Britain's food supply chain needs to prepare for a rocky road ahead as unprecedented volatility looks set to continue, according to David Hughes, emeritus professor of food marketing at Imperial College London and visiting professor at the University of Kent Business School.
Hughes says the recession, changing weather patterns, technology, loss of consumer trust, demographics and higher commodity prices pose tough new challenges. "We are going to have to manage volatility," said Hughes, "whether it be for ingredients or the prices we command."
Against this turbulent backdrop, food manufacturers will need to demonstrate their innovation, service and flexibility as never before, responding quickly to changing circumstances and grabbing commercial opportunities. The Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards – now in their 13th year – recognise the companies and teams that do just that.
Entry is free and simple. Complete an online entry form at: FoodManAwards or download a form from the same address to complete and return by post.
This year's awards presentation will take place at the London Hilton in Park Lane on Thursday November 21.
The Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards include nine individual categories, together with awards for the 'Best training programme', 'Environmental Initiative of the Year' and two new awards: 'Best new use of food ingredients' and 'Supply chain initiative'.
Awards will also be made for 'Most innovative small food or drink manufacturer' (typically one that employs fewer than 100 people and has a turnover of less that £10M a year) and 'Judges' star performer'. This award is made to the firm that, in the judges' opinion, has been outstanding in one particular area of activity.
Ambient Manufacturing Company of the Year
Bakery Manufacturing Company of the Year
Beverages Manufacturing Company of the Year
Chilled Foods Manufacturing Company of the Year
Dairy Manufacturing Company of the Year
Fresh Produce Manufacturing Company of the Year
Frozen Foods Manufacturing Company of the Year
Meat and Poultry Manufacturing Company of the Year
Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year
Food Manufacturing Company of the Year
Best new use of food ingredients
Supply chain initiative
Training programme of the year
Environmental initiative of the year
Most innovative small food or drink manufacturer
Judges' star performer
From the nine category winners the judges will select the 'Food Manufacturing Company of the Year'. Last year Iglo Foods Group took the prize for its impressive achievements over the previous year and, in the judges' words, for "not being afraid to grasp some really thorny issues and make significant inroads into them".
Judging for the individual categories covers: category management, marketing and new product development, supply chain improvements, quality assurance, health safety and environmental management, process innovation and human resources development.
Once again, Food Manufacture readers will also vote for their Personality of the Year from our shortlist of six candidates via an online poll at FoodManAwards
To enter the awards, visit our website at: FoodManAwards or email Rebecca George at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on: 01293 610422
The Judging Panel
Chairman of the judges:
Paul Wilkinson, chairman, Improve/National Skills Academy
Jonathon Bayne, food technologist ambient grocery, Waitrose
Simon Chattock, head of vendor assurance, Compass Group UK & Ireland
Mark Colvin, lean manufacturing consultant, LeanPal
Jean Feord, food industry consultant
Dale Fiddy, sales and marketing director, NFT Distribution Operations
Justine Fosh, chief executive, National Skills Academy
Estelle Herszenhorn, consultant, Waste & Resources Action Programme
Michelle Jackson, European modified atmosphere packaging manager, Air Products
Andy Marsh, director, Suiko
Wayne MorLey, head of ingredients and product innovation, Leatherhead Food Research
Rick Pendrous, editor, Food Manufacture
Alan Speight, consultant, Food Solutions Associates
Mike Stones, Group editor, Food Manufacture
Category: supply chain initiativeof the Year
As a leading business law firm, DWF is dedicated to offering robust legal advice rooted in specific sector expertise.
Having lawyers who specialise in the food, transport and retail sectors, DWF provides clients with solutions to their end-to-end supply chain. It has many years' experience of acting for companies. Its people understand the issues, and can anticipate obstacles, helping clients to successfully negotiate the challenges of their business landscape.
DWF closely monitors European and UK legislative and regulatory programmes to anticipate future changes and provides its clients with weekly updates. It also maintains close contact with organisations with which it is helping to shape the food industry. Its road haulage and logistics team has also developed a dedicated website, www.thelorrylawyer.com, to guide clients in this area.
DWF's strategic approach to client relationships means it 'gets under the skin' of its clients' business, understanding their objectives, not just a legal 'to do' list. DWF's dedicated, experienced teams will deliver the results that ensure your business is going in the right direction.
Category: Training Programme of the Year
FDQ prides itself on driving sustainable results for the food industry. It pioneers some of the most innovative qualifications in the food industry for the food industry and its learners stand out from the crowd.
It is a true food specialist, accredited and regulated by Ofqual, with powers to develop and award professional, work-based and vocational qualifications.
FDQ is committed to driving productivity, innovation and profitability of UK food and drink businesses by raising the skills levels of individuals in the industry. A huge range of food businesses large and small, across all sectors have enrolled their staff onto its qualifications. These learners have gone on to achieve strong results for their businesses and within their careers.
2013 saw the launch of its special food management qualifications, which are designed in partnership with food firms to ensure employees are equipped to drive sustainable improvement. These qualifications blend process management and people management, enabling learners to develop skills and knowledge, which are 100% relevant to the food industry environment.
Category: Chilled Foods Manufacturing company of the year
As one of the UK market leaders in food and drink distribution, NFT is the logistics partner for many major European and Global food and drink manufacturers, leading grocery retailers, wholesalers and foodservice clients.
NFT's precision logistics span the entire supply chain, delivering over 120,000 pallets of chilled, ambient and frozen food each week and travelling to all major UK retailers daily.
Providing immediate access to real-time logistics resources whenever required, NFT's real-time internet-based planning and supply chain solutions meet the challenges of seasonal peaks and promotional uplifts.
The firm's philosophy and strapline is 'thinking ahead', which combined with its unrivalled knowledge of food and drink logistics positions it as an 'intelligent link' between manufacturer and retailer. Unusually in distribution, NFT offers proactive key account management, dedicated customer service resource and systems intelligence that provides complete supply chain visibility.
By placing clients at the heart of its business, NFT delivers tailored and innovative solutions that drive customer satisfaction.
Category: Ambient Manufacturing Company of the Year
For 25 years Nigel Wright has been a leading name in consumer industry recruitment throughout Europe. It has played an instrumental role in developing the talent framework behind many of the world's leading food and drink brands, as well as small family-owned food and drink businesses. Today, Nigel Wright's industry networks are far reaching and the opportunities it brings to the market are broad, skilled and multi-disciplined.
It employs an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to solving talent requirements and its consultants thrive in highly competitive local recruitment markets, around the world. Its network of international offices allows the company to source the best local and international talent across the Europe, Middle East and Africa, US, Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions.
As a values-led organisation, Nigel Wright fosters a creative spirit and unwavering dedication to service excellence, guaranteeing the best outcomes for its clients. It has earned a reputation as a leading provider through its professionalism, attention to detail and, naturally, through its results.
Category: Judges' Star performer
Food assurance brand NSF-CMI International protects consumers and enhances business throughout the global food supply chain. NSF-CMI believes that compliance whether to customer, company or regulatory requirements can be delivered in a way that enhances, not merely protects, business and it aims to offer appropriate technical solutions that give its clients competitive advantage.
As a leading provider of safety, assurance and certification solutions for retailers, caterers and manufacturers, NSF offers integrated services that include: bespoke ingredient and manufacturer inspection programmes to meet customer, regulatory and compliance requirements, product development support, including product specification and management from ingredients to shelf; allergens and nutrition information management and assurance; advisory helpline services; and training and coaching. All of its services are supported by innovative risk management tools and web-based platforms to provide clients with integrated business information solutions.
Category: Food Manufacturing Company of the Year
Partners Mark Lynch, Tim Owen and Tim Potter of Oghma Partners LLP are proud to renew their sponsorship of the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards, which recognise the hard work and great achievements of food manufacturers across the UK. Oghma Partners is keen to champion this successful sector of the UK economy and to celebrate the leaders in the industry.
Established in 2008, Oghma Partners is a corporate finance advisory firm specialising in the UK and European food and beverage industry. It works across the diverse universe of the industry; its clients range from global food conglomerates, mid-sized listed firms to smaller owner-operated businesses.
Oghma Partners applies its industry and deal-making experience supported by its wide network of UK and international industry contacts to enable the company to identify the most appropriate solution to its clients' needs. The partners have all worked in senior positions within the global investment banking industry; the skills and experience gained over many years covering the industry are applied to its clients' needs. Oghma's primary focus relates to the provision of advice on business disposals and acquisitions.
Thomas Lowndes & Co
Category: Innovative use of Food Ingredients
Thomas Lowndes & Co, a subsidiary of Beam, is a leading supplier of branded culinary alcohol to UK food manufacturers and in 2013 will celebrate 30 years of business.
The company is proud to offer some of the world's best-known spirit brands including Jim Beam, Courvoisier, Grand Marnier, Drambuie, Teacher's, Harveys Bristol Cream and Sauza tequila as well as an extensive list of non-branded spirits and liqueurs.
High-profile alcohol brands add a premium perception and point of difference, ensuring new products stand out from the crowd. All Thomas Lowndes' alcohols are delivered in food-grade plastic containers and the majority are natural and available at high strength, thus offering optimum delivery of flavour while using a minimum amount of liquid.
Thomas Lowndes prides itself on being more than just an ingredient supplier and offers free advice, support, innovative ideas and bespoke concepts from its new product development consultant Sharon Riddick.