The Ilchester-based business beat off stiff competition to win the prestigious title, in recognition of the excellence of its cheese manufacturing business.
The firm’s achievements were celebrated in front of hundreds of food industry guests as ceo Nigel Meadows collected the award from Food Manufacture’s publisher Sonia Young. They were joined on stage by awards host, English Rugby Union cup winner and former team captain Matt Dawson.
Norseland supplies brands such as Applewood, Mexicana, Ilchester and Five Counties to UK supermarkets and foodservice outlets as well as the export market.
The Applewood brand is now sold in 13 countries, Mexicana in 11 and Jarlsberg in 20 countries.
Now sold in 13 countries
Investing in production and sales growth both at home and abroad has paid off for the cheesemaker. The firm increased its gross profit of about £12.8M in 2015 to just under £13.5M last year, while achieving a gross profit margin of 30%.
The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – lead by Paul Wilkinson, chair of the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink – praised Norseland’s commitment to driving domestic and export sales, after replacing an outdated enterprise resource planning system.
“Norseland had consistently driven improvements in operational performance to boost production for added sales,” said the judges.
‘Improvements in operational performance’
Finalists in the Dairy Manufacturing Company of the Year were Langage Farm and Yorkshire Dama Cheese.
The overall award Food Manufacture Company of the Year was claimed 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.
Now in their 17th year, the annual FMEAs are organised by William Reed’s Food Manufacture Group. Read the list of winners and finalists here.
Thanks to the FMEA sponsors: Columbus, DR Newitt, Lockton, Michael Page Engineering and Manufacturing, Celsius, Sanderson, SA Partners, PPMA and KDH Projects.