FMEAs 2017

British biscotti firm shows Italians how cookie crumbles with Oscar win

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Biscotti triumph: Great British Biscotti Company ceo Paul Rostand (centre) collected the award from Mike Gallagher, sales director of manufacturing ERP solutions with category sponsor Sanderson. They were joined on stage by awards host Matt Dawson
Biscotti triumph: Great British Biscotti Company ceo Paul Rostand (centre) collected the award from Mike Gallagher, sales director of manufacturing ERP solutions with category sponsor Sanderson. They were joined on stage by awards host Matt Dawson

Related tags: Industry

The Great British Biscotti Company is showing its Italian competitors how the cookie crumbles after winning the coveted SME Innovation of the Year trophy in the industry’s Oscars – the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards – at The Hilton on Park Lane in London last Wednesday (November 1)

The firm’s achievements were celebrated in front of hundreds of food industry guests as ceo Paul Rostand collected the award from Mike Gallagher, sales director of manufacturing ERP solutions with category sponsor Sanderson. They were joined on stage by awards host, English Rugby Union World Cup winner and former team captain Matt Dawson.

The Christchurch-based business is on a mission to replace Tuscany with Dorset as the spiritual home of the world’s best biscotti biscuits. The company has made a point of tapping into its British roots, while championing ‘old school’ bakery skills using the very best of ingredients.

Great British Biscotti Company now sells its products into markets as diverse as France, Germany, Scandinavia and Hong Kong. The business is also in the process of developing products specifically for on-the-go snacking.

The SME award was made to the small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) that sets new standards in category management, operational efficiency and new product development.

The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – lead by Paul Wilkinson, chair of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink – praised the scale of the Great British Biscotti Company’s ambition.

‘David versus Goliath story’

The judges remarked: “This is a true David versus Goliath story, in which our British hero is taking on the might of the established biscotti businesses in Italy. Not only is Great British Biscotti Company opening up global markets for its product range, it is also developing new on-the-go snacking products.”

Finalists in the SME Innovation of the Year category were Moss Valley Fine Meats, Nim’s Fruit Crisps, Walter Rose & Son and Yorkshire Dama Cheese.

The overall award Food Manufacture Company of the Year was snapped up by County Durham-based ethnic snacks manufacturer SK Chilled Foods, after it first won Chilled Food Manufacturing Company of the Year.

The annual FMEAs, organised by William Reed’s Food Manufacture Group, now in their 17th year, have become the premier showcase for British food and drink manufacturing excellence.

‘Making the best of Brexit’

Food Manufacture editor and FMEA judge Rick Pendrous said: “Judging by the calibre of entries in this year’s food and drink manufacturing Oscars, Britain’s biggest manufacturing sector – food and drink manufacturing – is well placed to take on the challenge of making the best of Brexit’s opportunities while minimising its threats.”

This year’s FMEAs included seven manufacturing awards: Ambient Manufacturing Company of the Year, Bakery Manufacturing Company of the Year, Beverages Manufacturing Company of the Year, Chilled Food Manufacturing Company of the Year, Dairy Manufacturing Company of the Year, Fresh Produce Manufacturing Company of the Year and Meat and Poultry & Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year.

FMEA Oscars were also awarded for: Best New Use of Food Ingredients, Environmental Initiative of the Year, Supply Chain Initiative of the Year, SME Innovation of the Year and Judges’ Star Performer.

Thanks to all the FMEA sponsors: Columbus, DR Newitt, Lockton, Michael Page Engineering and Manufacturing, Celsius, Sanderson, SA Partners, PPMA and KDH Projects.

Read the full list of winners and finalists here​.

More information about the food and drink manufacturing Oscars is available here ​and you can register your interest for next year’s awards here​.

Watch out for more reports  – in words, photographs and video interviews – detailing all the winners and the award highlights at FoodManufacture.co.uk and in the December edition of our sister title Food Manufacture​.

SME innovation of the Year category finalists

  • Great British Biscotti Company Winner
  • Moss Valley Fine Meats
  • Nim’s Fruit Crisps
  • Walter Rose & Son
  • Yorkshire Dama Cheese.

Related topics: Bakery, Supply Chain, Manufacturing

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