This follows the introduction of Government rules preventing the hosting of live events.
A new multimedia content format has been devised, while additional content will showcase the judges and finalists as well as the food processing sector’s response to the crisis since the pandemic was first declared.
Rod Addy, editor of Food Manufacture, said: “Given Government guidelines, the pressure the industry is currently under and the rapid adjustments it is having to make to accommodate the impacts of COVID-19, this is the right move.
“We know the face-to-face networking dinner at which these awards have been traditionally announced has always been highly prized, so of course we’re disappointed not to offer that opportunity.
'To encourage excellence'
“However, the primary purpose of these awards is to recognise and encourage excellence in a sector that operates below the public’s radar. It would be wrong not to reward the industry’s achievements, especially during these difficult times, so we’re going online, via Foodmanufacture.co.uk, to ensure food manufacturers still have their chance to shine.”
Lorraine Hendle, managing director of William Reed’s retail and manufacturing division, said: “While we are hugely disappointed to have to make this decision in light of the current pandemic, the safety of our guests is paramount. However, we are working hard on exciting plans that will generate the reach and exposure our industry deserves and look forward to welcoming everyone to our virtual awards event in February.”
Judging is already underway for the awards, with a wealth of entries from top names operating in every category of the food industry. Keep a look out for the announcement of the finalists online and in Food Manufacture’s autumn print edition on 4 November.
Log on to www.foodmanawards.co.uk for more information on the awards, which concentrate on excellence in food processing, are now in their 20th year, and feature a total of 13 categories. A new Plant-Based Manufacturing Company of The Year Award has been launched for 2021.