The firm’s achievements were celebrated in front of hundreds of food industry guests, as Dalehead’s divisional continuous improvement manager Mike Brett collected the award from Food Manufacture’s associate editor Noli Dinovski. They were joined on stage by awards host, English Rugby Union cup winner and former team captain Matt Dawson.
Based in Linton, Cambridgeshire, Dalehead Foods is a division of Tulip, one of the largest meat processors in the UK. Dalehead runs five sites across the UK, supplying Waitrose with more than 400 products, including fresh pork, bacon, sausage, cooked meats, lamb and added value products.
The company has long supported the application of lean manufacturing principles across its sites to help improve efficiency. It is also deploying a coaching and leadership training programme to every member of staff who supervises, leads or manages others.
Lean manufacturing principles
The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink – praised Dalehead Foods’s commitment to product quality and training.
“Skilled butchers with a dedicated coaching culture, Dalehead Foods is a business with clear points of difference built around high levels of staff engagement and animal welfare,” said the judges.
Finalists in the Meat, Poultry and Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year category were: ABP UK, Dawn Meats, Kettyle Irish Foods, Moss Valley Fine Meats and Walter Rose & Son.
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.
Food Manufacture editor 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, 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, Training Programme of the Year, SME Innovation of the Year and Judges’ Star Performer.
The final two awards were for: Young Talent of the Year and the Me and My Factory: Editor’s Choice Award.
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.
Meat, Poultry and Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year finalists
- ABP UK
- Dawn Meats
- Dalehead Foods Winner
- Kettyle Irish Foods
- Moss Valley Fine Meats
- Walter Rose & Son