Premier picked up the Product Reformulation award for its Homepride cooking sauce range, while its Bisto ‘Spare Chair Sunday’ campaign, which is helping older people meet and share Sunday roast dinners with their neighbours, received Campaign of the Year.
The Homepride reformulation programme includes salt reduction on 16 products in readiness to meet the latest Department of Health 2017 salt target; 21 products (constituting over half the range) to deliver one of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day; and, finally, reformulating the pasta bake range to contain extra vegetables and no added sugar.
Meanwhile, Food & Drink Scientist of the Year was presented to Gordon Wiseman, senior research associate and head of the Premier Foods molecular diagnostic team at the company’s High Wycombe site.
The FDF awards were held at The Brewery near the Barbican in London to recognise individuals, ambitious initiatives and growing food and drink businesses for their contribution to the economy, community and environment. The host for the evening was TV’s Hardeep Singh Kohli.
Omar Woodburn, a multi-skilled engineering apprentice at Mondelēz International based in Birmingham, took the award for Apprentice of the Year, while Peter O’Reilly, head of credit and risk at Uxbridge-based General Mills, received the award for Community Champion.
Food & Drink Engineer of the Year went to John Walker, reliability engineer at PepsiCo UK & Ireland’s Walkers Snack Food site in Leicester.
Samuel Benjamin, retail account manager at Addo Food Group’s Riverside Bakery in Nottingham, picked up the prize for Rising Star; London-based popcorn manufacturer Joe & Seph’s picked up Exporter of the Year; and the FDF’s Community Partner award was made jointly to KP Snacks for its Living Leadership project and Warburtons for its Families Matter project.
Thorntons, based in Derbyshire, picked up Education Initiative for its Factory Tours & Educational Projects programme. And ABP Food Group received the Environmental Leadership prize for its ABP Ellesmere sustainable beef processing development in Shropshire.
Health and Wellbeing
Little Dish, the London-based children’s meal producer, went away with the Health and Wellbeing award for its projects to provide families with information about nutrition and cooking; Northwich-based bakery Frank Roberts took the Good Employer award for its programme to create a positive working environment; and Tonbridge-based frozen dessert manufacturer Taywell received the innovation award for its second range of refined sugar-free, dairy and allergen-free vegan frozen desserts under the ‘Sweet Rebellion’ brand.
A Unique Contribution award was made on behalf of Martin Douglas, former country representative for Cargill UK & Ireland for his services to the food and drink industry.
FDF’s director general Ian Wright said:“With so many talented, ambitious and successful companies and people making our sector what it is, FDF is proud to award the best and brightest for their innovative approaches, commitment to the community, and vital contribution to the economy.”