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Source: Rabobank news release

New York - Rabobank is seeking nominations for its annual North America Leadership Awards, which recognize North American Food & Agribusiness (F&A) companies that excel in industry stewardship, sustainability and innovation.

The awards are unlike any other in the F&A industry, showcasing those companies - from corporations to fast-growing small businesses - that are truly reshaping the market and setting admirable examples in their sectors. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, companies' responses and resilience in the face of the crisis will be factored this year. In addition, the awards have an enhanced set of social responsibility criteria focused on employee and community efforts as well as proactivity toward fostering racial equity.

"The world has seen monumental changes and events in the last year that have challenged and called on leaders in various realms to act, adapt and respond with insight and sensitivity in unparalleled fashion. How companies lead and demonstrate excellence has never been more important," said Paul Beiboer, CEO, Rabobank North America. "We look forward to recognizing remarkable organizations in North American Food & Agriculture that have showcased commendable leadership, agility and positive social impact in the last year with our Leadership Awards."

Company nominations for the 2020 Awards across the three categories below will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 18, 2020, and must include highlighted initiatives and achievements from June 30, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Nominees are screened through extensive research using publicly available information and reviewed by an independent judging panel of esteemed individuals across industry, academia and the public sector.

Award Categories
Companies operating in the F&A industry in the United States, Canada or Mexico may either nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party for one or more of the awards. Please click on the links below to access the nomination forms.

Rabobank's overarching Award for Excellence in Food & Ag Leadership recognizes a large-scale market leader in North America that has demonstrated great and lasting impact in its sector. The winner will have:

Achieved significant success as a leader in building, rejuvenating or expanding a business in food, beverages, or agribusiness supply chain;

Demonstrated great agility in response to COVID-19, with respect to production capacity, products and solutions, or contributions to pandemic mitigation and positive societal impact;

Taken responsibility for the wellbeing of its employees, customers, and local communities and demonstrated environmental stewardship, model corporate citizenship, and a track record of meeting social commitments;

Been recognized as setting standards of excellence within the industry;

Demonstrated diversity in composition of its governance body;

Demonstrated strong financial performance.

The 2019 Rabobank Award for Excellence in Food & Ag Leadership was awarded to Wegmans Food Markets, a family-owned supermarket chain that displays strong commitment to its customers, local communities, sustainability initiatives and charitable endeavors.

The Rabobank Award for Leadership in Sustainability recognizes a high-impact organization that has achieved unique steps towards business, environmental, social and governance sustainability. The winner will have:

Developed programs and/or initiatives aimed at improving business, environmental, social and governance sustainability;

Demonstrated alignment between sustainability strategy and core business priorities with defined and transparent sustainability guidelines and commitments;

Maintained or increased sustainability standards and enacted exemplary social or charitable initiatives in response to the COVID-19 crisis and social justice-related causes;

Been a model corporate citizen and recognized as setting standards of excellence within the industry;

Demonstrated diversity in composition of its governance body;

Demonstrated strong financial performance.

Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. received the 2019 Rabobank Award for Leadership in Sustainability for being an industry leader in driving sustainability in its supply chain and focusing on renewable energy sources. In addition to consistently improving the nutritional profiles of its products, the company had announced a commitment to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

The Rabobank Award for Emerging Leadership in Innovation recognizes a fast-growing young company that addresses issues in the food and agribusiness space in a new and innovative way. The winner will have:

Operated in the industry for 10 years or less;

Demonstrated a distinct innovation in the food and agriculture supply chain and/or offered a significant new choice, value and/or convenience to customers;

Made a positive contribution to COVID-19 mitigation efforts via pivoting offerings and/or contributing to communities towards COVID-19 relief efforts;

Been a model corporate citizen and demonstrated commitments to diversity and inclusion initiatives;

Demonstrated strong financial performance/investor interest and potential for market expansion.

The 2019 Rabobank Award for Emerging Leadership in Innovation was given to Pivot Bio, a young company that produces a microbial nitrogen crop nutrition solution to farmers that reduces the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, helping farmers improve their profitability and sustainability.

Rabobank's 2020 Award winners will be notified in October and invited to be honored at the bank's annual Food & Agribusiness Summit hosted virtually on December 3, 2020, where they will be announced and publicly recognized.

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