Worldwide Fruit Youngster Wins Oscar at Manufacturing Awards

CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd are delighted to announce that yet again, one of our young apprentices has won the prestigious and highly regarded Young Talent title at this year’s national awards ceremony celebrating the best talent in the industry.
CQM T&C have been delivering Lean/Continuous Improvement training on site at Lincolnshire based food firm Worldwide Fruit for several years, and now their shining star, Amber Wild has won the Young talent of the year award in the industry’s Oscars – the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEAs) – at the Lancaster hotel, London in a glittering award ceremony last night (Tuesday, November 3).
Amber’s achievements were recognised in front of hundreds of industry guests, as she collected the trophy from award sponsor B3 Jobs and the awards host and star TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith.
The Young talent award celebrates the achievement of one of the rising stars of food and drink manufacturing. Choosing the winner from a field of six very high calibre entrants proved an incredibly daunting task, according to the judges.
The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy – praised 20-year old Amber’s powerful impact on the business she first joined as a part-time student.
Amber won the admiration of the judges for making a significant contribution in helping to update the firm’s labelling and printing operations. “Mislabelling is a key area of concern,” said one judge. “Amber has already achieved measurable success in a key area, where so many companies regularly get it wrong.” Another judge enthused: “This highly talented new starter will go anywhere and everywhere.”
Also shortlisted in this category were: Michael Andrew of meat processor Tulip, Alex Barton of meat business ABP UK, Seana Boyle of Willowbrook Foods, Jack Hamilton of Mash Direct, Caitlin Johnstone of The Welsh Pantry and Robert Williatt of Freshpack.
It was a double honours success story for CQM T&C’s client, Worldwide Fruit who also won the Chilled, fresh and dairy manufacturing company of the year award.
The FMEA awards’ independent judging panel – led by Paul Wilkinson, chair of National Skills Academy – praised the firm’s capital investment programme, waste reduction plans and wide-ranging efficiency improvements. The firm’s continuous improvement culture – something that had dropped off recently for some firms the judges noted – was singled out for particular praise.
“The firm had grown the value of its sales over the past five years by 18%, after investing more than £3M on its production facilities and empowering its team to become drivers of progress within the business,” said the judges.
The business fought off stiff competition from fellow short-listed firms: Mash Direct, Samworth Brothers (Kettleby Foods) Willowbrook Foods, Wyke Farms and Yorvale.
Andy Cheshire, Managing Director of CQM Training & Consultancy Ltd commented, “We are delighted with Worldwide Fruit’s success this evening. They’ve outshone the competition in 2 categories and have proven that working with the right training provider, who can truly embed a sustainable CI culture, is intrinsic to ongoing success. Having trained the Young Talent winner for the second consecutive year further underlines CQM T&C’s ability to engage with, and train young people who will be the managers of the future.”
The annual FMEAs, organised by William Reed Business Media’s Food Manufacture Group, now in their 15th year, have become the premier event in the food and drink manufacturing calendar.