Birds Eye brand owner Iglo Foods Group has scooped top honours in the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards (FMEA) ‒ the Oscars of the food and drink manufacturing industry.
Iglo was named Food Manufacturing Company of the Year last night (November 5) at a gala dinner at London’s Hilton Hotel, Park Lane.
Its achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests as Iglo Foods Group Lowestoft factory general manager Craig Hamilton received the trophy from Mark Lynch, partner with Oghma Partners, which sponsored the category.
They were joined on stage by the awards presenter TV celebrity chef Simon Rimmer who hosts Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
The award judges − led by Paul Wilkinson, who chairs the food and drink sector skills council Improve – reported being wowed by the Birds Eye owner’s all-round approach to excellence.
Solid business strategies
By aligning solid business strategies to sustainable values, it has shown itself to be a shining example of how a food manufacturing company should operate in these challenging times, said the judges.
“Iglo has not been afraid to grasp some really thorny issues and made significant inroads into them. Iglo is clear that it has to live its values to ensure its future success,” said the judges.
This coveted top title goes to an overall winner, selected from eight individual manufacturing category winners.
Iglo landed top honours after winning the Frozen Foods Company of the Year award earlier in the evening. The judges praised Iglo Foods’ drive for growth in fish, vegetable and poultry products.
“Iglo has carried out lots of targeted investment and there has been considerable improvement in its service levels,” said the judges.
The winner fought off stiff competition from short-listed firms: Green Gourmet and Lewis Pie and Pasty Company.
The annual FMEA, run by this website’s sister title Food Manufacture, is the premier event in the UK food manufacturing calendar.
Rick Pendrous, Editor of Food Manufacture, said: “The FMEAs recognise and reward the UK’s very best food and drink manufacturing companies.
“In a year marked by very high-calibre entries, Iglo Foods Group distinguished itself through its commitment to excellence, its innovation and its impressive business performance.”
For more information about the big night and a full gallery of photos visit www.foodmanawards.co.uk .
Meanwhile, congratulations to all the category winners listed below and the shortlisted companies.
FMEA category winners
•Ambient Company of the Year Winner: Burts Chips
Shortlisted: Greencore Grocery; Mars Food; and Moguntia Food Ingredients.
Sponsor: Fowler Welch.
•Bakery Company of the Year Winner: Allied Bakeries
Shortlisted: Butt Foods and Walker & Son
Sponsor: Lauras International
•Cakes and Biscuits Company of the Year Winner: Border Biscuits
Shortlisted: Rich Products and American Muffin
•Beverage Company of the Year Winner: Britvic Soft Drinks
Shortlisted: Solution Sciences
•Chilled and Fresh Company of the Year Winner: Greencore Northampton
Shortlisted: Hazeldene, Mash Direct and Raynor Foods
•Ice Cream Company of the Year Winner: R&R Ice Cream
Shortlisted: Fredericks Dairies
•Frozen Foods Company of the Year Winner: Iglo Foods Group
Shortlisted: Green Gourmet and Lewis Meat and Pasty Co
Sponsor: Oghma Partners
•Protein Company of the Year Winner: Young’s Seafood
Shortlisted: Adams Foods, Dawn Meats Group, Lossie Seafoods and Taste Tradition
Four other company awards covered the environment, training, small company of the year and judges’ special award.
•Environmental Initiative of the Year Winner: Coca-Cola Enterprises
Shortlisted: Kelly’s of Cornwall, Premier Foods, Young’s Seafood and United Biscuits
•Training Programme of the Year Winner: Britvic Soft Drinks
Shortlisted: Bakkavör – Hitchen Foods, Fairfax Meadow, Greencore Grocery and Tillery Valley
•Small Company of the Year Winner: Moguntia Food Ingredients
Shortlisted: Butt Foods, Mash Direct and Raynor Foods
• The Judges’ Special Award Winner: Greencore Grocery
The Personality of the Year award was won by Perween Wasi, food entrepreneur and chief executive of S&A Foods.
Shortlisted candidates were:
•Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
•Michael Clarke, ceo, Premier Foods
•Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, TV personality, chef and fisheries campaigner
•James Lambert, chief executive, R&R Ice Cream
•Levi Roots, food entrepreneur
Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted candidates.
Watch out for more FMEA coverage online − including videos, photo-galleries and text articles – and in print in our sister magazine Food Manufacture.