Food manufacturers dominate inaugural Made Smarter Adoption Awards

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Food manufacturers dominate inaugural Made Smarter Adoption Awards

Food manufacturers dominate inaugural Made Smarter Adoption Awards
June 17
11:58 2024
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UK food manufacturers pursuing digital transformation have been celebrated at the launch of the Made Smarter Adoption Awards. The Awards champion manufacturing and engineering companies who have committed to adopting technology and skills to digitalise, decarbonise and drive growth.

Regional winners from adoption programmes in the North West, North East, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humber have now been selected. They include:

  • Firstplay Dietary Foods, a specialist food manufacturer based in Stockport, winner of the Made Smarter North West award;

  • Bridge Cheese, a cheese manufacturer based in Telford, winner of the Made Smarter West Midlands award;

  • heliguy, a drone manufacturer based in Tyne and Wear, winner of the Made Smarter North East award;

  • Choc Affair, a chocolatier based in York, winner of the Made Smarter Yorkshire and Humber award.

The four companies will now progress to the national awards which will be announced in Liverpool on June 27.

Commenting on the launch of the awards, Brain Holliday, Co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission, said: “The Made Smarter Awards celebrate digital transformation among SME manufacturers, and it is with great pride to see these inaugural awards taking place this year.

“I would like to congratulate all winners and nominees, from across all the regions, as we collectively celebrate the successes the Made Smarter adoption programme has helped support in each of the individual manufacturing businesses.

“The impact of the programme continues at pace with the creation of thousands of new jobs, the adoption of multiple digital technologies and empowerment of future digital leaders with our skills and leadership training.

“We are looking forward to the expansion of the programme into more regions in 2025. This allows us to truly support increasing manufacturing productivity, raising exports through international competitiveness, strengthening UK supply chains and  creating new value streams and reducing CO2 emissions.”

In the North West, Firstplay also also picked up the Made Smarter award for the Greater Manchester area. Other area winners included Spice Kitchen (Liverpool).

Tom Fletcher (pictured), Managing Director for Firstplay Dietary Foods, said: “Made Smarter’s support has been transformational to our business. The team has helped us create a digital roadmap, invest in game-changing automation and embed new digital leadership skills in our business. Our partnership with Made Smarter has been incredible and this award is the icing on the cake.”

In Yorkshire and Humber, Choc Affair also picked up the North Yorkshire area award. Other areas winners included: JW Rose Bakers (South Yorkshire).

Julian Barrie, Managing Director of Choc Affair, said: “The process with Made Smarter was really easy. The support and financial assistance have been invaluable. We’re excited to scale up our business and secure our future thanks to this investment.”

In the West Midlands, Bridge Cheese also won the Marches area award.

Michael Harte, Managing Director of Bridge Cheese, said: “The growth we’ve achieved as a business since we started in the first four years had been fantastic but for us to grow further, we needed to focus on data-led decision making.

“Made Smarter has enabled and accelerated our improvement in that area with an investment in new technology. The team has also helped us produce a digital roadmap for us, highlighting the steps we need to take over the next three to five years to digitalise. This support will take Bridge Cheese to a whole new level.”

For more information, visit www.madesmarter.uk

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