Previously know as the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the award recognises and celebrates business excellence in the UK across four categories – innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility. Winners are able to use the King’s Award Emblem for the next five years.
A number of food and drink firms were among the 148 organisations nationally to be recognised in 2023. Among them was dairy firm First Milk, who was awarded for its commitment to sustainable development.
Commenting on the announcement, First Milk chief executive Shelagh Hancock said: “The announcement of our King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development is fantastic recognition of the extensive work going on across our business around regenerative thinking and sustainability, including our market leading regenerative agriculture programme.
“Our whole approach is closely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring our actions help improve human lives and protect the environment whilst also delivering economic benefit.”
Seafood processor Ideal Foods was honoured for its excellence in international trade – the Cornwall-based family-run business has exported its products for more than 20 years and has customers in more than 40 countries worldwide, especially in the Far East, Europe and the US.
Tony Horner, managing director of Ideal Foods commented: “As Managing Director of Ideal Foods, it gives me immense pride to see our company honoured in this way. We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of committed, hard-working and high achieving staff, and each and every one of our workforce has contributed to our international sales success.
“This is a very exciting time for Ideal Foods with new projects on the horizon. We are delighted that we can move forward with our business activities along with the accolade of the King’s Award for Enterprise.”
Leaders in international trade
London-based Fever Tree Drinks were also recognised in this year’s accolades, having received the King’s Award for International Trade for its “outstanding continuous growth” in overseas sales over the last six years.
Co-founder and chief executive Tim Warrillow said: “I am delighted we have won a King’s Award for International Trade. Having first won it in 2013 when we were in 45 countries, we are now exporting to over 90 countries around the world and our international markets remain central to our growth plans.
“Our success around the world is testament to the hard work of our whole team, meaning people can enjoy a great tasting G&T whether they’re in New York, Mumbai, Seoul or even Auckland!”
Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables processor Greenyard Frozen UK was also among the food and drink firms listed, taking home the King’s Award for Sustainable Development for commitment towards healthier lifestyles and more sustainable food chains.
Awards were also handed out to members of the pet food industry, with The First Class Pet Company taking home the international trade award, withs Naturaw Pet Food recognised for its sustainability.
Minister for enterprise Kevin Hollinrake added: “I congratulate the first ever recipients of The King’s Awards for Enterprise, who exemplify the talent, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit of British business.
“I wish them every success and commend the invaluable contributions they make to communities both at home and overseas, helping to grow the UK economy.”
The first list of winners can be found in The London Gazette.