The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEA) recognises the very best in operating standards and processes in today’s UK food and drink manufacturing sectors, and this year was hosted by celebrity guest and leading UK comedian, Mark Watson, alongside Food Manufacture’s editor, Bethan Grylls.
With 14 awards up for grabs, a special mention must be given to Arla Foods which not only took home the champion of champion’s accolade, Manufacturing Company of the Year, but also Employer of the Year and our ESG prize. Having successfully reached the final interview stage in all three categories, the judging panels were incredibly impressed by Arla Food’s entries. Described as “outstanding” by the judges, they applauded the company’s sustained growth, fantastic innovation and exemplary commitment to sustainability, safety and quality.
Meanwhile, it was Mollie Harvey of Lincoln & York who was awarded the Future Talent prize. The judges were blown away by her exceptional and inspiring commitment and proactivity: “She has created her own opportunities and instigated new ideas and initiatives based on her personal drive.”
Andrew Hewston of egg supplier Bumble Hole Foods was crowned Business Leader of the Year. With a caring and empowering company culture, Hewston has led the company with passion and vigour, seeing it achieve impressive growth and expansion. The company is now responsible for supplying eggs and egg products to most of the major UK food manufacturers, with its investment into its facilities and people, coupled with strong leadership, the backbone of its success.
Bethan Grylls, editor of Food Manufacture, which organises the awards, said: “This year we shook up the judging process with the introduction of new awards and an entirely new process, which saw our people-oriented accolades and grand prize of F&B Manufacturer of the Year gain an extra level of scrutiny. The calibre of both the paper entries and interviews were exceptional, and it goes to show how incredible our food and drink sector is as the world continues to grapple with numerous challenges.
“It was an honour to judge alongside such an illustrious panel of industry experts, which included both FMEA veterans and fresh faces alike. Of course, it’s never easy picking the winners for the awards and every finalist should be giving themselves a well-deserved pat on the back!”
Charlotte Langdon, director for headline sponsor Menzies and FMEA judge, said: “Being involved in the judging for many of the categories in this year’s awards gave me the privilege of speaking to lots of different F&B manufacturers. It strikes me that in each year we have been part of the judging panel we have felt that there was so much to overcome in the year in question, and this year was no different. I have seen the readiness for challenge showcased in the hundreds of entries for tonight’s awards. Resilience through those already faced and an eagerness to face what is to come.
“Tonight was a celebration of all the finalists’ success and Menzies is honoured to be part of this incredible journey. We look forward to witnessing the continued growth, innovation, and success of the food and drink manufacturing sector and watching these incredible businesses evolve in the years to come.”
Grylls added: “On behalf of Food Manufacture and everyone behind the scenes of the awards, I’d like to extend a huge congratulations to the finalists and our ultimate winners. I look forward to seeing next year’s entries in due course and celebrating with the industry once again in 2025!”
The FMEAs would not be possible without the support of our kind sponsors, which includes returning headliner Menzies, alongside Quor, CAS Recruitment and HSBC UK.
The full list of winners for the FMEAs 2024 are listed below:
Business Leader of the Year:
Andrew Hewston - Bumble Hole Foods
Collaboration and Partnership Award:
Nestlé & First Milk
Emerging Business Award:
Little Bobby Jebb Foods
Employer of the Year:
Arla Food UK
ESG Excellence Award:
Factory Manager of the Year:
Kate Clawson - Sleaford Quality Foods
Food Integrity Award:
Food or Beverage Manufacturing Company of the Year:
Future Talent Award:
Mollie Harvey – Lincoln & York
International Trade Award:
Site Team of the Year:
Fuel Hub - Production Facility
Supply Chain Excellence Award:
The Collective Dairy
The Community Award:
Work For Good & B1G1 - Fudge Kitchen
The Innovation Award:
Innovative new sustainable products - BioPak