The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) People Awards, which took place at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole last Thursday (7 February), recognised both individual and team achievements across 14 categories.
Highlights included Iceland Manufacturing’s Adam Smith, who won Business Transformation of the Year; and Thomas Hunt at Hunt's Foodservice, who picked up Operations Manager of the Year.
Other winners of note were Birds Eye’s Claire Hoyle, who was awarded Marketer of the Year; and Rob Ironmonger from fruit and vegetable canning company Greenyard, who was crowned Health and Safety Champion.
Within the Rising Star category, the Apprentice of the Year award went to Alina Solomka of Iceland. A Judges’ Special Award was presented to Declan Crofts of Barnsley College, while the Rising Star Award itself went to Daniel Morris of Billington Foodservice.
Supply Chain/Logistics Team of the Year
The Supply Chain/Logistics Team of the Year was awarded to Kepak Foodservice Solutions for its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, supporting Foodcloud by providing 5,280 meals to those in need and saving €8,000 (£7,000) of food from landfill.
The Charity and Community Champion award was won by Lisa Hayes of catering provider Apetito, who was praised for going above and beyond her duties by giving up her Sundays to provide lunches for elderly and vulnerable residents.
Judges also commended her for improving teamwork and motivation across the business through volunteering initiatives that have raised £130,000 for worthwhile causes in three years.
The night was rounded off with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to BFFF past-president Stephen Waugh for his contribution to the frozen food industry.
Annual Business Conference
The awards followed the BFFF’s Annual Business Conference. Finalists were invited to an exclusive Finalists’ Reception before the awards dinner, where they celebrated their achievements with their peers.
John Hyman, chief executive of BFFF, said: “Following such a successful launch year, it was great to see so many companies within the frozen food industry engaging in these awards for a second year and helping us champion the incredible talent that can be found across all areas of our industry.
“The frozen food industry has set itself a £10bn growth target, and is currently the fastest growing category in retail, up 3.6%. We need this continued level of talent from our frozen food superstars to continue to drive the industry forward in its success.
“The introduction of new categories to this year’s awards has allowed a light to be shone on even more successful individuals and initiatives across the industry, covering innovation, sustainability and creativity – and everyone who has picked up an award tonight should be incredibly proud of their achievements.”
BFFF People Awards Winners
- Unsung Hero: Mark Hardy, Apetito
- Charity and Community Champion: Lisa Hayes, Apetito
- Development Champion: Zoe Beauvoisin, Apetitio
- Supply Chain/Logistics Team of the Year: Kepak Foodservice Solutions, Kepak
- Operations Manager of the Year: Thomas Hunt, Hunt's Foodservice
- Business Transformation of Year: Adam Smith, Iceland Manufacturing
- Customer Champion: Naz Haq, Bidfood
- Marketer of the Year: Claire Hoyle, Birds Eye
- Innovation Team of the Year: The Innovation Team – Bidfood
- Purchaser of the Year: Rachel Hartwell, Bidfood
- Technical Champion: Kelly Orme, Caterforce
- Health and Safety Champion: Rob Ironmonger, Greenyard
- Rising Star: Daniel Morris, Billington Foodservice
- Apprentice of the Year: Alina Solomka, Iceland
- Judges’ Special Award: Declan Crofts, Barnsley College
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Stephen Waugh, BFFF past-president