The British Frozen Food Federation’s (BFFF) People Awards were presented on February 7 in Birmingham, England, during the trade association’s Annual Business Conference Dinner. Returning after a successful inaugural in 2018, the recent event heralded new additions and category updates with a view to recognizing more talented persons who helped drive 4% industry growth last year.
The awards competition was open to entries from across the retail and foodservice sectors, with overall winners selected from 14 categories that covered both individual and team efforts, including Business Transformation of the Year, Unsung Hero, Customer Champion and Apprentice of the Year.
The Charity and Community Champion award was won by Lisa Hayes of Apetito, who was praised for going above and beyond the call of duty in her innovation of the Sunday Lunch Club. She not only worked on days off to provide lunches for elderly and vulnerable residents, but also improved teamwork and motivation across the business through volunteering initiatives that raised over £130,000 for worthwhile causes over three years.
The Supply Chain/Logistics Team of the Year award went to Keepak Foodservice Solutions for its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, supporting Foodcloud by providing 5,280 meals to people in need, and saving over €8,000 worth of food from being unnecessarily wasted and headed for landfill disposal. This has also included a green energy initiative that has enabled the team to virtually eliminate all landfill requirements.
Among others saluted in Birmingham were Mark Hardy and Zoe Beauvosin of Apetito, respective winners of the Unsung Hero of the Year and Development Champion award.
Named Operations Manager of the Year was Thomas Hunt of Hunts Foodservice, while the Business Transformation of the Year award went to Adam Smith of Iceland Manufacturing Ltd.
Naz Haq of Bidfood was honored as this year’s Customer Champion, and Birds Eye’s Claire Hoyle received Marketer of the Year honors.
The innovation team at Bidfood won the Innovation Team of the Year, while Rachel Hartwell of Bidfood was recognized as Purchaser of the Year.
Caterforce’s Kelly Orme won the Technical Champion award, and Rob Ironmonger of Greenyard was named the Health and Safety Champion.
The Rising Star Award went to Daniel Morris of Billington Foodservice, while the category’s Apprentice of the Year prize was presented to Iceland’s Alina Solomka. A Judges’ Special Award was given to Declan Crofts of Barnsley College.
The event was rounded off with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Stephen Waugh, past president of the BFFF, for his contribution to the frozen food industry over a long and productive career.
All entries were evaluated by six judges representing a cross section of Britain’s food, drink and HR industries. The panel of jurists consisted of Vince Craig, BFFF board member; Alison Cannon, founding partner of Resonate Search & Selection; Nick Downing, IGD commercial director; Cheryl Bennett, director of Pelican Communications; plus 2018 People Awards winners Ginny Durdy of The Ice Co. (Marketer of the Year) and Jane Marren of Company Shop (Commercial Champion).
Commenting on the winners, John Hyman, chief executive of the BFFF, remarked:
“Following such a successful launch year, it was great to see so many companies within the frozen food industry engaging in these awards for a second year and helping us champion the incredible talent that can be found across all areas of our industry.
“The British frozen food industry has set itself a £10 billion growth target, and is currently the fastest growing category in retail at +3.6%. We need this continued level of talent from our frozen food superstars to continue to drive the industry forward in its success.”