Category criteria

Business Leader of the Year
This is open to C-suite level only. Entrants must present how their business has grown and developed under their leadership, their current business plans, where they have successfully invested and expanded, as well as their strategic vision for the future. The winner will be able to demonstrate resilience, innovation and clear direction.

Collaboration & Partnership Award
This award is designed to recognise partnerships between processors and customers or service providers, including, for example, retailers, packaging or equipment suppliers, energy or food safety consultancies and contract packers or manufacturers. Food and drink manufacturers can enter or their partners can enter on their behalf. In each case, both partners should be named. Entries citing only one half of the partnership will not be valid.

Processors gain recognition alongside their third-party partners. Examples might be a retailer collaborating with a supplier on bespoke technology; an engineering firm executing a bespoke project to improve production line performance; an IT provider introducing a tailored solution integrated into existing systems to digitise records, improving traceability, visibility and efficiency; a warehouse or logistics provider designing a unique storage or distribution solution offering clear business benefits. Awards are given to manufacturers, but ideally jointly collected by them and a representative of their partner.

The Community Award
Entrants must be able to show clear examples of how they have collaborated with a charity or initiative and successfully make a difference. This could vary from a partnership with a redistribution charity to a self-devised programme that has improved working environments in your supply chain.

Emerging Business Award
This accolade will go to a new business that has proven excellence in its category making a difference, whether that’s through R&D, growth, or a unique and great initiative. Entrants must have been operating for a maximum of three years.

Employer of the Year
This award will go to an employer who has not just shown growth and retention, but that it also cares about its employees. This could be evidenced by a training initiative devised in-house; a community partnership, for example going into a school (primary, secondary or upper) to help raise awareness and educate; or new ways it has encouraged inclusion and promoted wellness. The winner will be a stand-out employer that nurtures, engages with and listens to its staff, and provides ample opportunity for all.

ESG Excellence Award
This is a company award designed to recognise a food or drink manufacturer that has made substantial strides in the field of environmental initiatives. Entrants should be able to provide concrete examples of ways in which they have embedded environmental social and corporate governance into their organisation’s framework. The successful entrant will be able to demonstrate excellence in all three areas of environmental preservation, consideration of humans our interdependence, and logistics and defined processes for running a business.

Factory Manager of the Year
Another new addition for 2024, factory manager of the year will be awarded to a leader who has seen their operations and team grow and thrive. Entrants will be able to demonstrate success, efficiency under their leadership but also teamwork, innovation and a strong regard for health, safety and wellness.

Food or Beverage Manufacturing Company of the Year
This award is open to any food or beverage manufacturing company, including pet food. Replacing individual category awards, the winner of this title must show they have gone above and beyond as a producer whatever their category is. The winner will be able to demonstrate strong growth, true innovation and integrity, as well as supporting important values such as sustainability and wellbeing within their workplace. This is the F&B champion of champions prize.

Food Integrity Award
Although food safety remains a vital word in any manufacturer’s lexicon, the responsibilities to deliver on multiple fronts has become evidence. As such food integrity has become the key must-have – that the food we produce is safe, authentic, nutritious, sustainable and ethical. It’s not an easy ask and this award will be given to the food and /or drink company that is able to show it has truly embraced integrity throughout its entire supply chain, fostering and championing a food safety culture among all employees.

The Future Factory Award
Are you using robotics, AI or working with data in new and clever ways? Show us how you are embracing the future with technology within your factory. But remember, it’s not just about how high tech you are – it’s how you implement it!

Future Talent Award
This is designed to reward an individual under 30 years old in a junior non-administrative role within a food or drink manufacturer, or who is undertaking an apprenticeship at the company that shows real promise.

Entrants should be nominated by a colleague, ideally their line manager, who should show the positive contribution they have made to their employer, together with any admirable personal characteristics they may possess.

The Innovation Award
This award is all about new and exciting ideas coming to fruition which have the potential to or have made a real impact. Entrants could vary from innovation in ingredients, to storage technology, to packaging, to whole systems. For ideas in concept stage, evidence of their potential will need to be presented.

International Trade Award
Entrants must demonstrate significant growth and development and market penetration in overseas markets, particularly focusing on how they overcame key obstacles.

Site Team of the Year
Entrants must show the team’s key achievements and how these benefited the overall business in terms of growth in sales, profit margin or production. They should show how well they worked together to overcome challenges and meet team targets/objectives.

Supply Chain Excellence Award
Entries for the supply chain excellence award will need to show they have considered and built in resilience, agility, flexibility and transparency throughout their entire chain. Entrants will also be able to show how they are managing, measuring and improving their supply chain to further push for excellence.


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