The firm won the ultimate accolade in food and drink manufacturing – the Food manufacturing company of the year – after first winning the awards for Ambient manufacturing company of the year and the Training programme of the year.
Its achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as Simon Ellmore, Premier Foods’ Ashford factory general manager received the Food manufacturing company of the year award from Mark Lynch, partner with category sponsor Oghma Partners. They were joined on stage by awards presenter and TV Countryfile star Julia Bradbury.
Premier Foods’ Ashford factory
The award judges – led by judging panel chairman Paul Wilkinson – praised Premier Foods’ Ashford factory’s fortitude in turning around a business that was earmarked for closure in 2007 into a successful operation today.
The judges said: “Premier Foods has shown great skill in carrying out a major restructuring of its operation against a difficult backdrop, which has resulted in continuous year-on-year improvement.”
Earlier in the evening Premier Foods won the Ambient manufacturing company of the year, sponsored by Nigel Wright Recruitment. The judges said: “Premier Foods has been doing very good things at Ashford – driving efficiencies while reducing waste. The ability to get the buy-in of its people during this difficult transition was particularly strong.”
From strength to strength
Rick Pendrous, editor of Food Manufacture, said: “The FMEAs go from strength-to-strength each year in recognising top achievement in the field of food and drink manufacturing.
“Selecting the Food manufacturing company of the year proved a tough challenge but Premier Foods’ success in carrying out a major restructuring plan, with the support of the whole factory team, made it a worthy winner.”
In the ambient category, American Muffin was also shortlisted.
Premier Foods also won the Training programme of the year sponsored by FDQ. The judges noted: “Premier Foods has managed to engage every member of the staff at all levels of the business. It was great to see innovation in the training programme, which was quite quirky but effective.”
Also shortlisted in this category were: The Authentic Food Company, British Sugar and Tamar Foods.
Meet all the FMEA winners here.
Watch out for more reports and video interviews from the FMEAs next week.
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FMEA awards were made in the following categories:
1) Ambient manufacturing company of the year
2) Bakery manufacturing company of the year
3) Best new use of food ingredients
4) Chilled and fresh foods manufacturing company of the year
5) Dairy manufacturing company of the year
6) Environmental initiative of the year
7) Frozen manufacturing company of the year
8) Meat, poultry and seafood manufacturing company of the year
9) Supply chain initiative of the year
10) Training programme of the year
11) Most innovative small food or drink manufacturer
12) Judges’ star performer
13) Food Manufacturing Company of the Year.
14) Personality of the year