The winners of IGD's 2001 Food Industry Awards were announced last night to an audience of distinguished guests from across the food and grocery industry.

The Nestlé Award for Social Commitment went to Coca-Cola Bottlers (Ulster) for its partnership with Mencap in Northern Ireland. The company's 450 employees have risen to the challenge of fundraising, participating in Mencap's Trek Namibia challenge. The other finalists were Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society, Sainsbury's, Tesco (highly commended) and Yakult.

The Tetra Pak Packaging Design Award went to Eatwell (UK) for its truly innovative packaging solution for the dynamic "food on the move" sector. The microwaveable packaging, designed for beefburgers and hotdogs, delivers restaurant quality with speed and convenience. The other finalists were Castrol UK, The Co-operative Group and Marr Foods.

The John Sainsbury 1990 Award for Staff Training and Development went to Asda for the Stores of Learning scheme, which combines serving the customer with training and developing managers in a live environment. It is having a positive impact on operational and training standards. The other finalists were Budgens, Interbrew, Sainsbury's and Superquinn.

The Tate & Lyle Young Managers' Business Challenge went to James King of Pedigree Masterfoods. This year the challenge was to focus on the future of Category Management - is it dead altogether or simply evolving into common sense business practice? According to James it is facing its biggest challenge yet. He believes the future is about simplifying the process and re-focussing attention where it should always be - on the consumer. The other finalists were Richard Gregory, United Co-operatives, Trish Hicks, Tesco and David Walter, Friskies Petcare.

New this year, The Sir Alistair Grant Award for Outstanding Small Businesses went to Macsween of Edinburgh. Its mentors, Hazlewood Foods, provided help in people development, in maintaining quality systems and in building the world's first haggis factory. The other finalists were Edmund Barton (highly commended), FWP Matthews, Wicken Fen Wholesome Foods and William Sprott.

The President's Cup was awarded to Nestlé UK for its support across a wide of activities including participating in the Industry Working Group programme and playing a key role in supporting IGD's ECR initiative. In fact it was a major contributor to the success of IGD's stand at the 2001 ECR Europe Conference in Glasgow - IGD has never shifted so much coffee! It also became a founder sponsor of Career Choices, IGD's website for school leavers and graduates.

The Unilever Award, relaunched this year, went to Superquinn for the new DNA-based testing system "Traceback", which has given consumers very real assurances about the quality and safety of all beef sold in Superquinn's stores. The other finalists were Cott Beverages, Marr Foods (highly commended), Sainsbury's and Walkers.

The Ian MacLaurin Award for Supply Chain Excellence went to Brake Brothers for its work with suppliers and customers to deliver considerable improvements in the efficiency of the foodservice supply chain, including lead times, product availability, vehicle usage and information flow. Other finalists were James Hall & Co, Lever Fabergé & Sainsbury's, Power Europe & Birds Eye Wall's and Sainsbury's.

The Grocer Cup for Outstanding Business Achievement was presented to Sir Peter Davis, Group Chief Executive, Sainsbury's. This award is for the industry executive who has inspired outstanding results and commitment among his team and in the wider industry in the preceding year. Readers of The Grocer vote for the winner in a telephone poll.

The event was hosted by Michael Buerk.

IGD is the leading research and education organisation for the food and grocery industry. Its membership is drawn from the total grocery supply chain, including retail, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, catering, packaging companies and primary producers. IGD also has close links with consumer organisations.

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