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Ahold USA is among Professional Woman's Magazine's “Top Supplier Diversity Programs for Women” for 2013 in honor of the Carlisle, Pa.-based grocer’s commitment to working with diverse and female-owned businesses. The publication’s 14th annual review of diversity programs evaluates the nation’s employers, initiatives, government agencies and educational institutions, basing its picks on market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses.
Ahold USA’s engagement with local and diverse businesses includes hosting annual trade local/diverse business opportunity fairs. This year’s events were held on Feb. 6 in Quincy, Mass., and Sept. 11 in Carlisle.
“As a responsible retailer, we continue to maintain our strong commitment to developing business opportunities with women and minority-owned companies who can supply their products and services to our customers,” said Jodie Daubert, Ahold USA’s SVP, sales development.
During the Quincy and Carlisle events, 81 companies had their products reviewed by Ahold USA procurement teams for potential placement through the grocer’s retail divisions in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Many of the participating vendors’ businesses are based within the Ahold USA geographic footprint.
“They tried very hard to make sure potential vendors are aware of the processes and requirements, so that there are no surprises and a win/win all around,” noted Debra Kaufmann, of Bethesda, Md.-based Gator Ron’s Zesty Sauces and Mixes.
“This is a huge opportunity for a small company to meet with senior buyers of a large company such as Ahold USA,” added Maria Kardamaki Robertson, of Silver Spring, Md.-based Demeter’s Pantry.
Ahold USA, part of Amsterdam-based international food retailing group Ahold, supports four regional divisions – Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle – that collectively operate nearly 800 supermarkets with about 120,000 associates in 14 states and the District of Columbia, as well as e-grocer Peapod.