Its initiative to tackle campylobacter – Britain’s single biggest cause of food poisoning – was recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as the firm’s Kevin Akehurst and Simon Grayling collected the award from category sponsor Lauras International’s head of UK and Europe Jeremy Praud and awards host and star TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith.
2 Sisters Food Group was the unanimous choice of the FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy. Wilkinson summed up the judges’ views with the comment:
‘Shown real leadership’
“2 Sisters has shown real leadership in prioritising campylobacter in the fresh poultry sector – both in its investment, spending about £10M in the past year alone – and in its imaginative problem-solving approach.”
Another judge added: “The firm has brought tremendous energy to this challenge. It really stands out and deserves industry-wide recognition.”
In a particularly keenly contested category, 2 Sisters Food Group fought off still competition from short-listed firms: Aston Manor Cider, Deli Santé, The Village Bakery and Willowbrook Foods.
Another bid to battle campylobacter was recognised in the award of Food Manufacture Personality of the year to Bernard Matthews group technical director Jeremy Hall.
The personality award celebrates the man or woman who has made a key contribution to the food and drink manufacturing sector over the past year – whether by brokering deals, transforming the fortunes of his or her business or simply delivering exceptional results.
“The firm has brought tremendous energy to this challenge. It really stands out and deserves industry-wide recognition.”
- FMEA judging panel
The judges praised Hall’s tireless and passionate campaigning to encourage retailers to adopt new processing measures to cut the high incidence of campylobacter on fresh chicken.
An ardent supporter of rapid surface chilling technology, he has long argued the technology could slash campylobacter contamination levels, for the modest price of about 10p a bird. Hall joined Bernard Matthews 15 years ago and has served on the British Poultry Council technical committee for over 20 years and a host of other industry bodies.
Another poultry processing business Moy Park won double honours in the manufacturing industry Oscars winning both the Food Manufacture Company of the Year and the Meat and poultry manufacturing company of the year.
The carnival-themed awards took place at the Lancaster hotel, London on Tuesday November 3.
Read the full list of FMEA winners and finalists here.
Could your food and drink manufacturing business match the achievement of 2 Sisters, Moy Park or Bernard Matthews? if so, register your interest in the 2016 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards here.