Food Manufacture Excellence Awards: ‘a vintage year’

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEAs) 2017 has yielded a vintage crop of entries, with a particularly strong selection of Young talent of the year entries, says Waitrose technical manager and FMEA judge Jonathan Bayne.

Commenting immediately after the judging process last month, Bayne told “It’s been a vintage year; with an eclectic mix of very strong entries.”

Bayne added that the calibre of this year’s entries revealed food and drink manufacturers’ fortitude in preparing for the challenges of Brexit. “Yes, the industry will face some great change and there are some serious challenges that the industry has to face.

Calibre of this year’s entries

“But all credit to the suppliers that have put themselves forward. They have done an excellent job in their unique and independent way.”

The Waitrose technical boss was impressed by finalists in the Young talent of the year category, which included four men and women who work in a range of food and drink manufacturing roles.

“For me, the lasting memory from this year will be, without any shadow of doubt, the level and quality of the Young talent of the year entrants,”​ said Bayne.

‘Young talent entrants’

Bayne was joined on this year’s judging panel by Alex Bebbington, Appetite Learning commercial director, Simon Chattock, Compass Group UK & Ireland head of vendor assurance, Richard Clothier Wyke Farms md, Jean Feord Marshall food industry consultant, Steve Osborne of the Aurora Ceres Partnership, Rick Pendrous Food Manufacture​ editor, Jon Poole Institute of Food Science & Technology chief executive, Jeremy Richardson Turner & Townsend Suiko and Mike Stones, Food Manufacture group editor.

The panel was chaired by Paul Wilkinson, chairman of the National Skills Academy Food and Drink.

Read the finalists in this year’s FMEAs here​.

Meanwhile, be one of the first to learn who has won what award by booking your place​ at the 1920s-themed food and drink manufacturing Oscar night on Wednesday November 1 at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

The gala evening, celebrating the stars of British food and drink manufacturing, will be hosted by Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson​.

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