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QV Foods wins Fresh Processor Award

24 May 2010

The judging panel, chaired by the CEO of the Fresh Produce Consortium Nigel Jenney, chose QV Foods for “excellence in product and process innovation that has delivered exceptional growth for this business”

The award was presented last Thursday night at a gala ceremony at the InterContinental Park Lane, London, in front of 550 industry representatives.

This was the seventh year of the Re:fresh Awards, but the first in which the processing industry had been included as a category. QV Foods Fresh prepared facility is nearly a decade old, but won the award thanks to a significant change of direction over the last two years.

The judgement was based on the following facts: QV Foods has established itself as one of the leading prepared vegetable factories in the UK, with both own and private label products being provided to the retail and foodservice sectors.

• Its prepared factory was designed just over 10 years ago to supply peeled potatoes into high-volume, low value manufacturing customers.

• A change in strategy has seen its facility re-avert its focus to the retail and foodservice sectors and significantly expand its range and horizons.

• Its range has now extended to include both own-label and private label products, as well as having diversified into several prepared vegetable lines.

• Its Fresh Prepared facility, which originally housed a potato processing line, now also boasts a vegetable preparation area, additional WIP chilled storage space and a high-care packing area.

• Its fresh prepared offer has extended to ready-to-cook products, which necessitated a cultural shift, not only from staff, but also in regards to the production processes needed to meet exacting customer standards.

• It has an added significant value and innovation within the fresh prepared vegetable category. Efficient and effective packaging solutions have led the way, combined with its drive to come up with innovative and creative flavours that offer the consumer a new experience.

• The disciplines and processes learned in the potato sector also work well in the development of a range of root vegetable products.

• The foodservice element of the business serves growers well, as it enhances crop utilisation and the ability to provide a flexible processing service through a cost-efficient in-house preparation and packing model has brought in several new clients in that arena.

QV Director Simon Martin accepted the award from sponsor MVS Food Services. He said: “This is a tremendous accolade for our company and is recognition for the enormous amount of hard work and dedication we have all put in to all parts of the business in the last few years. We were also a finalist in the Packer of the Year category on the night, which is a magnificent achievement and reflects our standing in this industry.

“The Re:fresh Awards are the only industry-wide awards for fruit and vegetable companies. Both being a winner and a finalist validates your business ethos and the direction in which you are heading as a company and I believe it also reflects the influence and impact you have on the environment you work in,” he said.

“To be recognised by colleagues and competitors in your own field is significant, and in a competitive industry such as ours, where there are so many companies doing a good job for their customers and for the consumer, it really gives us something to be proud of and, most importantly, build on.”

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