Meat processor ABP has been named UK Food Manufacturing Company of the Year at the 2018 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards in London.

The competition was hosted by Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace, and was judged by a panel led by Iain Ferguson, joint chairman of the Food and Drink Sector Council, who praised the company for its stance on modern slavery and its programme of environmental initiatives.

The companies involved in the competition were judged across several categories, including meat, poultry, seafood and large manufacturing company.

ABP came first in those categories, as well as being highly commended in the training category.

Other firms to feature included Tulip, The Dalesman Group, St. Ewe Freerange Eggs and Mash Direct.

Mash Direct was highly commended in its category

Ultimately, ABP was presented with the main award of the night. Judges said the firm “stood out, clearly going above and beyond its category remit to tackle issues of vital importance and relevance to the entire industry”.

George Mullan, managing director of ABP in Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to win such a prestigious award and to receive independent recognition for the many exciting, innovative initiatives which are taking place across all of our UK sites.

“These range from the introduction of our new DC Super Hero range with Warner Brothers – an industry first – to the significant progress we are making with our sustainability programme, where we are on course to reach our 2020 climate and energy targets ahead of schedule.”