The clock may be ticking on the UK’s exit from Europe, but clarity remains in short supply about what it will actually look like following the results of the general election on June 8 and the hung parliament that ensued.
Britain’s food and drink manufacturers are among the wider manufacturing community in calling for a better idea about what they can expect come March 2019 when the UK leaves the EU.
The uncertainty surrounding what are the priorities for negotiations makes it impossible to plan ahead, business leaders have complained.
As this year’s ‘State-of-the industry’ survey (published in the July issue of Food Manufacture) clearly identified, concern across the sector this year was even greater than that recorded last year before the Brexit vote.
Worries about the future availability of non-UK EU workers was widespread, as were concerns about what trading relationships and deals – if any – with the remaining EU Member States will emerge as the March 2019 date approaches.
But, given these unknowns, all those working in the sector can do is manage what is within their ability to control.
What that means in practice, is remaining consumer – and therefore customer – focused; being innovative in the fast-moving food and drink sector; and ensuring their operations are as efficient as they can be – minimising costs, keeping waste low and productivity high.
Fast-moving food and drink sector
- Ambient Manufacturing Company of the Year, sponsored by Dr Newitt
- Bakery Manufacturing Company of the Year, sponsored by Lockton
- Beverages Manufacturing Company of the Year
- Chilled Food Manufacturing Company of the Year, sponsored by KDH Projects
- Dairy Manufacturing Company of the Year
- Fresh Produce Manufacturing Company of the Year
- Frozen Foods Manufacturing Company of the Year
- Meat, Poultry or Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year
Given the rising costs for imported ingredients and other raw materials that UK processors are now facing after the collapse in value of the pound following last year’s Brexit vote and the reluctance of retail customers to allow their suppliers to pass on the increased costs, life has become immeasurably harder for those working in the sector.
The coming months are likely to prove critical, both in terms of government policy direction and Brexit negotiations.
In the meantime, food and drink manufacturers continue to display what a resilient bunch they are.
This has been demonstrated by the entries in this year’s 2017 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, now in their 17th year and designed to recognise companies that have gone that extra mile over the past year. They have shown flair and innovation, service and flexibility.
The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards recognise the stars of food and drink – both companies and individuals – that will be announced at a 1920s Jazz age-themed awards evening taking place at the prestigious Hilton on Park Lane, London on Wednesday November 1.
The Awards include eight individual categories, together with awards for ‘Best new use of food ingredients’, ‘Environmental Initiative of the Year’, ‘Supply chain Initiative of the Year’, ‘Training programme of the Year’, and Young talent of the Year – now in its fourth year.
Eight individual categories
- Food Manufacture Company of the Year, sponsored by Michael Page
- Young Talent of the Year
- Me and My Factory – Editor’s Choice Award
- Best New Use of Food Ingredients
- Supply Chain Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Columbus
- Environmental Initiative of the Year
- SME Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Sanderson
- Judges’ Star Performer
Once again, we will be making the Me and My Factory – editor’s choice award, selected from companies covered in the Me and My Factory section of Food Manufacture over the previous year.
The award will be made to the company and individual the editorial team believes has made the most progress over the past year.
Awards will also be made for ‘SME Innovation of the Year’ (typically a company that employs fewer than 100 people and has a turnover of less that £10M a year) and ‘Judges’ star performer’.
This award will be made to the firm that, in the judges’ opinion, has been outstanding in one particular area of activity.
From the eight category winners, the judges will select the ‘Food Manufacture Company of the Year’. Last year, Mash Direct took the prize for its excellence in category management, clever marketing strategies and process innovation.
Judging criteria for the individual categories covers: category management, marketing and new product development, supply chain improvements, quality assurance, health and safety and environmental management, process innovation and human resources development.
To book your place at this year’s awards evening on Wednesday November 1 at the London Hilton on Park Lane, visit our website, or alternatively, you can email Catherine Lyne or call her on 01293 610439.
The judging panel
- Chairman of the Judges: Paul Wilkinson – chairman, National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
- Jonathon Bayne – food technologist – ambient grocery, Waitrose
- Alex Bebbington – commercial director, Appetite Learning
- Simon Chattock – head of vendor assurance, Compass Group UK & Ireland
- Richard Clothier – md, Wyke Farms
- Jean Feord – food industry consultant
- Dale Fiddy – strategic development director, NFT Distribution Operations
- Steve Osborn – food and beverage innovation consultant, The Aurora Ceres Partnership
- Rick Pendrous – editor, Food Manufacture
- Jon Poole – chief executive, Institute of Food Science & Technology
- Jeremy Richardson – director, Turner & Townsend Suiko
- Mike Stones – group editor, Food Manufacture