Food and Drink Federation Awards

Our awards are fast becoming the industry benchmark of excellence for innovation, competitiveness and talent. Each year, companies from across the food and drink supply chain enter the FDF Awards, and over 500 guests come together to celebrate the winners at the FDF Awards ceremony.

Take a look at our award categories and enter for free before 28 February 2020, for your chance to win - you can enter as many categories as you like and nominate multiple projects/colleagues.

How to enter?

Download the entry form and submit your application for free online before Friday 28 February 2020. You can enter as many categories as you like and nominate multiple projects/colleagues.

Who can enter?

  • Food and drink manufacturers
  • Retailers, producers, growers, hospitality
  • Sectors working with the food and drink supply chain including researchers, distributors, health, local authorities, education providers

2020 Awards Categories

Apprentice of the Year

There are more apprentices than ever in the food and drink supply chain. These are the potential industry leaders of the future. Our Apprentice of the Year will have shown exceptional progress in both their skills development and studies or have made an exceptional contribution to the business through a one-off project.

Those nominated must be undertaking their apprenticeship at the time of nomination. The nomination can be made by a line manager, HR representative or college tutor.

Have you considered entering our other individual awards? Engineer of the Year, Scientist of the Year or Rising Star

Brand Launch of the Year

Have you launched an exciting new brand, whether a single product or a range? Or is your business strengthening an existing brand or rebranding an existing range?

This category will look at food and drink manufacturers launching a new brand, launching a new initiative to strengthen an existing brand or launching a rebrand. In all three cases, the brand may relate to a single product or a range of products.

Judges will look at the brand positioning, communication, differentiation, protectability and the initiatives taken to build consumer engagement, whether rational, emotional or both. Entries will need to show why a specific brand approach has been adopted, the steps taken to protect and communicate it, with metrics demonstrating consumer engagement.

Have you considered entering our Innovation category, or Campaign of the Year award?

Campaign of the Year

Companies are becoming ever-more innovative in communicating with their audiences. This category is for in-house or agency teams to enter campaigns centring on sales, driving behaviour change, launches, research or increasing awareness. The campaign can utilise a variety of media including digital, PR or marketing.

The judges will be looking for campaigns that are strongly evaluated against their original aims. Success will be considered against the original objectives and should include a variety of measurements, not just AVE or 'likes'.

The judges will be looking for a campaign that is creative, achieves its objectives, is clearly evaluated and robustly demonstrates its value for money.

Community Partner

Are you making a difference in your community?

Many food and drink supply chain companies work closely with their communities and this can either be a physical community, such as those living close to the factory; a specific sector of society or even an online community.

We are looking for companies that have carried out outstanding work with their chosen community and made a positive difference.

Diet & Health

Has your company made a significant contribution to improve the health of its customers? This award is aimed at projects that have focused on:

  • Product reformulation; changing recipes to help people achieve dietary goals*, for example by reducing salt, fat and sugar content or increasing fibre or vegetable composition.
  • Portion sizes; offering a range of smaller or more adaptable products to encourage appropriate consumption.
  • Creating new products; helping people achieve dietary goals* by NPD which focuses on improved nutrition for the targeted eating occasion.

The category is open to all sizes of companies and achievement will be judged on the following criteria:

  • The aim of the project. What did the project set out to do; what dietary need was it trying to tackle?
  • The development process. Whether it is an original concept or extension of existing work, the judges need to see the steps from concept to final project delivery.
  • What was the biggest challenge, how was it overcome and what learnings were taken from it?
  • The reach of the project. Each submission should clearly show the audience reached and how the change benefits the consumer.

*This award is aimed at recognising where companies are helping their customers achieve dietary goals by changing products or introducing new products. Judges will be considering the UK dietary guidance for both nutrients (e.g. salt, sugars, saturated fat, energy, fibre) or foods (fruit & vegetables, oily fish).

Please note foods that are designed to help consumers with specific medical conditions, e.g. gluten free, or that help a lifestyle choice, e.g. vegan will not be considered unless the products are also designed to have an improved nutrition profile.

If your initiative is a health-based community intervention, have you considered entering our Community Partner award ?

If you are launching your brand, have you considered entering our Brand Launch of the Year award or Emerging Business award ?

Education Initiative

Many companies work positively with schools and colleges to encourage interest in food and drink manufacturing and help to facilitate employment opportunities for young people. Nominations could be for a one-off event, an ongoing contribution to lessons, schemes to experience the world of work or develop employability skills.

Entries can be made for local or national initiatives.

Have you considered entering our HR Initiative award ?

Emerging Business

Have you started your business and experienced a significant growth in the past few years? Are you proud to be a thriving food or drink company in your area?

Growth can be through increased sales, capacity and resource expansion, developing new and innovative product lines or even impressive first-year achievements after starting from scratch. In short, if you think your business is fabulous, enter and tell us why.

Environmental Leadership

Everyone is looking to produce more with less and with less impact on the environment. Our Environmental Leadership category is for companies that can meet either of the criteria below:

  • Embedding sustainability throughout a product from development right through to customer use and disposal
  • Ground-breaking initiatives to reduce your company's impact on the planet

Exporter of the Year

British food and drink has never been more popular and exports continue to be a key area for growth. This category is for companies that are entering new markets, creating targeted products or growing sales in established markets. It is open to manufacturers but also to intermediary companies. The judges will look at achievement and ambition relative to the size of the company, not just the largest sales figures! Please note that this category aims to celebrate the success of UK based companies exporting UK produced food and drink and therefore:

For manufactures, 75% of your product must be produced in the UK

Consolidators/intermediaries – you may only include British produced brands within your submission

Food and Drink Engineer of the Year

Engineering skills are essential for our industry to grow and we want to recognise the people that will make this happen. Entrants can be nominated by a colleague, line manager or self-nominate.

Nominees must:

  • Be currently employed within the UK food and drink manufacturing sector
  • Have contributed to product development over a sustained period or be a promising new entrant to the industry who has led at least one significant project
  • Be a positive role model/ambassador within the company and externally
  • Go 'above and beyond' as an exceptional employee in both their work and behaviours

Have you considered entering our other individual awards? Apprentice of the Year, Scientist of the Year, Rising Star.

Food and Drink Scientist of the Year

Scientific developments help to give our industry its competitive edge and we are fortunate to have many talented scientists working within our sector. This award will recognise someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the food and drink sector.

Nominees must:

  • Be currently employed within the UK food and drink manufacturing sector
  • Have contributed to product development over a sustained period or be a promising new entrant to the industry who has led at least one significant project
  • Be a positive role model/ambassador within the company and externally
  • Go 'above and beyond' as an exceptional employee in both their work and behaviours

Have you considered entering our other individual awards? Apprentice of the Year, Scientist of the Year, Rising Star.

HR Initiative

Employee recruitment and retention is important to a successful company, so show us how your company is a great place to work. Initiatives under this category must specifically benefit your employees and could include employee support, innovative training, workplace wellbeing or an 'above and beyond' approach to flexibility.

Innovation

Many companies within our industry do exceptional work, creating products or developing new ways of thinking and working. Entrants must show either of these:

  • Significant development achieved over the past three years in either product research and/or Development in the food supply chain e.g. developing new ingredients to cut waste or improve yield
  • A significant and innovative change to the way you do business e.g. processes, factory design or logistics

If you are launching your brand, have you considered entering our Brand Launch of the Year award ?

If your entry is focusing on packaging, have you considered entering our Packaging Initiative award ?

Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist of the Year

Nutritionists and dietitians support our industry in improving the health of the nation, and are crucial to innovative new product development. We are fortunate to have many talented nutritionists and dietitians working in our sector. This award will recognise someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the food and drink sector.

Nominees must:

  • Be currently employed within the UK food and drink manufacturing sector
  • A Registered Dietitian or Registered with the Association for Nutrition (as a Registered or Associate Nutritionist)
  • Have contributed to the company's efforts to support diet and health initiatives over a sustained period or be a promising new entrant to the industry who has led at least one diet and health related project
  • Be a positive role model/ambassador within the company and externally for the nutrition / dietetics profession

Rising Star

We're looking for the bright sparks of the food and drink industry with this award category. Open to entrants within their first five years in the industry at any academic and training level, the Rising Star category is for the people with the potential to go far. Nominations can be made by line managers or HR managers.

Sustainable Packaging Initiative - new for 2020

Plastics and packaging has been in the media and political spotlight over the past year.

Whilst there is a broad consensus about the need for urgent action to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment, it needs to be remembered that plastic packaging in common with all forms of packaging has a number of practical applications for the food and drink sector notably in protecting products and ensuring they are delivered safely and in good condition from the point of production to the point of consumption. Therefore in a circular economy, packaging ensures the food or drink it contains remains in optimal condition, thereby helping to ensure it is consumed, and does not become waste.

Identifying more sustainable solutions either through improving existing formats or looking at alternative materials is a complex, expensive and time-consuming business especially if the overall sustainability of the product is not to be compromised and unintended consequences are to be avoided. However many companies are making great strides to reduce their environmental impact by improving the design of existing materials or switching to alternative materials already on the market.

This new category looks at how food and drink producers have moved towards more sustainable packaging solutions particularly in respect of plastics. Entrants may be food and drink producers implementing their own internal packaging strategies or researchers and innovators developing innovative solutions to benefit the industry.

Entrants for this category can submit entries based on:

  • Researching and developing new packaging solutions which deliver improved environmental outcomes and contribute to overall product sustainability
  • A strategy of demonstrably addressing the sustainability of packaging for your products/brands

Entrants, please note: To enter this category your ranges do not need to be entirely plastic free. Innovation takes time and will be more complex depending on the product. The judges will be looking at the ambition and scale of the challenge to package your products more sustainably and for innovations which contribute to a net improvement in the use of resources across the value chain.

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