Food Manufacture Excellence Awards launch with new plant-based trophy

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Winners of the 2020 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards
Winners of the 2020 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards

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The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards are celebrating their 20th year and launching a new plant-based trophy, with preparations underway to announce the winners at a gala dinner in London on 11 February 2021.

The free-to-enter awards, which are sponsored by Dawn Foods​, Foodex​, Foodman Jobs​ and The Ingredients Show​ and supported by associate sponsor KDH Projects​, are now open to online entries​, with the closing deadline being 14 September. The event does not primarily focus on new product development, but on excellence in manufacturing and is open to all food and drink own-label and branded processors with a manufacturing base in the UK (administrative offices or depots don't count).

The new Plant-Based Manufacturing Company of The Year category is open to companies making meat-free or dairy-free food or drink or general plant-based dishes for sale in a retail, foodservice, catering or hospitality context. These products do not necessarily have to be suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Businesses that win this main category are also eligible to win the overall award on the night, as are the winners of all the other main categories.

Laurence Smith, the owner and managing director of Fatherson Bakery, which won Small Bakery Manufacturing Company of The Year​ in the 2020 Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards (FMEAs), said: “Winning has meant firstly our team have been recognised for the amazing cakes they make and what we have continued to the industry. Since winning we have been proud to share this with exiting and prospective customers which offers reassurance on our position in the category and industry. Thank you Food Manufacture.

“Where possible we have used the Winner, Food Manufacture logo on our marketing and sales materials with trade and consumers to really shout about the accolade so much so our new fleet livery will carry the logo as well.”

Overall 2020 winner Raynor Foods

The overall winner of the Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards this year was sandwich manufacturer Raynor Foods. Executive chairman Matt Raynor said he hoped the company's hydroponic farm model would inspire other food manufacturers. "We have come up with some mad and crazy ideas - in fact we're known for the mad and crazy ideas and to be recognised for this is fabulous validation that, actually, we might be a bit mad and crazy, but we also really know what we are doing,"Raynor toldFood Manufacture​. "I'd like to extend a really big thank you to all the judges and the people that have made tonight the fabulous night it has been."

Take a look at this year's winners photo gallery​. Could your company scoop a trophy next year?

Entrants in all main categories aim to demonstrate significant achievement in their category in at least three of the following areas: customer relationship building, quality assurance; environment and efficiency, skills development and training and business development.

Rallying point for industry

In addition to the occasion of the awards' anniversary, the 2021 awards at the London Hilton Bankside, with its 80s theme, will act as a rallying point to enable the industry to celebrate its achievements under some of the greatest pressure it has ever faced. Entries will be judged with the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic taken into account.

The awards are specially geared towards small as well as large businesses, with scope for judging and recognising the different strengths of each size of business within different streams of entries.

Overall winners of the Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards (FMEAs) have included meat processing giant ABP UK, breakfast cereal company Weetabix and food-to-go business Greencore.

The truly independent and rigorous judging process involves a panel of veterans with more than 150 years of collective hands-on experience in all stages of the food and drink supply chain. They will again be chaired this year by Geoff Eaton, chairman of New England Seafood International and executive chairman of Butcher's Petcare.

Further coverage

Not only can the winners display their trophies for visitors to admire, but their achievement will put them on our editorial team’s radar and open the possibility for further magazine or web coverage. That’s in addition to videos posted on in the days following their win.

Entrants don’t have to be perfect to win, nor do they have to be investing vast sums of cash. But they do have to demonstrate genuine innovation, impressive achievements in the field of processing, a passion for excellence and an ability to go the extra mile to deliver what customers and, ultimately, consumers want.

For example, past winners have swayed the judges by resurrecting factories previously gutted by fire, dramatically increasing production capacity, launching significant product development programmes, successfully implementing major technology upgrades and executing major business turnaround strategies.

For more information or to enter the awards, log on to

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood Operations

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