Clipper Teas has bagged a top trophy in the food and drink manufacturing industry’s Oscars – the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards – for the second consecutive year.

The Dorset-based business – part of Wessanen UK – won the Me and My Factory: Editor’s Choice Award in recognition of the excellence of its manufacturing plant at Beaminster.

The firm’s achievements were celebrated in front of hundreds of food industry guests, as site manager, Anthony Buckton, collected the award from Dan Dixon, sales director with category sponsor Foodex. They were joined on stage by awards host, English Rugby Union cup winner and former team captain Matt Dawson.

Clipper Teas has pioneered the UK development of organic, green and white teas and became the nation’s first Fairtrade tea brand, while championing the unbleached tea bag.

The business has had a busy year boosting operational efficiency through a new daily lean manufacturing regime and the installation of a new data management programme.

The next 12 months are likely to prove just as significant, as production moves to a new factory on its current site, further boosting efficiency and overall capacity.

Ann Chambers, HR Director at Wessanen UK, Clipper Teas brand owner, said:

“We are thrilled to have won another Food Manufacture Excellence Award after scooping the prize in the Hot Beverages category just last year. It’s testament to the exceptional work of our team to increase on-site productivity and efficiency to improve operations and ultimately support the wider growth of the business.

“Clipper is fast establishing itself as a worldwide centre of Tea and Manufacturing excellence; the progress we’ve made over the last few years has been, and will continue to be, a significant milestone in the life of the Clipper brand.”

The award, judged by the Food Manufacture Group editorial team, is made to the firm with the best record of manufacturing efficiency from those featured in Food Manufacture’s flagship feature series Me and My Factory.

The judges agreed:

“Clipper Teas has displayed an impressive commitment to increasing productivity and efficiency at its Beaminster site. Achievements over the past 12 months include the daily implementation of lean manufacturing and the introduction of a company-wide data management program.”

Finalists for the Me and My Factory: Editor’s Choice Award were Kendal Nutricare’s Ross Mahon, Nim’s Fruit Crisps’ Nimisha Raja, Troy Foods’s James Kempley and Windyridge Cheese’s Melvin Glynn.

The annual FMEAs, organised by William Reed’s Food Manufacture Group, now in their 17th year, have become the premier showcase for British food and drink manufacturing excellence.

Food Manufacture group editor and FMEA judge Mike Stones said:

“Judging by the calibre of entries in this year’s food and drink manufacturing Oscars, Britain’s biggest manufacturing sector – food and drink manufacturing – is well placed to take on the challenge of making the best of Brexit’s opportunities while minimising its threats.”

Clipper Teas, owned by natural and organic food company Wessanen UK, has been part of the local community in Beaminster, Dorset for over 30 years. The business continues to grow and now exports tea and coffee to countries worldwide including Australia and the USA.