West Liberty Foods, of West Liberty, Iowa, was named by the SUBWAY brand and its Independent Purchasing Cooperative as the 2012 Vendor of the Year at the company's recent convention in Orlando, Fla.

West Liberty Foods, which provides various meat products and related services to the SUBWAY chain, was cited for its work with the brand on product improvements and food safety initiatives, as well as its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

"West Liberty Foods has continued its investment in state of the art facilities, implemented the most advanced food safety protocols, demonstrated strategic vision and innovation in their collaboration with Subway and the IPC, and has achieved national recognition for its work in the area of social responsibility," said Jan Risi, President of the IPC, which is responsible for procuring products, equipment, supplies and services used in Subway restaurants. "Across the board, West Liberty has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the Subway brand and an unsurpassed level of excellence in all areas of their business."

Added Subway VP, Research and Development, Suzanne Greco, "West Liberty Foods has a strong focus on increasing efficiencies, decreasing waste and ensuring value for the Subway system.  For the past 13 years, they have been a true vendor partner and a real friend to the thousands of Subway franchisees they serve."

"We are honored to receive this award, and it is celebrated by each member of our team," said Ed Garrett, President and CEO of West Liberty Foods. "As a company we push the boundaries; whether it is food safety, product development, or environmental sustainability, because it's the right thing to do. As we enter our 14th year as members of the Subway team, our partnership continues to be built on our willingness to invest in our team members and technology, and grow on the strengths of the Subway Brand."

On the Corporate Social Responsibility front, West Liberty Foods is among the first companies in the United States to have its "landfill free" efforts at its Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and Tremonton, Utah, plants verified by a third party organization, a major milestone in the food industry. In fact, West Liberty Food's Tremonton facility has successfully diverted nearly 3.5 million pounds of annual waste from the local landfill while the Mount Pleasant facility has diverted more than 2 million pounds. West Liberty Foods is aggressively working towards that goal in its West Liberty, Iowa, facility as well.

West Liberty Foods also built the Hearts & Hands Children's Academy in Tremonton as a way to provide day care, as well as educational activities and programming, for children from 6-weeks of age through 12-years-old.

Source: Subway Restaurants