Household hygiene company Reckitt Hygiene has been named Woolworths’ Supplier of the Year at its annual awards ceremony in Sydney on 30 November, with Cobram Estate Olives also recognised for best practice and innovation in sustainability.
Woolworths’ annual Supplier of the Year Awards recognises excellence across the thousands of suppliers the supermarket partners with to deliver high quality food and everyday needs to its customers.
Reckitt Hygiene was awarded ‘Overall Supplier of the Year’ for its sustained effort to meet increased consumer demand for hygiene products and its ongoing support for Australian communities through a number of purpose-led initiatives. Its recent ‘Can Loneliness & Create Connection’ campaign saw Glen 20 partner with Meals on Wheels to donate 100,000 cans of Glen 20 to vulnerable Australians – one for every Pine O Cleen or Glen 20 purchased at Woolworths during the campaign period. The company also took out the ‘Everyday Needs’ category at the awards.
Reckitt – Hygiene Sales Director Jonathon Gale said: “The Reckitt Hygiene team is thrilled to be awarded the ‘Everyday Needs Supplier of the Year’ award for the second year running and, for the first time, also the ‘Overall Supplier of the Year’ award at Woolworths. We are very proud of the strategy we have co-created that has put People and Purpose at the heart of our Performance. Collectively in 2022 we’ve been able to not only deliver sustained category growth, cycling a very strong Covid consumption period, but also importantly give back to Australian communities through our Glen 20, Finish, Airwick and Vanish brands by supporting brilliant organisations such as Meals on Wheels, Oz Harvest, Seedbank and Upparel. We are very thankful for Woolworths’ partnership and look forward to continuing the momentum over the coming years.”
Woolworths Chief Commercial Officer Paul Harker said: “Our partnership with Reckitt Benckiser has grown immensely in the past few years, particularly as hygiene became front of mind for the community throughout the pandemic.
“Over the last three years, the joint business plan we have developed with the Reckitt Hygiene team has highlighted their commitment to driving growth and innovation across the hygiene category, while keeping up with high levels of demand to ensure supply made it to our shelves as quickly as possible,” he said.
“Many of our partners faced increased demand, and challenges in meeting it over recent years, however Reckitt Hygiene not only rose to the challenge but did so without taking their foot off the pedal on innovation, new product development and community engagement. We’re proud to have partnered with them on their Glen 20 Meals on Wheels initiative again this year.”
The Better Tomorrow Award, formerly known as the Sustainability Award, went to Cobram Estate Olives for its work on sustainable agriculture and production of its extra virgin olive oil. The Cobram Estate Olives Oliv.iQ® proprietary integrated olive oil production system is a best-in-class sustainability initiative that produces olive oil using 37 per cent less water than industry best practice and cuts the use of phosphorus fertiliser by 83 per cent and nitrogen fertiliser by 61 per cent compared to the industry average. The business has worked hard to reduce waste and repurpose the materials left-over in its production process, with only 0.5 per cent of its operational inputs going to landfill. It has set aside 500 hectares of land for native vegetation reforestation and conservation, and has become ‘carbon positive’, capturing more carbon than it emits to grow, process, and distribute its extra virgin olive oil.
Cobram Estate Olives Sustainability Manager Justin Pilgrim said: “Cobram Estate Olives supports Woolworths’ commitments to a Net Zero future and providing healthy food options to customers. With our innovative horticultural and regenerative farming practices we capture more carbon than we emit to produce and market our healthy award-winning extra virgin olive oil.”
Mr Harker added: “Cobram Estate is a shining beacon for the level of sustainable transformation that’s already possible today. It is role modelling the path to greener land management, agriculture and production. Customers are counting on brands to make the products they buy better for the planet and our collective future, and we’re thrilled to see this well-loved Australian company walking the walk.”
Melbourne artisan pasta maker Lello, owned and operated by Leonardo and Linda Gelsomino, was awarded Small Supplier of the Year on the night. Lello grew its wholesale business after their Italian restaurant was forced to close during Covid-19 lockdowns. After taking part in a trial at Woolworths’ Crows Nest store in Sydney, its pasta sauce is now available in a number of stores across the country.
Mr Harker concluded: “We’re proud to be championing the businesses who make it possible for us to provide quality food and everyday needs to hundreds of communities across the country.
“While this year has continued to deliver challenges for our industry, the collaboration and partnership of our suppliers has made us better together.
“We work with suppliers of all sizes, and as Australia’s largest retailer we’re pleased to support them to grow their business, reach new customers and make changes for a more sustainable future,” he said.
The Woolworths Supplier of the Year Awards recognised partners across a range of categories:
- Overall Supplier of the Year: Reckitt Hygiene
- Better Tomorrow Award: Cobram Estate Olives Ltd
- Woolworths Category Manager of the Year: Danielle Clarke
- Account Manager of the Year: Tom Kippenberger (Reckitt Benckiser)
- New Product Launch of the Year: Simply Potato & Corn Chips, Pepsico
- Meat/Seafood Supplier of the Year: British Sausage Company
- Fruit & Veg Supplier of the Year: Perfection Fresh
- Chilled & Bakery Supplier of the Year: GWF (Tip Top)
- Small Supplier of the Year: Lello
- Everyday Needs Supplier of the Year: Reckitt Benckiser (Hygiene)
- Grocery Food Supplier of the Year: Mutti
- Merchandising Team of the Year: Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
- Metro Supplier of the Year: Elato
- Community Champion Supplier of the Year: Humpty Doo
- Cartology Campaign of the Year: Wonder Recycling Rewards (Goodman Fielder)
- Woolworths Food Company Supplier of the Year: Northern Meat & Poultry Supplies (NMPS)
- Logistics Partner of the Year: Sanitarium
- Integrated Supply Partner of the Year: Caroline Manuel – Patties.