’re excited to spotlight our outstanding vendors whose shared passion, hard work and true partnership is helping us set the industry gold standard – for quality, ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship, and more,” said Jim Speirs, global vice-president of procurement, non-perishables.

“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,” said Edmund LaMacchia, global vice-president of procurement, perishables. “We’re always challenging our suppliers to deliver superior quality products. Their eagerness to innovate makes these suppliers true partners in defining Whole Foods Market’s mission. We are proud to celebrate their accomplishments.”

All Supplier Award winners were announced at this evening’s awards dinner in Austin, Texas at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. About the winners:

Top Supplier of the Year:

Best in Class:

Best New Product:

Cheese:

Environmental:

Innovation:

Quality Assurance:

Special Achievement:

Whole Trade® Guarantee ethical sourcing:

Wine:


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Experts

Jim Speirs

Global Vice President of Procurement – Non-Perishables

Jim Speirs grew up and worked in virtually every capacity of a Southern California family-owned supermarket chain.

Edmund LaMacchia

Vice President of Procurement – Perishables

Edmund LaMacchia joined Whole Foods Market in 1990, bringing a personal commitment to environmental change through the progress of organic agriculture.