The Judging

The awards are all completely free to enter,  and the winners are selected by an independent panel of leading experts from the food industry. This ensures that all of our winners are chosen fairly and all of our entrants are put under the same strenuous judging process.

Judging criteria for the 2023 categories are as follows:


These awards aim to highlight category leaders and trendsetters for their benefit and the benefit of their customers. Entries must demonstrate significant achievement in their category in at least three of the following areas: customer relationship building, quality assurance; environment and efficiency, skills development and training and business development. Entries should outline the benefits to the businesses of these achievements in terms of financial performance or market share and to its customers based on one or more testimonials.


Training Award
Entries must include a training initiative devised in-house even if an external agency delivered the training. Entrants must show that the initiative addressed a priority issue in a highly timely and effective manner and demonstrate staff engagement and skills improvement, with reference to final assessment and business improvement and development.

Partnership Award
This award is designed to recognise partnerships between processors and service providers, including for example packaging or equipment suppliers, energy or food safety consultancies and contract packers or contract manufacturers. Processors gain recognition alongside their third-party partners. Examples might be 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; or a warehouse or logistics provider designing a unique storage or distribution solution offering clear business benefits. Awards are given to manufacturers but can be jointly collected by them and a representative from their solutions provider.

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

Sustainability 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 contributed to the environment or lessened their environmental impact. These could include areas such as reducing waste or good use of waste; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; improving land use; efficient use of water or energy; generating renewable energy or encouraging biodiversity.


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 meet team targets/objectives and foster a sense of community and engagement.

Apprentice of the Year
Entrants should be an apprentice in the current financial year. They should aim to show how they have benefited their business operationally and/or commercially in terms of savings or efficiencies achieved and/or income/revenue generated. Applicants should indicate the apprentice’s: ability to generate new skills necessary for career development; willingness to take on more responsibility; teamwork and leadership potential; initiative and communication skills.

From the winners of the category awards, one company will be selected by our judging panel to be crowned Food Manufacture Company of the Year.

Future Talent Award
This award is designed to reward an individual under 30 years old in a junior non-administrative role within a food or drink manufacturer who is already benefitting the company and who holds future potential. 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.

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