Double award win for Charlie Bigham’s

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chilled foods Ready meals

The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards help highlight the achievements of the food and drink industry and ‘acknowledge and reward’ the hard work companies do to keep the nation fed, according to Charlie Bigham’s general manager Richard Bain.

The upmarket chilled meals manufacturer took home the award for Food Manufacture Company of the Year at this years’ ceremony and was also named Chilled, Fresh and Seafood Manufacturing Company of the Year.  

Bain spoke to Food Manufacture editor Rod Addy about what it meant for the company to take home the awards. 

‘Genuinely excited’ 

“We’re genuinely excited about winning the category ​[award], but we’re over the moon to be crowned overall winners,​ said Bain. 

“In this year, which is our 25th anniversary, to get to the point where we’re able to make 500,000 dishes a week and bring delicious food to so many people and being acknowledged and rewarded for it is extra special.” 

A certified B-Corp company, Charlie Bigham's has scrutinised every area of its business for environmental improvements, from water and energy use to packaging. In its entry, the company showed strong team engagement in quality reviews and a keenness to innovate and explore a range of processing techniques to extend shelf-life, plus investment in its Quarry Kitchen NPD hub. 

Environmental credentials  

“A lot of the work the business was already doing to make sure we were recognising our own environmental credentials and working hard to reduce waste, and ultimately looking after the wellbeing and ethics of our people,” ​Bain added.  

“To be certified for it when we felt we were doing the right things anyway, to get the certification helps us to rubber stamp it. Pledging ourselves to the B Corp certification means we can then go on even further, to get even better and be proud to be accredited.” 

A total of 22 winners and highly commended entrants were announced from the ranks of finalists across at a fun-packed black-tie dinner at London's Hilton Bankside Hotel, followed by a DJ set and casino. The night was hosted by Cherry Healey, co-presenter with Greg Wallace of BBC2's Inside the Factory. 

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