Food safety, traceability and sustainability blog

Supplier Management / Food Suppliers

How Frontier Co-op Streamlined Their Supply Chain for People, Planet, and Profit


Founded in 1976 and based in Norway, Iowa, Frontier Co-op is a cooperatively-owned wholesaler of natural and organic products under the Frontier Co-op, Simply Organic and Aura Cacia brands. With more than 25,000 member-owners and over 500 employees, they manufacture and distribute products throughout the United States and Canada.

“Our co-op structure keeps us independent and able to pursue a triple bottom line without apology,” explains Greg Sommerville, Head of Supply Integrity who represents Frontier Co-op. 

The ‘triple bottom line’ he’s referring to is People, Planet, and Profit. 

“We care deeply about our co-op's effect on the world, and we're sincerely committed to helping the communities where our products are produced. Purchases benefit families and communities around the globe with the goal of treating everyone fairly and having a positive impact in the world.” 

Frontier has three main business units: Food & Flavors, which includes bottled spices, seasoning mixes, liquid extracts, and bulk herbs & spices; Personal Care, comprised of essential oil based aromatherapy and personal care products; and Direct, the distribution of other manufacturer’s products.

In running its businesses, Frontier purchases materials from more than 50 countries on six continents.

“The complexity of products makes our supply chain a challenge,” Sommerville says. “We have more than 1,800 different ingredients and materials, including herbs and teas, spices, essential oils, and packaging. As an example of the complexity, one spice blend is sourced from 16 suppliers in nine countries. Using our previous system for document management was just too manual and time consuming for the growing business.”

With FoodLogiQ Connect’s Manage + Monitor, Frontier was able to build an online supplier community while being supported by, “one of the most responsive customer success teams I have worked with.” 

“Not only do we now have a greater use of technology in our document management system with greater control, we also have a consistent and transparent supplier approval program in place,” explains Sommerville. “We can easily stay on top of supplier audits and assessments now, too. Manage + Monitor has also helped us improve on recording, rectifying and trending quality incidents, allowing Frontier to have the evidence and report directly to the supplier to ensure a recoup of costs.”

Using FoodLogiQ Connect, Frontier has consolidated approvals, incidents, tracking and specifications all in one place, and that information can be accessed from anywhere.

“It has empowered us to streamline our processes,” says Sommerville. 

Don't miss our live webinar with Frontier Co-op's Greg Sommerville on transparency in the manufacturing supply chain.

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Posted by Kiecha Berzins on Jan 7, 2020 12:00:00 PM