UCSB Materials Department Alumnus James Rogers receives Rabobank Award for Emerging Leader in Innovation

Friday, November 30, 2018

NEW YORK--()--Rabobank, a leading global food and agribusiness bank, today announced the recipients of its annual Rabobank Leadership awards, which recognize trailblazing companies across food and agriculture in North America that have demonstrated remarkable strides across innovation, sustainability and market leadership.

Over 300 companies were nominated across the three award categories of Emerging Leader in Innovation, Leader in Sustainability, and the marquis award of Leadership & Excellence. The five finalists for each award were reviewed by a panel of judges across industry, academia, policy, media and the investment community. Company representatives received their awards in person today at Rabobank’s annual Food & Agribusiness Summit in New York City.

“Each year we take great pride in celebrating food and agribusiness companies that set examples for the industry with their market impact, ingenuity, and stewardship as corporate leaders,” said Paul Beiboer, CEO, Rabobank North America. “This year’s recipients were chosen from hundreds of North American companies, and I congratulate them for their commitment to making a positive, lasting impact in the industry and society.”

The Rabobank Award for Emerging Leader in Innovation is given each year to a young company that is addressing challenges and market gaps with a novel and disruptive business model. This year, Apeel Sciences, a company preventing food waste with a plant-based solution, is the winner. Founded in 2012, Apeel Sciences produces a plant-derived product that can double the shelf life of fruit and vegetables without refrigeration, greatly reducing the amount of food waste from the farm to the kitchen. Its technology has been proven effective at reducing the rate of spoilage of more than three dozen crops, including avocados, asparagus, lemons, apples, bananas and strawberries. The Goleta, California-based company raised $70 million of funding in July 2018 and has started selling its longer-lasting fruit brand in Costco and Kroger stores, among others.

“We’re honored to be recognized by Rabobank alongside a remarkable set of companies that are making a positive impact on the world,” said James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences. “At Apeel, we’re endlessly inspired by nature and believe it holds the answers and innovations that will help the world sustainably solve just about any challenge, from food waste to food security.”


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