Additions to Food Manufacture Excellence Awards judging panel

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

The 2020 line-up of Food Manufacture Excellence Awards winners
The 2020 line-up of Food Manufacture Excellence Awards winners

Related tags Meat & Seafood Supply chain Bakery Fresh produce Ambient Ingredients & nutrition frozen Technology & Automation Training & recruitment Dairy

Fiona Kibby, Society of Food Hygiene & Technology (SOFHT) board member, and Laura Ryan, global chair of Meat Business Women, are helping to judge the 2021 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards.

In addition to her role at SOFHT, Kibby was head of regulatory and food safety policy at Tesco before becoming food safety lead at Amazon a month ago. Ryan is also co-chair of the Global Meat Alliance.

The judging panel combines more than 150 years of collective work in and with the food industry. Geoff Eaton, chair of the 2020 Food Manufacture Awards, is reprising his role.

Winners are scheduled to be announced at a gala dinner on 11 February 2021 at London's Hilton Bankside, which will also be the 20th year the industry Oscars have been held. They were launched in 2001, with the first overall winner being the Bass brewery in Burton upon Trent. Since then, a range of companies have claimed the honour of winning the overall title, from Coca-Cola Enterprises to Arla Foods and from Ginsters to Dawn Meats.

Previous Food Manufacture Excellence Awards winners

2001: Bass (AB-Inbev)

2002: Lightbody Celebration Cakes

2003: Coca-Cola Enterprises

2004: Ginsters

2005: Tryton Foods

2006: Histogram

2007: Arla Foods

2008: Greencore Chilled Soups and Sauces

2009: The Seafood Company

2010: Apetito

2011: The Cheese Warehouse

2012: Iglo Foods

2013: Premier Foods

2014: Dawn Meats

2015: Moy Park

2016: Mash Direct

2017: SK Chilled Foods

2018: ABP

2019: Awards were not held this year

2020: Raynor Foods

The free-to-enter awards, which are sponsored by Dawn Foods​, Fowler Welch​, 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).

This year sees the launch of a new category: Plant-Based Manufacturing Company of The Year. This 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.

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.

In addition to the occasion of the awards' anniversary, the 2021 awards ceremony, 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.

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

Judging panel

Rod Addy, editor, Food Manufacture

Jonathan Bayne, technical manager, Waitrose

Simon Chattock, head of vendor assurance, Compass Group, UK & Ireland

Richard Clothier, managing director, Wyke Farms

Geoff Eaton, chair of judges and chair, New England Seafood International; executive chair, Butchers Pet Care

Chris Jones, director, Turner & Townsend Suiko

Fiona Kibby, food safety lead, online retailer Amazon

Craig Leadley, head of strategic knowledge development and process innovation lead, Campden BRI

Laura Ryan, global chair, Meat Business Women; co-chair, Global Meat Alliance

Rick Pendrous, former editor, Food Manufacture

Jon Poole, chief executive, Institute of Food Science & Technology

Nicola Thomas, managing director, A La Carte Consulting; manager, Food and Drink Exporters Association; director, Food & Drink Exportese

Related topics Operations

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast