Food supply chain celebrates industry success

Food supply chain celebrates industry success

Last week, the best and brightest of food and fresh produce supply chain came together for our biggest Meet the Trainees event ever. Organisations and future leaders from across the industry came together at the East Midlands Conference Centre to network and celebrate the monumental achievements made over the last two years. These future managers and influential businesses are shaping the future of the industry.

The winners

Doug Henderson Leadership Award: Jamie Huggins

This award celebrates the highest level of leadership ability for Trainees who exceed expectations. Jamie received the award for his tenacious attitude and adaptability. He provides extra support to the MDS team, helping the marketing team with some amazing Trainee content throughout his two years and has had excellent feedback in secondments. Jamie explained that one of his most significant achievements came while working with ISS.

“Being thrust into an engineering project role in my first secondment was a challenge which could have easily overwhelmed me. Despite Covid-19 restrictions, I managed to engage different stakeholders and began to open fresh avenues of thinking for the business. I was able to hand over a ‘considerable findings’ report for energy reduction, propelling the business to invest in an energy monitoring system. I also identified cost anomalies in the business’ energy expenditure. This was well received by the member company and led to positive feedback in my observation.”

“It’s a real honour to receive this award knowing that the past Trainees to receive it have been a real inspiration and motivation to me. Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of the MDS team, nor the time each member company has invested in me, and I’m deeply appreciative of that.”

David Bagshaw Apprenticeship Award: Ivan Erviti

Ivan was the first Trainee in the history of MDS to be nominated for all awards. He received the David Bagshaw award, given to a Trainee who has fully embraced professional development on the Management and Leadership Level 5 Apprenticeship.

The Apprenticeship College Skills Coach, Hayley, explained why she nominated Ivan.

“Ivan has exceeded all expectations throughout his apprenticeship programme. He consistently goes above and beyond and has met all submission deadlines while providing exemplary evidence. His passion and enthusiasm for development really shines through.”

Ivan was delighted to receive the award.

“MDS taught me how to best develop my leadership skills in diverse and challenging environments. I feel honoured to be part of a team that aims to improve this fascinating industry every day.”

Rising Star Awards

The Rising Star Awards allow organisations to nominate Trainees recognised as having exceeded expectations during their secondments through their attitude and achievements.

  • Rebecca Fernihough, group 48: Nominated by Diane Welch from BASF
  • Spencer Snowball, group 49: Nominated by Gary O’Neil from JDM Food Group
  • Sam Kendrick, group 49: Nominated by Ash Jackson from Iceland
  • Aled Davies, group 48: Nominated by Kevin Shaw from Finsbury Foods
  • Harry Mulligan, group 51: Nominated by Jai Patel from Fleurie Nursery (Tristram Plants)

Peter Shepherd industry award

The Peter Shepherd award offers a fascinating insight into how industry leaders are adapting to attract a new generation of talent. Nominated by MDS Trainees, this award provides a stamp of approval from fresh talent regarding organisational culture and leadership style. This year, the winner was Graham Isaac, General Manager at Westfalia Fruit.

Group 49 Trainee Noukhaiz Aslam explained why Graham deserved the award.

“Graham has been more than a Secondment Manager for me. He is supportive while also pushing me to develop myself. Working with him has been a pleasure, and my secondment with Westfalia has prepared me for a competitive market. Most of all, Graham has made me feel like a valuable team member.”

Graham was happy to receive the award.

“I was genuinely very surprised to have been nominated for the Peter Shepherd award. To have won it was an even bigger shock, but also a huge honour!

Receiving the Peter Shepherd award goes a long way to confirm that the values we hold true within our own Westfalia business of doing good have been recognised by those who voted me for this award. The young talent coming through the MDS programme can be assured that the values we hold dear  will rub off on them in only a positive way.”

Special Recognition

Special recognitions celebrate Member representatives and Trainees who have gone above and beyond to support the programme and are nominated by the MDS team. They are selected for activities such as supporting the Marketing team with content, supporting the Recruitment team with candidate engagement and maintaining strong communication with the People Development Team. This year’s nominees included Members and Trainees:

  • Daljit Rafter, Produce Development Process Manager, Iceland
  • Lance Herbst, Group 51
  • Libby Richards, Group 48
  • Nyaradzo Mutyambizi, Group 51
  • Ivan Erviti, Group 48