Last month the UK's food and drink industry recognised the very best of the best at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, which took place at the Marriott in Grosvenor Square, London on November 11.
This celebration of the tremendous endeavours of individuals, teams and the companies they represent took place on Armistice Day an apt reminder of the greater human sacrifice made over the years to secure a better future for all.
The past year has been one of considerable economic turmoil, but the awards were an opportunity to pay tribute to those achieving success against considerable adversity. And there were really some amazing companies to applaud: firms that truly demonstrated continuous improvement and foresight.
Tough job for the judging panel
Our distinguished panel of 13 independent judges, led very ably by chairman Paul Wilkinson, really had their work cut out in having to decide between some very deserving entries. In fact, so close were certain categories contested that, on more than one occasion, the chairman was forced to use his casting vote to determine the outcome.
The category awards were judged against a list of seven criteria, covering: category management; marketing and new product development; supply chain improvement; quality assurance; health, safety and environmental management; process innovation; and human resource development.
From the winners of the individual categories, the Food Manufacture Company of the Year was selected. Awards were also made for Personality of the Year, Small Company of the Year and the Judges' Special Award.
In addition, the Food Manufacture Skills Excellence Awards, sponsored by Improve, were made for Productivity through skills; Apprenticeships; and Diversity in Recruitment.