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Several food and drink manufacturers recognised among best UK companies to work for in 2023

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Best Companies ranks firms based on how happy and engaged their employees are. Credit: Getty / Klaus Vedfelt
Best Companies ranks firms based on how happy and engaged their employees are. Credit: Getty / Klaus Vedfelt

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Food and drink manufacturers including Cook Food, Creed Foodservice and KP Snacks have been recognised among the best firms to work for in the UK.

Best Companies publishes its standings every year, with Cook Food ranked in first among food and drink firms for 2023, ahead of Creed Foodservice and KP Snacks in second and third respectively.

Companies including Warner’s Distillery, Creed Foodservice, Sleaford Quality Foods, Fever-Tree, Hilltop, Sipsmith, GA Pet Food Partners and Noble Foods were also named as top employers within food and drink.

Among big companies, counted as those that employ more than 2,000 people, KP Snacks ranked 16th​, while in the large companies standings (200 to 1,999 employees) Cook Food was 31st​ and Creed Foodservice was 55th​. Warner’s Distillery also placed inside the top 100 for its size, ranked 82nd​ in the smaller companies list (25 to 74 employees).

Cook Food, a manufacturer and retailer of frozen meals and puddings based in Sittingbourne, Kent, was established in 1997 and employs almost 1,700 people.

In response to the recognition, co-chief executive Rosie Brown said: “We are full of gratitude to work with such a brilliant bunch of people at Cook Food, who have such strong relationships with each other, and we love being part of the Best Companies family.”

Chris Creed, chief executive of Creed Foodservice, said that firm’s first inclusion on the list marks the culmination of a six-year period where it has looked to better engage its employees.

After reducing our people by 27% due to the pandemic, we are clear that our culture kept our company going, we are now back reinvesting in our business, employing more people than before and we once again look forward to the results this year,” ​Creed explained.

Meanwhile, KP Snacks chief executive Mark Thorpe told Food Manufacture that "putting people first​" is the firm's number one priority.

"We want everyone to feel themselves at work every day, in an environment that is safe, inclusive, rewarding and inspires all our KP colleagues to be the very best they can be​," Thorpe added.

This year, we’ve introduced a new wellbeing strategy to support colleagues with their physical, mental and financial wellbeing, and through our inclusion and diversity strategy we are creating new ways to ensure we have a fully inclusive culture at KP Snacks.

By 2030 we aim to achieve world-class Health and Safety performance, whilst also ensuring the diversity of our colleagues reflects the diversity of local communities in all our factories and offices. These goals are embedded into all our key business decisions, functions and processes – making them an integral part of how KP Snacks does business​.”

In other news, Food Manufacture visited Cook Food’s under construction kitchen in Kent.

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