Meet the finalists for the Food Integrity Award

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

FMEA 2024 Food Integrity Award

Related tags Regulation Food fraud Training & recruitment CBD and Hemp

The three finalists for Food Manufacture’s new food integrity prize have been announced – here’s a bit more about them ahead of the FMEAs next year.

B3 Labs

B3 Labs has a food safety policy in place, which is available to the entire company and signed off by the CEO.

It also has a quality culture tracker, which follows activities that are in place to promote food safety.

Its quality objectives ensures that items are lined within its QMS to ensure it meets the highest levels of quality and safety for food safety.

All staff, including office staff have food safety level 2 certification as a minimum.

The above commitments to food safety are represented by its AA BRCGS rating, the only finished product manufacturer for CBD in Europe.

“This is a difficult achievement and proves we don't just pay lip service to safety and transparency,” ​the entry read.

The business also had a stringent risk assessment in place for all products incoming to ensure authenticity as part of its BRCGS AA certification.

Considering the nature of global cannabis supply chains, with each market having different regulations on controlled substances, B3 Labs has a strict policy on controlled cannabinoid testing, which has seen it reject many materials. “We have even rejected hemp seed oil due to how strictly we adhere to regulations,” ​the application flagged.

To provide peace of mind that its products are what it says they are, the company does not release product until it has received the COA from a UKAS accredited ISO 17025 analytical laboratory.

Culture Compass

Food Fraud is not only a threat to food authenticity and the economic wellbeing of an enterprise or organisation, it also threatens the safety of consumers as those who commit food crime are prepared to risk consumer safety for economic gain.

In association with Ron McNaughton, Head of Scottish Food Crime and Incident Unit and on behalf of Food Standards Scotland (FSS), Culture Compass developed a 30-minute online profiling tool to assess Scottish food businesses for their vulnerability to food fraud.

Using the Culture Compass ‘4 Energies of Predictable Supply Chains: Strategy; Performance; Organisation and Culture’, this tool uses a 40-point assessment to create a unique risk profile for any enterprise in any part of the food supply chain, from a local butcher to a global organisation. The profile maps an enterprise's areas of strength and vulnerability across the 4 Energies, creating a risk profile totally unique to that business.

Completion of the profile then unlocks access to eight unique and specific guidance documents which were created specifically to help steer internal discussions and focus attention, alongside addressing areas of risk and encouraging investment where needed.

The tool, created by Denis Treacy, is based on systems he developed to assess vulnerability to health and safety and food safety risk of his own pladis global supply chain, across a global business with 1,500 suppliers and manufacturing and co-manufacturing sites on four continents. When a location is profiled, the understanding of risk is made clear so limited resources can be applied optimally to reduce risk.

When actions are applied to the areas of vulnerability identified in the profile, risk is shown to reduce.

Food businesses based in Scotland can also access free online collaborative and bespoke workshops developed by Culture Compass which will host real world discussions, offer guidance and allow for knowledge sharing.


There are many challenges facing the food industry, particularly in the area of food safety and quality and building a robust food safety team with a positive culture and skill set able to tackle these complex challenges is key to the long-term integrity of the Dunbia business.

The Dunbia Food Safety and Quality department recognises the need for skilled people to deliver the food integrity of the business. “People are what make a business great and without people who develop their skills, hone their ways of working and shape their values; there can be no integrity and no culture to champion,”​ the application highlighted.

The food safety and quality department have set up and annually deliver a bespoke Food Safety & Quality Student Placement framework across the Dunbia business. This specialist programme is aimed at subject relevant under-graduates seeking an industrial placement of between six months and one year from universities throughout the UK and Ireland. The programme takes up to 10 students each year across the business and exposes them to work based experiences designed to provide them with food safety and quality skills relevant to the red meat processing industry through the use of a structured framework of activities, support and learning reviews. Each student is assigned a manager, mentor and given a workbook at the start of their placement. The workbook provides valuable information on the company, the role of the food safety and quality department and insights into the red meat processing industry, but the main purpose of the workbook is in the activities and reviews section.

The activities section provides a framework of the hands-on activities the students are expected to learn and complete. It provides space for recording what was learned, specific notes and actions by the student. This ensures students gain valuable real-life experience in the factories, are contributing valuably to the team, have a role and responsibility, and feel motivated and engaged.

The activities also cover other departments as building food safety integrity is a responsibility throughout the supply chain and all departments, so students start to get a feel for this.

Other areas covered are soft skills, such as how to behave at work, how to write emails and meeting manners. The students are heavily involved with Dunbia’s annual Food Safety Week, a week-long celebration of all things food safety across the business. This helps to build the concept of food safety culture and brings a fresh viewpoint to the event each year.

This work placement framework ensures that as a business it is enjoying motivated, informed and engaged students who valuably contribute during their placement to the delivery of food safety and quality standards throughout the business. But Dunbia has also had previous student placements returning to the business as up-skilled graduates who understand its business and food safety culture. This helps to secure and improve the food safety and quality integrity of the business and bring in new learnings and the very latest knowledge from universities.

“These graduates hit the ground running, advance quickly and are helping to secure the future of the business,”​ the application continued.

The winners of this new addition to the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards categories will be announced at the official ceremony 8 February 2024. Join us at London Hilton Bankside for an unforgettable night - tickets available to purchase, here.​​

Interested to see the entire shortlist of finalists for all 2024 categories? Click here.​​

The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards are proudly sponsored by our headliner Menzies, alongside event sponsors Quor, HSBC, and CAS Recruitment.

Related topics Food Safety Supply Chain Technical

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