Hundreds of food and drink manufacturing industry leaders gathered at the Park Lane Hilton in London for the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards (FMEAs) earlier this month. Here, we provide a flavour of the big night − caught on film.
Chair of judges Paul Wilkinson praised the quality of this year’s entries. “The challenge for the FMEA judges gets tougher every year in choosing just one winner from a group of high-performing companies.”
“Judging by the quality of this year’s entries, the UK food and drink manufacturing industry is in good shape,” said Wilkinson, who is also chairman of the national skills council Improve.
Wilkinson said improvements in productivity and attention to sustainability were key themes of this year’s award entries.
“In addition to an even greater focus on productivity, this year’s entries were notable for the normalisation of the sustainability agenda. More companies clearly see it as a key part of business success.”
But sustainability in food and drink manufacturing was about more than simply about introducing ‘the feel-good factor’. “Manufacturers are exploring how a focus on sustainability can benefit the financial performance of a company – for example through lower energy bills.”
While the trend towards more sustainable manufacturing was evident across all sizes of business, the chairman of judges noted a different emphasis between large- and small-scale enterprises.
“Bigger firms see it as an essential part of the business model, whereas smaller firms see it as a unique sales point,” said Wilkinson.
The overall winner – the Food Manufacturing Company of the Year – was the Iglo Foods Group.
Speakers featured in the video include Mike Stones, group editor Food Manufacture , Simon Rimmer, TV chef and awards presenter plus comedian Josh Widdicombe.
For more information about the FMEAs – the Oscars of UK food and drink manufacturing – visit the awards website.
Meanwhile, big thanks to all the judges listed below. The Food Manufacture Group appreciates their dedication, business insight and attention-to-detail.
The 2012 Judging Panel
• Paul Wilkinson, Chair of judges and chairman, Improve
• Jonathan Bayne, food technologist, Ambient Grocery, Waitrose
• Mark Colvin, lean manufacturing consultant
• Simon Chattock, head of vendor assurance, Compass Group UK & Ireland
• Jonathan Cooper, skills consultant, National Skills Academy
• Jean Feord, regulatory affairs consultant
• Dale Fiddy, sales and marketing director, NFT Distribution Operations
• Estelle Herszenhorn, programme manager, WRAP
• Michelle Jackson, European modified atmosphere packaging manager, Air Products
• Andy Marsh, director, Suiko
• Wayne Morley, head of food innovation, Leatherhead Food Research
• Rick Pendrous, editor, Food Manufacture
• Alan Speight, consultant food technologist, Food Solutions Associates
• Mike Stones, Group Editor, Food Manufacture.