Rabobank, a global food and agribusiness (F&A) bank, announced the recipients of its annual Rabobank North America Leadership Awards. The awards celebrate both large-scale F&A corporates and fast-growing emerging companies that are setting admirable examples of industry stewardship, sustainability and innovation across the region.
This year's awards included an enhanced set of criteria, including companies' responses to the coronavirus pandemic and social responsibility criteria focused on employee and community efforts, as well as proactivity toward fostering racial equity. Finalists were reviewed by a panel of judges across industry, academia, non-profits, media, and the investment community.
Representatives from the three winning companies were presented with the awards during Rabobank's annual Food & Agribusiness Summit today, which is taking place virtually this week.
Rabobank Award for Excellence in Food & Ag Leadership
This overarching award honors a large-scale market leader that has made lasting impacts in its sector. Among other accomplishments, this organization has demonstrated outstanding corporate citizenship and agility in response to COVID-19 while setting standards of excellence within the industry.
This year's winner is PepsiCo, a leading global food and beverage company headquartered in Purchase, New York. The company's "Winning with Purpose" vision is reflected across its numerous achievements in corporate responsibility. PepsiCo committed $400 million over the next five years to advancing racial equality initiatives and has invested $38.5 million in improving gender equality in agriculture. The company has committed to sourcing 100% of its energy for direct operations from renewable sources and has shifted to a more sustainable packaging supply chain to substantially reduce its use of plastic. It also launched an accelerator to help advance purpose-driven solutions for the food and beverage industry.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, PepsiCo has provided charitable donations to more than 60 organizations, contributed millions for those in need of relief, and offered enhanced paid time off benefits for employees to quarantine or care for sick family members.
Rabobank Award for Leadership in Sustainability
This award celebrates a high-impact organization that has achieved unique steps toward business, environmental, social and governance sustainability.
The 2020 Rabobank Award for Leadership in Sustainability was presented to General Mills, a leading global packaged food company based in Minneapolis, for its bold regenerative agriculture projects, sustainable sourcing, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and commitment to 100% renewable energy in operations by 2030. The company further solidified its position as a leader by engaging with its partners, communities and consumers on the importance of regenerative agriculture.
In response to the coronavirus crisis, General Mills and its Foundation increased and adapted their giving to help equip charitable organizations with greater financial and food resources to meet the unprecedented need. Their charitable response of $14 million included a "manufacture to donate" initiative where General Mills facilities manufactured and immediately donated product to Feeding America food banks, in addition to grants, locally and in key markets worldwide, to provide communities with relief and mitigate hunger.