Singh is to collect the award for “his significant contribution to the food manufacturing industry, to education and the development of his workforce, and for his philanthropic interests”, according to the citation from university Chancellor Kevin Cahill.
The citation also praises the manufacturing boss’s communications with farmers and other partners in food manufacturing and decribes him as “a champion for quality and reliability, and for the power of the British brand”.
Vanguard of food safety
Under Singh’s leadership, 2 Sisters Food Group was in the vanguard of food safety, claimed the university.
The firm’s £10M campylobacter reduction initiative was said to be the industry’s most comprehensive, and the group was committed to eliminating antibiotics in its poultry production and setting up trial farms to develop alternative methods of healthy farming.
The manufacturer’s link with Nottingham University arises from the business’s microbiological testing laboratories based at Nottingham’s BioCity. The facility tested nearly 1M food samples a year and takes on many graduates from the university’s higher apprenticeship food science course.
2 Sisters had also been an industrial partner in developing the university’s part-time multidisciplinary Masters programme, which starts this September.
The Boparan Charitable Trust was another factor in the university’s decision to make the award. The trust supports children and young people whose lives are disadvantaged by poverty, disability or terminal illness.
2 Sisters’ staff and others were said to have raised substantial sums over the past eight years to help disadvantaged youngsters.
Responding to the award, Singh said: “For someone who left school at a relatively early age to pursue a business career, I am delighted and humbled to receive this honour from the university. I never imagined, 22 years after starting in business, that I would be recognised in this way.
“I lead a large and diverse food business and I am truly grateful that Nottingham Trent University has recognised the contribution 2 Sisters plays in the wider community.”
Singh added he was proud of making “great tasting food”, providing employment and career opportunities for many thousands of people and “leading in the food safety and sustainability arenas”.
The degree was testament to the great work 2 Sisters’ staff do every day, he added.
The food manufacturing boss will receive his degree at a graduation ceremony at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham tomorrow (July 21).