The Sustainability Award, which is designed to recognise food and drink manufacturers' environmental achievements, is one of the two new features of the food industry Oscars - now in their 21st year.
Entrants should be able to provide concrete examples of ways in which they have contributed to the environment or lessened their environmental impact. These could include areas such as reducing waste or good use of waste; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; improving land use; efficient use of water or energy; generating renewable energy or encouraging biodiversity.
The second new launch is the Future Talent Award, which is designed to reward an individual under 30 years old in a junior non-administrative role within a food or drink manufacturer who is already benefitting the company and who holds future potential.
Entrants should be nominated by a colleague - ideally their line manager - who should show the positive contribution they have made to their employer, together with any admirable personal characteristics they may possess.
Food Manufacture Excellence Awards sponsors
The online entry process is clearer and simpler than ever and companies will be able to enter more than one main category if they make a variety of different products. For example, a chilled food manufacturer that also makes frozen food products can enter both categories.
Deadline for entries is 6 September and the awards will be announced at a sumptuous dinner at the Hilton Bankside on 10 February 2022.
After Cranswick claimed the overall top title at the 2021 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, chief executive officer Adam Couch said: “We are delighted to be this year’s winners of the Food Manufacture Company of the Year award.
"In what has been a tough year for everyone we are very thankful to our colleagues for their continued commitment and dedication. We are proud to have supported our customers by delivering excellent service levels to ensure full availability of our products.”
Due to the Government's COVID-19 restrictions, this year's winners were announced in a virtual ceremony on 11 February.
Previous overall winners have included meat processing giant ABP UK, breakfast cereal company Weetabix and food-to-go business Greencore.
Key dates to remember
5 July 2021: Awards open for entry
6 September 2021: Entry deadline
10 February 2022, from 7pm: Awards ceremony, London Hilton Bankside
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 editorial coverage. That’s in addition to videos posted on FoodManufacture.co.uk in the days following their win.
Winners don’t have to be perfect, nor do they have to be investing vast sums of cash. They simply have to have a great story to tell.
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.
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 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.
For more information or to enter the awards, log on to www.foodmanawards.co.uk.