Food firm claims top award honours

THE company behind a favourite ingredient of top food names including Gordon Ramsay and Delia Smith took top honours last night at the 2005 Anglian Business Awards.

THE company behind a favourite ingredient of top food names including Gordon Ramsay and Delia Smith took top honours last night at the 2005 Anglian Business Awards.

Green Label Foods, based at Debach, near Woodbridge, acquired exclusive breeding rights to the Gressingham Duck in 1989 and has grown consistently over the years to become a major supplier to the food service and retail sectors.

Earlier this year it secured a deal to become Sainsbury's sole supplier of duck, representing further new business of at least £5million a year.

At last night's awards ceremony, the company received the Business Development award, sponsored by Grant Thornton, and was then chosen from among the total of 14 category winners for the overall Business of the Year title, sponsored by Bank of Scotland Corporate.

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Guest speaker at the awards dinner, held at the Hotel Elizabeth Copdock, near Ipswich, and attended by about 320 people, was the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes while the presentation ceremony was hosted by BBC Look East presenter Stewart White.

Green Label was one of several rural businesses to beat off competition from the larger towns during last night's ceremony. The Best Western Ufford Park hotel, golf and leisure complex, near Woodbridge, won the Marketing award, sponsored by the Lateral Media Group, and Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club picked up the Environment award, sponsored by EDF Energy.

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The Valley Farm equestrian centre at Wickham Market collected the Training & Development award, sponsored by Suffolk Learning and Skills Council, while the dedicated Rural Business category, sponsored by Ipswich Building Society, was won by Snape Maltings.

Gipping Construction, based at Baylham, near Needham Market, took the Start Up Business of the Year title, sponsored by Gotelee & Goldsmith, Raspberry Software of Martlesham Heath won the Technology category, sponsored by MCP plc, and Sackers of Claydon, near Ipswich, received the award for Export Achievement, sponsored by Denny Bros.

However, businesses from towns large and small also claimed their share of awards. Southwold-based Adnams won the Community Involvement award, sponsored by EADT Suffolk Business magazine, Ardex of Haverhill won the Innovation: Spirit of Ingenuity award, sponsored by Jacob Bailey, Ipswich-based Itineris claimed the Small Business of the Year title, sponsored by Business Link for Suffolk, and Anglia IT Recruitment of Needham Market took the award for Outstanding Customer Service, sponsored by rail operator One.

Among the individual awards, the Business Person of the Year title, sponsored by Anglia IT Recruitment, went to Jan Cavelle, founder of the Haverhill-based Jan Cavelle Furniture Company, while the Young Entrepreneur category, sponsored by Vibe FM, was won by Claire Lander and David Fisher, joint founders of the MyJuice fruit juice bar in Ipswich.

The Anglian Business Awards have been staged annually by the East Anglian Daily Times for eight years, this year in association with Bank of Scotland Corporate as main sponsor, including the overall Business of the Year title.

For full picture coverage of last night's awards ceremony, see next Tuesday's edition of the EADT's weekly BusinessEast supplement.

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