Annual awards celebrate North America’s leading businesses for industry stewardship, sustainability and innovation
NEW YORK, July 18, 2023– Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness (F&A) bank and a leader in the commodities and renewable energy industries in North America, announced today that it is seeking nominations for its Rabobank North America Leadership Awards. This is an annual honor that recognizes food and agribusiness companies across North America for initiatives that lead the way in industry stewardship, sustainability and innovation. This year, the awards are also open to companies that are driving the energy transition movement.
The awards are unlike any other that specifically recognize F&A companies, showcasing a range of businesses from large corporations to fast-growing new brands that are making a pivotal impact on the market and revolutionizing their sectors. The awards also recognize companies’ responses to ongoing global and economic challenges and the continuing call for greater social responsibility and community involvement.
“With our targeted focus on food, agribusiness and the energy transition, Rabobank is in a unique position to see the incredible work businesses in these sectors are doing to push for food and energy reforms that will benefit society,” said Paul Beiboer, chief executive officer of Rabobank North America. “These cutting-edge companies have led their fields with resilience and transformative ideas year after year. We look forward to recognizing the next wave of leaders with our awards this year.”
Company nominations for our 2023 awards across the three categories below will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31, 2023 and must include highlighted initiatives and achievements occurring between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. Rabobank screens the nominees carefully using publicly available information and their submissions are reviewed by an esteemed panel of independent judges across the industry, academia and the public sector.
Award Categories and Nomination Forms
Companies operating in the F&A industry and in the energy transition across North America can either nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party for one or more of the awards. To apply, use the nomination forms below or visit the Rabobank Wholesale Banking North America website, rabobankwholesalebankingna.com/ leadership-awards.
1. Excellence: Rabobank’s top honor is the Award for Excellence in Corporate Leadership, which recognizes a large-scale market leader in North America that has demonstrated a great and lasting impact in its sector. The winner will meet the following criteria:
- Achieved strong financial results
- Built, rejuvenated or expanded business within the food, agribusiness or energy transition supply chain
- Launched philanthropic programs and took part in charitable work locally and globally
- Demonstrated environmental stewardship, model corporate citizenship and a track record of meeting social commitments
- Set standards of excellence within the industry
- Established a diverse board of directors or executive leadership team or implemented effective diversity and inclusion programs
The winner of last year’s award, previously named the Rabobank Award for Excellence in F&A Leadership, was awarded to Aramark, a leading global provider of food to facilities and businesses in education, health care and sports industries serving hundreds of millions of meals annually. Aramark showcased its leadership in the F&A space by developing healthier dietary menu options—creating 400 new plant-based recipes—and setting environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals in areas of sustainability, diverse hiring and company support programs. Aramark accepted this award at the Rabobank Leadership Summit in December 2022. Visit our leadership awards, to watch Aramark CEO John Zillmer’s acceptance speech.
2. Sustainability: The Rabobank Award for Leadership in Sustainability recognizes a high-impact market leader that has taken unique and remarkable steps toward business, environmental, social and governance sustainability. The winner will meet the following criteria:
- Sustainability is embedded in the company’s core business strategy and corporate values with clearly defined guidelines and commitments
- Developed leading programs or initiatives aimed at improving business, environmental, social and governance sustainability
- Served as a model corporate citizen and set standards of excellence within the industry
- Established a diverse board of directors and executive leadership team or implemented effective diversity and inclusion programs
Pivot Bio, a pioneer in the microbial nitrogen fertilizer space, received the 2022 Rabobank Award for Leadership in Sustainability for developing fertilizer that retools bacteria in soil to grow crops, enabling farmers to decrease costs, improve consumers’ health and ensure cleaner air and water. Pivot Bio has paved the way for new startups to join its commitment in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agribusiness and fertilizer production. Visit our leadership awards, to watch Pivot Bio CEO Karsten Temme’s acceptance speech.
3. Innovation: The Rabobank Award for Emerging Leadership in Innovation recognizes a fast-growing young company that is addressing issues in the food and agribusiness sectors in a new and innovative way. The winner will meet the following criteria:
- Operated in the industry for 10 years or less
- Demonstrated a distinct innovation in the food and agribusiness supply chain or offered greater choice, value or convenience to customers
- Recognized as an innovative leader in sustainability, diversity and inclusion or other social impact areas
- Demonstrated strong financial performance or investor interest and potential for market expansion.
The 2022 Rabobank Award for Emerging Leadership in Innovation was presented to Afresh, a company focused on streamlining the complexity of perishable food categories for brick-and-mortar retailers and wholesalers, for its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that provides accurate item-level predictions of future demand. With its AI capabilities, Afresh went beyond traditional inventory solutions, addressing systemic inefficiencies in the food supply chain and considering all dynamics of fresh food—data, merchandising, store workflows, demand, inventory perishability and variability—while minimizing waste, maximizing freshness and growing profitability. Visit our leadership awards, to watch Afresh CEO Matt Schwartz’s acceptance speech.
The winners of the 2023 Rabobank Leadership Awards will be notified in October and honored at the bank’s annual Leadership Summit on Nov. 30, 2023 in New York City, where they will be publicly recognized for their outstanding work and service.
For more information about the Rabobank Leadership Awards, please visit rabobankwholesalebankingna.com/leadership-awards.
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 38 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world’s largest banks with over $660 billion in assets.
In the Americas, Rabobank Wholesale Banking North America is a premier corporate and investment bank to the food, agribusiness, commodities and energy industries. Rabo AgriFinance, a subsidiary of Rabobank, is a leading financial services provider for farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in the United States. Together, we provide sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire value chain. Visit www.RabobankWholesaleBankingNA.com and www.RaboAg.com.