The 2021 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards are sponsored by Dawn Foods, Fowler Welch, Foodex, Foodman Jobs and The Ingredients Show and supported by associate sponsor KDH Projects. They are now in their 20th year and exist to highlight and reward excellence in food processing. For that reason, the main focus for entrants is factory operations. This year will offer more than the usual cause to celebrate and will account for extraordinary performance in adapting and adjusting to the coronavirus pandemic.
Companies of whatever size can enter, including firms supplying other food manufacturers but they must have a UK food and/or drink factory. The deadline for entries is 14 September, so there's just under two weeks to put entries together.
When? Evening of 11 February 2021
Where? London Hilton Bankside
Entrants seeking to win the overall Food Manufacture Company of The Year Award should enter one of the eight main categories, which are based on the category their products fit into. Drinks firms should enter the ambient category this year. Companies with a presence in several categories should pick only one. Entrants cannot enter more than one main category, but they may enter additional specialist categories. See below for a full category list.
Previous Food Manufacture Excellence Awards winners
2001: Bass (AB-Inbev)
2002: Lightbody Celebration Cakes
2003: Coca-Cola Enterprises
2005: Tryton Foods
2007: Arla Foods
2008: Greencore Chilled Soups and Sauces
2009: The Seafood Company
2011: The Cheese Warehouse
2012: Iglo Foods
2013: Premier Foods
2014: Dawn Meats
2015: Moy Park
2016: Mash Direct
2017: SK Chilled Foods
2019: Awards were not held this year
2020: Raynor Foods
New to the main categories this year is the Plant-Based Manufacturing Company of the Year, reflecting the increase in activity surrounding plant-based products. Entrants here can include all companies making meat-free or dairy-free products or plant-based meals, encompassing foods made from algae or funghi, whether they are certified vegan or not.
Main category entrants are required to stand out in at least three of the following areas: customer relationship building, quality assurance, environment & efficiency; skills development; and training & business development. Entries are scored on the basis of information provided but are limited in word length, so an overview rather than a huge amount of painstaking detail is sufficient. Finalists are discussed by the entire judging panel. Supporting evidence in terms of testimonials, documentation or data is optional, but could help sway the judges.
Winners don't have to be perfect, but what often sets them apart from finalists is their story, which may include overcoming exceptional challenges or adversity, tackling an important global or social trend or a strong sense of teamwork or innovation.
Main award categories
- Ambient Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Bakery Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Chilled, Fresh & Dairy Food Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Free-From Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Frozen Foods Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Ingredients Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Meat, Poultry & Seafood Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Plant-Based Manufacturing Company of The Year
- Food Manufacture Award for Export
- Food Manufacture Service Provider Partnership
- Food Manufacture Training Award
- Food Manufacture Apprentice of The Year
- Food Manufacture Site Team of The Year