Frontier Co-op wins two 2023 Progressive Grocer Impact Awards for supply chain and workforce commitments

Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Co-op is a 40,000 member-owned cooperative offering culinary herbs, spices and more.

Frontier Co-op, a leader in sustainably sourced and organic spices, herbs, botanicals and plant-based products, earlier this month received two Progressive Grocer 2023 Impact Awards recognizing the member-owned co-op’s Well Earth impact sourcing program in the Ethical Sourcing/Supply Chain Transparency category, as well as its Breaking Down Barriers to Employment programs in the Workforce Development/Employee Support category.

Now in its third year, the awards program recognizes outstanding leadership among grocery industry companies whose wide-ranging efforts are improving lives, creating opportunities, and having a positive impact at the local and global level​.

“We are honored to be recognized among best-in-class grocery industry organizations in two of Progressive Grocer’s Impact Award categories. This acknowledgement underscores the range and depth of Frontier Co-op’s social and supply chain impact efforts,” said Tony Bedard, CEO of Frontier Co-op. “It also reaffirms our mission to nourish people and planet by addressing the needs of our employees, sourcing partners, retailers and customers.”

Well Earth Impact Sourcing Program Supports Ethical Sourcing and Supply Chain Transparency

For this year’s awards, Progressive Grocer recognized Frontier Co-op’s Well Earth Impact Sourcing Program for their dedication to working with global spice, herb and botanical sourcing partners to sponsor $5 million in supply chain development projects by FY26. As of 2023, the co-op has supported $1.4 million toward long-term projects and partnerships with initiatives like the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Cooperative Development Program (CDP). Global projects with farmers and processors in areas including India, Guatemala and Sri Lanka focus on community building efforts including education, medical and basic needs support; business building involving value-added processing and agricultural practices that help farmers retain more value in their communities; and climate resiliency tactics like crop diversification and regenerative farming.

Breaking Down Barriers to Employment Program Addresses Systemic Workforce Challenges

Progressive Grocer also recognized Frontier Co-op’s Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative, which partners with local organizations to address systemic challenges connected to employment and economic mobility. An estimated one-in-three Americans have a criminal justice-informed past that can create lifelong obstacles to employment, housing and education. A key pillar of the Breaking Down Barriers to Employment initiative is second chance hiring practices and apprenticeship programs that help people build important skills and work experience to be successful within Frontier Co-op, the manufacturing industry and their community. Frontier Co-op has hired 20 percent of its production employees through this program since its inception, including more than 60 formerly incarcerated employees and individuals struggling with homelessness. More than 380 apprentices have benefitted from the co-op’s program to date. The homelessness rate among program participants in 2022 dropped 50 percent after being hired by Frontier Co-op.

The Progressive Grocer Impact Award program is open to retailers, suppliers and solution provider companies in the food and consumables industry. Progressive Grocer’s Impact Award winners are featured on

Share This Post

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, we would love it if you would share it to your social networks!