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AgroFresh winner of 2015 Leader in Sustainability Award

This year Rabobank North America Wholesale took a fresh look at its Leader in Sustainability Award by opening its nominations process to the food and agriculture industry for the first time. After a rigorous independent judging process, Rabobank honored AgroFresh at their annual Client Appreciation Event in New York as the winner for the role sustainability plays in their mission and products.

"At Rabobank, when we talk about sustainability, we are talking about it both from an environmental and business standpoint – it's about companies using better practices to improve the world and protect their long-term relevance in this area," added Rajiv Singh, CEO, Rabobank. "AgroFresh demonstrates its commitment to reducing waste and improving the sustainability of food with every product it develops. We're delighted to honor the company as this year's Leader in Sustainability."

AgroFresh's flagship product, SmartFresh℠ Quality System, is a freshness protection technology proven to maintain firmness, texture and appearance of fruits during storage and transport. The company also produces a pre-harvest management product to delay the ripening of fruit, giving farmers more control over when they pick their crops.

"We're very proud to be honored by Rabobank with this award. Each year, 44 percent of fruit and vegetables are lost or thrown away due to quality issues, and this award puts an important spotlight on that waste," said Tom Macphee, Chief Executive Officer of AgroFresh. "Our mission is to address this concern by treating fruit and produce with our solutions that retain freshness from the point of harvest to the point of sale."

The Leader in Sustainability Award was judged on four criteria: an alignment of sustainability with the company's core business values, B-certification, a proven impact on customers, and a broad impact on the industry's dynamic.

In 2014, Nicaragua's Mercon Coffee Group received the award for its coffee variety clone research and development, which both protected against crop-specific diseases / pests and increased necessary diversification in grow-areas.

This year marked the first time Rabobank accepted external award nominations from third parties in the Food and Agribusiness industry. After nominees were vetted by an independent, third-party consultant, a winner was selected by a panel of judges.

The Leader in Sustainability Award is one of three awards presented annually at the Rabobank Client Appreciation Events. The Emerging Leader in Innovation Award, awarded to an emerging company finding innovative ways to change the F&A industry, was presented to NuTek Food Science, and the marquee award, the Leadership & Excellence Award, was given to Jackson Family Wines, a company that goes above and beyond in terms embodying the spirit of innovation and business sustainability while making a meaningful impact in the industry. The awards are an important part of the events that bring leaders in the food, agribusiness and renewable energy space together to discuss topical themes and ideas and to examine market and sector outlooks.

The 2015 events theme of innovation was the focal point of keynote speakers Hal Gregersen, Executive Director of MIT Leadership Center, and Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. The events program also included panel discussions and demonstrations from innovative start-up food companies involved in Rabobank's FoodBytes! program. 

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