Clipper Teas’s success was recognised in front of hundreds of food and drink manufacturing sector guests with the FMEA trophy at an awards ceremony hosted by star TV presenter Carol Smillie.
The firm’s factory manager Tony Buckton received the award from foodservice company Compass Group UK and Ireland’s Simon Chattock, who was an FMEA judge.
The Beaminster-based business, owned by Wessanen UK, was the first brand to offer green tea to shoppers in UK supermarkets and the first to carry the Fairtrade mark.
The manufacturer’s export success – selling to more than 50 countries worldwide – and ruthless cost control impressed the judges, led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy for Food and Drink.
They also praised its imaginative use of biothermic digester to remove tea waste. One judge remarked: “It’s a really good example of a relatively-small business that is succeeding in a tough market and is obviously well-placed to thrive after Brexit.”
Clipper Tea beat competition in the beverages category from two other manufacturers: Aston Manor Cider and Coca-Cola European Partners
The title of Food Manufacture Company of the year was won by Mash Direct after it won the Chilled and Fresh category earlier in the evening.
This year’s Venice-themed FMEAs award ceremony took place on the evening of Wednesday, November 2 at the Hilton, Park Lane, London.
Meanwhile, read the full list of winners and finalists here.