Manufacturing oscars

Personality candidates battle for manufacturing Oscar

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Six business leaders are in contention for the title Food Manufacture Personality of the Year. Who will you vote for?
Six business leaders are in contention for the title Food Manufacture Personality of the Year. Who will you vote for?

Related tags: Sisters food group, Morrisons, Food and drink federation

Six food and drink industry leaders are battling it out for the coveted title Food Manufacture Personality of the Year. So, who will you vote for?

In contention for the title are: Graze, supply chain director Tom Carroll, president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Colin Dennis, 2 Sisters Food Group group technical learning and development manager Janette Graham, the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit head of food crime Andy Morling, Morrisons chief executive David Potts and Food and Drink Federation director general, Ian Wright. See box for more details.

The Personality of the Year Award – part of the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards – recognises the food and drink industry achievements of the business leader who has done the most over the past year to benefit his or her individual business or the industry in general.

Select a winner

The six nominees were chosen by the Food Manufacture Group editorial team. But now, we need your help to select a winner​. Please read the citations below before making your section.

Last year’s winner​ was Bernard Matthews former group technical director Jeremy Hall.

To find out more about attending the Awards evening on Wednesday November 2 at the London Park Lane Hilton, visit our website​, or email Rebecca George at: or call her on: 01293 610439.

Meanwhile, meet the sponsors​ of this yearvs awards.

Six of the best, but who will you vote for?

Tom Carroll​, Graze supply chain director

Tom Carroll has been instrumental in steering the fast-growing online healthy snack provider’s expansion plans and looking for opportunities to replicate the successful UK retail roll-out in other markets globally.

Set up six years ago, Graze takes an ‘omnichannel’ approach to marketing snacks, and uses sophisticated computer data systems to create a dialogue with its online customers. Customers are encouraged to rate the snacks received, and Graze uses the data to tailor its snack catalogue and target sales.

Colin Dennis,​ Institute of Food Technologist’s (IFT’s) president

Colin Dennis, the first non-American president of the US IFT, in its 76-year history, has had a distinguished career in food science spanning more than 45 years, and one in which he has demonstrated outstanding scientific and volunteer leadership.

After 11 years at the Institute of Food Research and 28 years at Campden BRI, including 21 years as director general and 15 years as the Unilever visiting professor, Queen’s University, Belfast, he has been an extraordinary volunteer, serving in pro bono positions as president of the Institute of Food Science & Technology, chair, board of Trustees, IFIS, governor of British Nutrition Foundation, (now vice-chair of Trustees) and the Royal Agricultural University, as a member of the board of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink as well the board of IFT. He is also chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Flanders’ Food, Belgium and a member of General Advisory Committee on Science, Food Standards Agency.

Janette Graham, ​2 Sisters Food Group group technical learning and development manager

After joining 2 Sisters in 2014, Graham is leading the group tasked with developing the government’s new Trailblazer apprenticeship scheme for the food and drink industry.

With the support of the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink, she has helped to co-ordinate the draft standards for three Trailblazers: operations, production and processing; food science and technology; and bakery. Graham’s involvement comes on the back of more than 20 years’ experience of putting together learning courses throughout the UK – a number of which were while working as a consultant. She has also held senior training roles at Bakkavor and Baxters Food Group.

Andy Morling​, Head of food crime at the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU)

Andy Morling is a man on a mission: to rid the sector of crime. To achieve that, he has set out to win the trust of food and drink manufacturers in a bid to persuade them to share vital information, in strict confidence, about crime.

Leading the new NFCU – set up after the horsemeat crisis of 2013 – appeared to be a role made for Morling. His CV includes senior investigative roles with: Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, the Serious Fraud Office and the National Crime Agency.

David Potts​, Morrisons, chief executive,

David Potts is widely credited with turning around the fortunes of the formerly ailing supermarket chain, and highlighting its food manufacturing capability.

Since taking over the helm of the retailer in February 2015 from its beleaguered former boss Dalton Philips, Potts has introduced a range of sweeping reforms. Pledging to listen to Morrisons’ customers, the new boss has rebuilt the top management team, launched several rounds of price-cutting initiatives, shed head office staff, highlighted the firm’s role as ‘a food maker’ and formed a strategic grocery supply deal with online retailer and delivery behemoth Amazon. Potts even sought the blessing of the supermarket’s former chairman Sir Ken Morrison for his reforms.

Ian Wright, ​Food and Drink Federation, director general

Ian Wright isn’t afraid to engage with the food and drink industry’s vocal detractors. Not long after being appointed director general of the Food and Drink Federation last year, he crossed swords with critics and gave the first of a number of robust interviews. More recently, he has sat on high profile panels in defence of the UK remaining in the EU.

Wright has been seen in TV studios, quoted in newspaper columns and taken part in various discussion panels – speaking in defence of a sector that has been the focus of many attacks in recent years. He has not shied away from fighting food and drink manufacturing’s corner on everything from its importance to the nation as an employer and generator of wealth, to its achievements in healthy reformulation. Wright has also argued strongly why the imposition of sugar and fat taxes were flawed and not the answer to curbing the nationvs obesity epidemic.

Formerly corporate relations director with drinks company Diageo, Wright very much sees his role as ensuring that government and stakeholders understand the importance of food and drink manufacturing, and support our industry to meet the changing needs of UK consumers in the future.

So, who will you vote for​?

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