OTTAWA, Feb. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2018 Organic Leadership Awards:

2017 Organic Innovator of the Year -- Cuisine Soleil

Awarded for their innovative “Grilled Lentils Healthy Snacks,” their focus on expanding the availability of plant-based protein products and their dedication to using Canadian organic ingredients.

2018 Organic Supplier of the Year – Yorkshire Valley Farms 

Awarded for expanding the organic poultry market through international exports, new product offerings and the company’s significant investment in consumer and retailer education.

2018 Organic Champion of the Year – Carmen Wakeling (Eatmore Sprouts & Greens Ltd.)

Awarded for her incredible involvement with organics across BC, including being an organic business owner, a deep involvement in provincial associations and her support of organic and agricultural research projects.  

2018 Organic Retailer of the Year – Sweet Cherubim

Awarded for their commitment to organic integrity and breadth of organic product offerings, with organic accounting for over 70% of their store inventory.

The award winners were announced last night during COTA's Second Annual Organic Gala & Leadership Awards Dinner at the Sage Bistro in Vancouver, BC. The event brought together COTA members and industry leaders from across the organic sector to celebrate the accomplishments of organic in 2017. 

COTA's Organic Leadership Awards recognize those who have done something exceptional to advance the organic industry or support organic education in Canada by demonstrating skill and innovation, and achieving identifiable and lasting changes to promote and protect organic agriculture and trade. Award winners serve as inspirational leaders to the organic sector, exhibiting personal commitment, leadership and vision above and beyond that required of them.

Congratulations again to this year's winners! If you know a company, farm or association who exemplifies the principles of organic, keep them in mind for next year's Organic Leadership Awards! 

About the Canada Organic Trade Association
The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based association for the organic sector in Canada: representing growers, processors, certifiers, provincial farmers' associations, importers, exporters, retailers and others throughout the organic value chain. COTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy. 

Rebecca Schwartz
Communications Coordinator