McDonald’s USA has named Peterson Farms Inc. as its 2012 supplier of the year.

Fresh-cut apple supplier wins McDonald’s awardThe Shelby, Mich.-based processor of fresh-cut, frozen and fruit juices was awarded the distinction during a recent yearly McDonald’s U.S. supplier summit in Schaumburg, Ill., according to a news release from McDonald’s.

Fresh-cut apple supplier wins McDonald’s awardAs a supplier of apples, cherries and blueberries, Peterson Farms won the award for helping the Oakbrook, Ill.-based fast food giant become one of the largest U.S. apple purchasers, according to the release. Apple slices are included in every Happy Meal, and fresh blueberries were included as a topping with orders of oatmeal.

Peterson also shares best practices and collaborates with other fruit suppliers to create cost savings and improve product quality and develop more efficient processes, according to the release.

“Peterson Farms’ leadership, strategic vision and commitment to McDonald’s system and values make them the best of the best among our many distinguished suppliers,” Dan Gorsky, McDonald’s North America Supply Chain’s senior vice president, said in the release.

“Their continuous efforts to optimize their productivity, their proactive approach to problem-solving and their flexibility in meeting business needs demonstrate their dedication to our brand, our franchisees and our customers.”