The md of Wyke Farms collected the coveted title Dairy manufacturing company of the year award and the FMEA Personality of the Year award, for his outstanding contribution to the food industry.
Wyke Farms’ achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as Richard Clothier accepted the trophy from Food Manufacture’s editor Rick Pendrous. They were joined on stage by awards presenter and TV Countryfile star Julia Bradbury.
The award judges – led by judging panel chairman Paul Wilkinson – praised Wyke Farms’ commercial achievements and its commitment to sustainable production and environmental protection.
The Somerset business has grown to become the third largest in the cheddar category, producing more than 14,000t each year.
Third largest in the cheddar category
In September it announced it had become 100% self-sufficient in green energy after opening a new £400M biogas plant at its Bruton site in Somerset as part of a green energy venture.
The judges said: “Wyke Farms stood out and was such a well-rounded entry. It showed strong evidence of its achievements, across a range of activities. It was particularly skilful in its use of social media to encourage consumers to engage with its brands and company culture.”
Also shortlisted in this category were: Dairy Crest and Windyridge Cheese Co.
Personality of the year award
Later in the evening, Clothier was presented with the FMEA Personality of the year award, in recognition of his success in marrying Wyke Farms’ commercial success with its environmental initiatives.
Passionately committed to his brand, Clothier launched a high-profile social media campaign last year in a bid to persuade Morrisons to reverse its decision to delist the 40,000 units of Wyke Farms cheese, sold each week through its stores. While the multiple giant has, so far, proved unrelenting, the David versus Goliath battle made Clothier a hero to many firms.
Clothier was selected from six candidates – suggested by the Food Manufacture Group editorial team – by a readers’ vote. The full shortlist of candidates were:
•Mark Allen, chief executive, Dairy Crest
•Simon Baldry, md, Coca-Cola Enterprises
•Richard Clothier md, Wyke Farms
•Fiona Kendrick, chairman and chief executive, Nestlé UK and Ireland
•James Lambert, chairman, R&R Ice Cream
•John Stevenson MP, chairman of the House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group for Food Manufacturing
The winner of the overall title Food manufacturing company of the year was Premier Foods.
Read the full list of winners and shortlisted candidates here.
Meanwhile, could your food or drink manufacturing business challenge Premier Foods for the crown next year? Register your interest for next year’s FMEAs here.
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