The Seafood Company crowned overall awards winner

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food manufacture Manufacturing Campbell soup company Food

The Seafood Company beat fierce competition to claim the Company of the Year award at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards ceremony at the Marriott...

The Seafood Company beat fierce competition to claim the Company of the Year award at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards ceremony at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel, London on November 11.

A packed hall of its peers applauded the firm - part of the Findus Group - which was selected by a panel of industry experts for consistently outstanding performance in every area to nail the overall award, sponsored by the International Agri-Technology Centre.

The company was also chosen as the winner of the Seafood Award - sponsored by Seafish - for excellent efficiency and productivity improvements. It was praised by one judge for its focus on quality assurance “absolutely end to end, right through the business all the way back up the supply chain”
A host of other awards were also announced amid an evening of fine food and drink in sumptuous surroundings dedicated to celebrating the best processors in their class.
John Foster, md of Fosters Bakery, was announced as the recipient of the Food Manufacture Personality of The Year Award - sponsored by Applied Principles. He was voted top in a hard fought contest decided on by Food Manufacture readers via an online poll based on a shortlist drawn up on its awards website,​, where details of all the winners can also be found.

Processing behemoth Premier Foods was named as the winner of the Judges Special Award - sponsored by Air Products - for the superlative execution of a colossal consolidation project. The programme brought 13 manufacturing sites down to five following Premier’s acquisition of The Campbell Soup Company’s UK and Irish businesses and RHM.
Alara Wholefoods scooped the Small Company of The Year Award - sponsored by Invest in Bradford - for its passionate commitment to environmental principles, with one judge commenting: “Alara’s aspiration - in managing resources, rather than generating waste - goes outside where the industry is at the moment.”
Cambridge Manufacturing Company romped home with the Ambient and General Groceries Award - sponsored by Boughey Distribution - particularly for its network marketing initiatives and improvements in production efficiency, according to the judges.
Its process innovation, superb marketing and commitment to environmental improvements and local sourcing made Ginsters the deserving winner of the Bakery and Confectionery Award - sponsored by DKSH. The judges called Ginsters “a true learning organisation”
Elsewhere, its commitment to continuous improvement and problem solving skills in contract manufacturing led the judges to give Framptons the Hot and Cold Beverages Award - sponsored by Food Manufacture’s recruitment website FoodMan Jobs​. The firm’s successes in cutting waste and cost for its clients received special mention.
Samworth Brothers scooped the Chilled Ready Meals and Prepared Foods Award - sponsored by SA Partners. Judges said they had been wowed by its dynamism across the board, from new product development (NPD) and category management to environmental initiatives and people development. They hailed it as “a company with a truly admirable ethos”
RB Organics jubilantly welcomed receiving the Fresh Produce Award - sponsored by the Fresh Produce Consortium - having been singled out for its achievements in NPD, marketing and productivity improvements.
News that it had nailed the Frozen Foods Award - sponsored by Lockton - certainly didn’t leave Aunt Bessie’s cold. “From an holistic view they are looking at all aspects of their business,” remarked one judge. “Very, very strong in all areas,” said another.
Skills Excellence Awards were also distributed on the night and there were further celebrations for The Seafood Company as it seized the Productivity through Skills Award - sponsored by sector skills council Improve. The company received acclaim for improving operational efficiency by 125% using lean techniques, with enhanced training boosting staff retention.
Premier Foods’ Martyna Zelazek, studying at Poultec Training, won the Apprenticeships Award, demonstrating leadership qualities in adverse circumstances according to the judges. And Rodda’s Creamery was announced as leader of the pack in the Diversity in Recruitment category - sponsored by Silver Stone Search and Selection. The judges praised its efforts to break down barriers to employment faced by sections of the local community in which it is based.

Pictures of the evening's festivities can be viewed at the this website.

See the December issue of Food Manufacture​ for a full report on the awards.

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