Meet the finalists…
Quick Links:You can click the links below to navigate to see each of the awards finalists.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Retailing
Kathryn is the fourth generation to run Nicholson’s after taking over the reins from her father – she’s the first female to run the business. Nicholson’s has flourished since with 15 staff members and continues to grow producing a vast range of products – from a full deli selection with cured meats, homemade slaws and peas pudding, to a range of over 20 pies baked in store. With a degree in food science, Kathryn is passionate about local sourcing and supporting other small suppliers, remaining open throughout Covid to support the community.
Waitrose Team Member
Michelle’s flair for innovation is second-to-none says her nomination. Responsible for in-store quiche, savoury and deli counters, Michelle has demonstrated excellent collaboration and leadership in developing a new deli counter strategy. Following the closure of deli counters in stores during the Covid-19 lockdown, Michelle has shown great insight in testing new concepts and ideas as counters were reopening again. She remains dedicated to driving robust strategies to boost sales in stores.
Senior Manager – Technical and Quality
Asda are extremely proud of Tricia who works tirelessly across many suppliers to ensure all the retailer’s 20 million customers have access to safe, wholesome and high quality meat. The winner of this category in 2020, her enthusiasm is infectious and she instils in her team all the values she demonstrates herself. This has been especially evident during Covid as she managed daily Covid responses across many Asda manufacturing sites. Colleagues say Tricia is a shining example of how to succeed in the meat industry by simply putting the customer first!
Websters Family Butchers
Carly met her partner Kane, who was already a butcher, in Australia and got the meat bug from him. They bought a shop in the UK, situated in Bournemouth and now have two thriving locations specialising in free range meat. A hatful of awards followed and the introduction of butchery classes for customers was another key development. With a background in marketing, Carly understands the importance of building a brand people can trust as the business goes from strength to strength.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Foodservice
Woburn Country Foods Ltd
Helen has played a substantial and important role in increasing sales at Woburn Country Foods. She joined the business in 2003 when annual sales were £250,000 and by 2006 this figure had risen to £1 million. Helen led the team in relocating to a new cutting facility which now supports the business’s three retail outlets and created online sales. Her marketing initiatives have now increased sales to over £3 million. Helen is in control of the award-winning business and its 18 staff. She has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and colleagues confirm that her energy and enthusiasm is boundless.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Manufacturing/Processing
Alec Jarett Limited
Sophie has worked in the family business since she finished her university course, where she gained a degree in business management. Sophie initially started off in the production departments so she could fully understand how all processes operate and how the finished products were produced, ready for despatch to customers. Over 10 years she has gained excellent working relationships with her work colleagues and customers, gaining much knowledge and expertise. Being a family member she has built up the respect others and in doing so has worked very hard to make an outstanding success of her role.
Senior Process Manager
Linda has been nominated for her superior performance, showing great leadership and for consistently excelling against demanding timelines within the constraints of a busy production operation. She has set the bar high in delivering successful projects for customers, which have secured new business opportunities for the group. Linda has also overseen a major project to completely revamp a key product range for Waitrose, overcoming a high degree of complexity to deliver on time and with excellent customer focus.
Site Technical Manager
Krissy joined ABP in 2008 as a technical assistant and was quickly promoted to Quality Systems Manager and then in 2010 to her current role as Site Technical Manager. According to the site GM, Krissy is by far the most diligent TM he has ever worked with, commenting that she goes above and beyond, always putting the business first and juggling her family along with it. She has become the go to person for technical graduates and industry placements to come and learn from. Krissy has a real passion for the meat industry and enjoys helping others to develop and find success at ABP.
Group Management Accountant and Project Lead
Stacey has over 10 years’ experience working with the Dawn Meats Group. Starting off as a site accounts assistant, she has developed her role and is now a fully qualified chartered accountant, focused on supporting the company’s strategic business initiatives. This includes capital investment reviews around market diversification and continuous improvement initiatives, plus people development. Described as enthusiastic and outcome driven, she is always open to change and actively endorses positive change within the meat industry.
Katarzyna (Kasia) Szynal
Meat Businesswoman Award – Craft Butchery
Owner / Director
Bridget B’s Butchery
Bridget B’s was formed in 2005 as a diversification to an existing farming business. Bridget moved on from her family farming roots and this enterprise has grown from one retail outlet to four, as well as selling online with an attractive website. She has sought to offer her customers a really modern approach to her meat offering, mixing all the classics with many new cuts, with a focus on customer service and engaging with her customers to enjoy their meat. Backed up by a team of craft butchers, Bridget always strives to provide meat with integrity and first class customer service.
Popowich Meat Company
Elyse is described by her proposer as a super talented creative butcher, whose enthusiasm for the job is infectious. Colleagues confirm she is fun to work with and in true ‘Women In Meat’ style she was actually taught her skills by another lady butcher and has progressed rapidly since. Elyse loves to create new value added ranges for the counter and one of her favourite things is teaching other people butchery skills. She is also now also a very proud member of Team Canada, taking part in the World Butchers Challenge competition.
Since joining ABP in 2018 Adriana has made huge strides developing her butchery skills, from working at the entry level to become a highly skilled member of the ABP team. She has now reached the highest rank of butcher in the ABP business. Adelina-Adriana has become a key member of the team, being highly respected for her skill and as a result has inspired other female colleagues to pursue a career in butchery, proving women can do the physically demanding role normally only considered by men, and to do it to the highest standards.
Letitia originally joined Booker as a Branch Assistant. Whilst in this role she expressed an interest in a long-term career with Booker and completed its Butchery Training Programme. She has consistently demonstrated a real passion for the trade and as a result was offered a full-time role in butchery. With a desire to learn, a positive can-do attitude and an ability to build relationships with colleagues and customers, she was promoted to Butchery Manager. Letitia was one of the first to complete her Craft Butcher Accreditation and is completing her Level 3 Butchery Apprenticeship.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Trade Body
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)
Kate Rowell is a consistent voice of reason and a real role model for the whole UK industry. A finalist in this category last year, she is well known for her passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of the red meat industry. Kate is a fifth generation farmer running a 750 hectare farm, but still finds time to be fully involved with QMS and the promotion of quality Scottish meat.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Wholesaling
Francesca (Fran) Wyatt
Porky Whites Ltd
Fran joined her father Graham making award-winning sausages at only 17, initially starting in production. Embracing all aspects of the business, Fran learned butchery at their shop in Horsham, before returning to the factory. Today Fran wears many hats in her role at Porky Whites, from new product development to sales and marketing, plus account managing several of the company’s supermarket contracts. Fran is an integral part of this well established family-run business, which is going from strength to strength.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Industry Supplier
Head of Quality and Technical Innovation
Grace has a career built on working across all aspects of red meat supply chains and her knowledge of ‘farm-to-fork’ considerations is, say Foods Connected, industry leading. She brings her experience and expertise to the job on a daily basis, and by doing so can assist suppliers / manufacturers and retailers that work with Foods Connected to drive initiatives that integrate data capture, traceability and business insight, to develop and support transparent and robust supply chains. Grace is described as an insightful presence providing great support to work colleagues and clients alike.
Account Director / Partner
Proposer Alf Turner says he has known Ellie for a number of years since the business started purchasing from Leonards ingredients and he describes Ellie as incredible from day one. He added: “She has a tremendous wealth of knowledge and passion for the ingredients category and been incredibly helpful in working with us to create bespoke sausage seasonings that have helped us win national awards.” Over the last six months up to the nomination date the company has worked closely with Leonards on a project to develop ingredient seasonings that the business has now launched in support of ‘Help for Heroes’.
Foyle Food Group
Joanne’s proposer says she has worked with Joanne for many years both as a colleague and more recently as a customer of hers. Described as incredibly hard working Joanne is also said to be a pleasure to deal with and has a great personality. Joanne has been involved in the meat industry for many years and undoubtedly deserves recognition by participating in the Women In Meat Industry Awards, recognising the good work she does servicing butchers and wholesalers throughout the UK and Ireland.
Technical Support Manager
Proposed by Asda, the nomination confirms that Kirsty is recognised as a person who always puts the customer first in everything she does. Her technical knowledge of the retail meat sector is unrivalled says the nomination and this is to the great benefit of Asda. Her work in developing systems and continually improving existing systems is what Kirsty is all about, responding to challenges with her unique and inquisitive nature that is described as a breath of fresh air. She is recognised as an asset to ABP and her attentive nature ensures the quality and safety of all retail packed beef supplied to Asda.
Meat Businesswoman Award – Training & Education
Head of Leadership Development
Siobhan is passionate about identifying and nurturing talent within the organisation. Having introduced Pilgrim’s University, comprising a suite of more than 2,000 online courses, as well as mentoring schemes to match new talent and experience, Siobhan is driven by ensuring both new and existing team members feel motivated and challenged. Recognised as an inspirational leader, Siobhan is reported to have made a marked difference to the business’ learning and development (L&D) programmes.
Butchery Trainer and Assessor
Crosby Management Training
Tara has a track record as a butcher for approaching eight years in farm shops and high street butchers shops. She actually completed her Advanced Butcher Apprenticeship with Crosby Management Training. The nomination confirms that Tara has worked extremely hard over the last two years with her apprentices. Even with the COVID restrictions, she has managed to have all of her apprentices pass at EPA and some with excellence in all elements!
Quality assurance plays a big part in the Lynas Foodservice business. A quick visit to the company website confirms that its aim is simple, ‘to serve our customer with the best product and the best service we can provide’. Clare is described as playing her full part to achieve excellence and is extremely passionate about her job. She is very hardworking and self-motivated and colleagues readily confirm she is devoted to her job.
Head of Talent and Employee Experience
Nicky has set and delivered on growth plans for apprenticeships providing much sought-after career entry points into the industry. She has implemented an internal mentoring programme and trained over 120 mentors, supporting a wide range of needs from career development to improving leadership and communication skills. Nicky has also instigated a monthly publication to team members called the Talent Times which features updates on the work of the team plus a page of learning resources that team members can engage with.
Senior H&S Officer
ABP Group – Birmingham
Jemma has been with ABP for over five years and has embodied what it takes to be a leader in the field of health and safety, and training. Originally recruited from M&S to fill one of two new H&S officer roles, Jemma quickly progressed to her current position of senior H&S Officer. She comments: “I am constantly trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and develop myself as both a leader and as a health and safety professional. I completed the ‘Women in Leadership International’ course in June of 2020 in order to further develop my leadership skills in preparation for the future. Colleagues confirm that Jemma has a ‘can do’ attitude and sees challenges as learning experiences on which to build and grow from.
Jane Dale, the Managing Director of M.E.A.T says she has two goals: the first is to further develop the company as a tribute to her late husband, John Croxford; and secondly to be recognised as one of the best fresh food training companies in the UK. She states: “I try to live by the company motto: professionalism, enthusiasm and pride in all aspects of the business.” Jane likes to empower her workforce and strongly believes in training for all, and that everyone deserves a chance to show their true potential.
The Rising Star Award
Grace is responsible for commercial management of the gammon category, the easy to cook category and the BBQ category within Dalehead Foods. The company confirm that Grace has consistently looked at ways to demonstrate innovation and leadership. A good example goes back to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when Grace developed new solutions to help respond to the pressure created by customer demand, and actively led the response by the company to distribution challenges. Her nomination confirms that Grace remains eager to learn and has made a significant impact on the business during the short period she has been employed.