Food Manufacture’s esteemed awards night will soon be open for entries and this year welcomes several new categories along with an exciting change to the judging process.

We've gathered the thoughts of our 30+ judges to find out what they're looking for across the 15 categories.

Entry Information »

Judging Process »

Alec Kyriakides

Alec Kyriakides, Independent Food Safety Consultant

Alec is a board trustee for the IFST, a non-executive board director of Campden BRI, and a member of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food. He spent 28 years at Sainsbury’s as head of quality, safety and supplier performance and now operates as an independent food safety consultant.

Amy Wilkinson

Amy Wilkinson, Independent Coach / Co-Host of Oh for Food’s Sake Podcast

Amy is the co-host of the award-winning podcast Oh for Food’s Sake. The rest of her time is spent as a coach, supporting women and teams in food and grocery to speak up, influence better and get the recognition they deserve.

Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson, Board Chair at Welsh Food & Drink Industry

Andy’s experience stretches across marketing, corporate affairs and sustainability. After an honours degree in agriculture, he began his career in 1989 at Unilever and then went onto work for BOCM PAULS. In 2000, he joined Volac, the dynamic UK dairy nutrition business, and is currently involved in several groups and councils.

Charlotte Langdon

Charlotte Langdon, Director of Audit and Assurance at Menzies LLP

Charlotte enjoys working closely with clients to help solve their business problems. With a wealth of financial and business expertise across the SME sector, she specialises in giving proactive business advice and support to business owners, finance directors and entrepreneurs.

Chris Gilbert-Wood

Chris Gilbert-Wood, Food Technologist at CGW Food Tech

Chris Gilbert-Wood is a Registered Food Safety Principal and now works as a consultant. He is also a fellow and trustee of the IFST and chair of its External Affairs Committee. His career spans across 40 years, including roles at M&S and 2 Sisters.

Claire White-McKay

Claire White-McKay, Food Development Manager at Quorn

Claire is excited by the magic of mycelium and the potential impact we can all have on the planet by switching to eating this sustainable, nutritious and versatile protein source. She is a hands-on leader and thrives on activity that demands resourcefulness, collaboration and the realisation of ideas that are ‘beyond imagination’.

Clare Menezes

Clare Menezes, McCormick Snr Director Global Food Integrity & Risk at McCormick & Company Inc.

Clare has a BSc in microbiology, biochemistry and physiology and is a Registered Food Safety Principal. She’s worked in the herb and spice industry for over 20 years within a range of technical roles. Her current focus is food integrity and risk.

Daksha Stancilas

Daksha Stancilas, Talent & Development Partner at Pret A Manger

Daksha is passionate about inspiring and preparing young people for their futures, regardless of background, and is committed to providing great career opportunities in the hospitality sector and with Pret.

David Moore

David Moore, Head of ESG at The Compleat Food Group

David’s had more than two decades of experience working in food production. In his current position, Moore leads on the development and delivery of The Compleat Food Group’s new ESG strategy.

Dr David Lloyd

David Lloyd, Senior R&D Manager at Huel

David has both a degree in chemical engineering and an engineering doctorate in formulation engineering. Before joining Huel he worked at Unilever, carrying out R&D projects on ice cream and ready-to-drink iced tea.

Geoff Eaton

Geoff Eaton, Owner of Butcher's Pet Care

Geoff has been a part of the FMEA judging process for the last five years. His impressive career includes roles at New England Seafood International, Premier Foods, Uniq Plc and RHM. He is now the chairman of the UK’s leading producer of wet dog food and the fast growing cat brand, Blink!

Jaclyn Bowen

Jaclyn Bowen, Chief Executive at Clean Label Project

Jackie was the researcher and co-author behind the largest academic peer-reviewed study ever conducted on lead and cadmium in baby food and infant formula. Before coming to Clean Label Project, she held numerous technical, standards development, food safety, quality, and executive roles.

James Robinson

James Robinson, Chairman of Bold Bean Co

Following 10 years at Procter & Gamble in finance, sales and marketing roles set James Robinson on course for general management. He has held leadership roles at Hovis & Kipling and New England Seafood International, and now is an angel investor and chairman of a fast-growing plant-based start-up.

Jon Poole

Jon Poole, Organisational and Leadership Development Consultant at Step Change Consultancy

Alongside Step Change, Poole chairs SALSA, the third-party supplier assurance scheme for small and micro businesses in the UK. He has also written and published three books on leadership, business coaching and career development and now writes ‘The Talent Poole’ monthly column for Food Manufacture.

Konstantina Karagkika

Konstantina Karagkika, Senior Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager at Coca-Cola

Konstantina has held a number of technical roles during her career, ranging from ready meals, to nuts and specialty ingredients. She has a master’s degree in food safety and quality assurance; and before joining Coca-Cola, headed up innocent’s food regulatory, safety and emerging risks function.

Laetitia Rocha

Laetitia Rocha, Global R&D Internal Capability Snr Manager at PepsiCo

Laetitia is an R&D expert and registered nutritionist, with experience in front-end innovation, technology innovation and M&A to product launch. She now leads a cultural transformation initative within her role at PepsiCo.

Lisa Fox

Lisa Fox, Group Learning & Development Manager at Nomad Foods

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience in operational performance, talent progression and optimising people and performance. Her specialism is within leadership development, coaching and mentoring and enabling teams to flourish.

Prof. Manoj Dora

Prof. Manoj Dora, Director of Centre for Intelligent Supply Chains at School of Management at Anglia Ruskin University

Manoj’s expertise lies in sustainable management, circular economy and food supply chains. He has been involved in many capacity building initiatives focusing on the circular economy, industry 4.0 and food supply chain across Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

Mark Baggaley

Mark Baggaley, Operations Director at Butcher's Pet Care

Mark has worked in the food industry for nearly two decades, with his experiencing stretching across a range of roles, from shop floor all the way up to board room level. His career in food started at Carlsberg in 2005 at the Tetley brewery site in Leeds town centre.

Mark Schubert

Mark Schubert, Managing Director at Coriolis

Mark has 16 years of global consulting experience and says the true art of consulting is simplifying the “perceived” complexities. He takes a hands-on approach and believes that in order to succeed, consultants must demonstrate more than proven methodologies.

Mathew Thewlis

Mathew Thewlis, Operations Director at Yeo Valley Farms

Mat is responsible for working with the Yeo Valley Farm team to set and deliver upon the product fulfilment strategy, helping the brand to fulfil its purpose of nurturing and nourishing people and planet. His experience is vast, including 17 years in ambient drinks with Britvic.

Martin Macfarlane

Martin Macfarlane, R&D Director Europe, AMESAA & NASEA at Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture

Martin Macfarlane has worked for Unilever for 19 years. His original focus was in the safety of products, after which he moved onto ice cream design. He now leads R&D for the Europe, AMESAA and NASEA regions in the Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture.

Mehdi Adjiri

Mehdi Adjiri, Head of Technical Accounts at Compleat Food Group

Originally from France, Mehdi Adjiri graduated with a MSc in food science in 2005. He emigrated to the UK in 2006, where he started a career in the food industry as part of the Bakkavor technical graduate scheme. Over his 17-year career, he covered a wide range of product categories and now works as Head of Technical Accounts at Compleat Food Group.

Natalie Chiu

Natalie Chiu, EU Open Innovation Lead at Mondelēz

Natalie has been involved in setting up partnerships with academic institutions, startups and FMCG consortiums and is the European open innovation lead for Mondelez International. In her role she scouts for innovative technologies and helps drive breakthrough launches.

Nishikant Mishra

Nishikant Mishra, Professor/Head of Management Systems Subject Group at University of Hull

Nishikant’s expertise extends to the creation of software solutions for multimodal transportation optimisation, cloud computing, and blockchain-enabled systems for low-carbon supply chains. His research findings have been widely disseminated through his publication of 60 papers in reputable, refereed journals.

Ramona Hazan

Ramona Hazan, Founder of Ramona's Kitchen

Ramona founded her business, which specialises in houmous and falafel, based on her family’s traditional recipes. Now, 18 years on, her ‘Heavenly Houmous’ product claims the no.1 spot within its category in the UK.

Richard Clothier

Richard Clothier, Managing Director at Wyke Farms

Rich represents the third gen of the Clothiers, a family who have been making cheddar on their Somerset farm since 1861. Today, Wyke Farms is recognised as one of the leading environmentally focused privately-owned UK food businesses.

Richard Singleton

Richard Singleton, Finance & Sustainability Director at Menzies

As an experienced financial director, having worked across range of industries to provide audit, accounting and business consultancy services, Richard helps clients to design ESG strategies that enhance competitive advantage, increase top and bottom-line growth, improve stakeholder engagement and create supply chain robustness.

Rupert Ashby

Rupert Ashby, Chief Executive at British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF)

In his early career, Rupert was responsible for running several of the Co-Operative Group’s framing businesses, before moving to the Manchester HQ as marketing project manager. He joined the BFFF following several years at the Country Land and Business Association.

Steve Batchford

Steve Batchford, Science, Policy and Governance Manager, Central Technical Operations at Sainsbury’s

Steve joined Sainsbury’s eight years ago and supports the business on food safety, food fraud, emerging risks, incident management, policy development and governance. He previously worked for another leading UK supermarket as its group microbiologist.

Susana Morris

Susana Morris, Senior Export Manager – Americas (Livestock) at Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

Susana holds a commercial management and marketing degree from ESIC, Madrid. Her responsibilities in her current role at AHDB includes developing new markets in the Americas for the English meat industry.

Tim McLachlan

Tim McLachlan, Chief Executive at Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST)

Tim has had more than 25 years of experience in leading and developing national charities, including the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation and Alzheimer’s Society. His first degree was in medicinal chemistry and he holds an MBA specialised in strategic planning.

Bethan Grylls

Bethan Grylls, Editor of Food Manufacture

Beth has been working as a professional writer for more than a decade, with the last five dedicated to food and drink. She is Food Manufacture’s editor, leading a small but proficient team of two. Alongside FM, she is also responsible for National Butcher’s Week, a social event operated under the MTJ brand, that celebrates retail butchery in the UK.

Gwen Ridler

Gwen Ridler, Multimedia Journalist at Food Manufacture

While Gwen regularly writes news and features for the Food Manufacture website, her main passions are the multimedia projects she is involved in, including the new podcast series started in February and the fresh take on Me and My Team in a video documentary style format.

Judging Process

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges in a variety of specialist fields across food and drink. The entries will be assessed against a list of criteria and ranked by how they best answer the questions in the entry submission, including evidence provided to back up any claims.

Following this, panel discussions will be held over a Teams call to discuss the entries and determine a shortlist and a winner in each category.

New for this year, five categories will enter a stage 2 phase to decide the winner. These categories are:

Business Leader
Future Talent
Employer of the Year
F&B Manufacturer of the Year
Factory Manager of the Year

The submissions shortlisted in these categories will be asked to attend a short online 'interview' with the panel of judges, wherein they can delve into more detail about their written entry. This will be led by questions from the judging panel. Please note interviews will be recorded and may be used at the event or on socials .

The interviews will take place during the week commencing 13th November.

All winners will be announced at the event taking place on the 8 February 2024 at the Hilton Bankside, London.

Entry Information »

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