Agri companies excel in Achievers Awards

Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, (centre) with Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park, who received a Judges�" Special Recognition Award and Derek Geddis, co-chairman of Avondale Foods, which won the all-island Food and Drink award.
Ellvena Graham, Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, (centre) with Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park, who received a Judges�" Special Recognition Award and Derek Geddis, co-chairman of Avondale Foods, which won the all-island Food and Drink award.

Two Craigavon-based agri-food companies have been honoured at the national final of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards at the final at the Mansion House in Dublin.

Avondale Foods was the all-island winner of the Food and Drink Award while Janet McCollum, Chief Executive of Moy Park, won a Judges’ Special Recognition Award for her achievements.

Family owned Avondale Foods, which celebrates its 50th birthday next year is a leading Irish and UK manufacturer of coleslaw, side salads and chilled products.

The judges said: “Avondale Foods is a deserving winner of the Food and Drink Award category as they are a well-established company with steady growth which continues to innovate with constant market analysis and serious ambitions to expand further into Europe and beyond.”

Chief executive of Moy Park, Janet McCollum, was singled out for her “extraordinary” achievements with a Judges Special Recognition Award. After joining the company in 1993 as European Accountant, she progressed to the executive board as group finance director within six years and took up the position of chief executive officer in January.

Craigavon headquartered pharmaceutical development company Almac was crowned the Overall Ulster Bank Business Achiever for 2014.

Ellvena Graham, head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, said: “The Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards are a highlight of our calendar in Ulster Bank. It gives us the opportunity to recognise and reward great innovation and also gives us the opportunity to meet exceptionally talented people.

“The calibre of entries we have seen this year was excellent, from those across the technology, environmental and service industry sectors to those that promote the island’s world-class agriculture and food industries.

“Ulster has traditionally punched above its weight in these awards and it’s great news that Almac is keeping the title of Overall Business Achiever in the region for another year.

“Congratulations to Almac and also to Avondale Foods and Janet McCollum, of Moy Park on their wonderful achievements.”

Derek Geddis, co-chairman of Avondale Foods, said: “Winning the all-island Ulster Bank Business Achievers Food and Drink award is recognition of the commitment of our 480 employees and testimony to their ability and enthusiasm to deliver results.

“The company is committed to investing £1.5m in capital expenditure over the next 12 months and we are confident that the strength and depth of talent within our workforce will enable us to face the competitive challenges ahead.

“The award shows our current customers that we are leading the field in what we do and we hope that this achievement will also help us increase our customer base in new markets as we approach our landmark anniversary of 50 years in business in 2015.”

Commenting on her award, Moy Park chief executive Janet McCollum said: “I am honoured to accept the Judges’ Special Recognition Award on behalf of Moy Park.

“This recognition is not only testament to our business performance in recent years, but also to the whole team at Moy Park, whose passion and expertise has helped Moy Park grow into the successful company it is today.

“We are a customer focused business and share our successes with all those partners we work with throughout the supply chain.”

The awards are run in association with Invest Northern Ireland, InterTradeIreland and SmallBusinessCan.com

The companies were judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for business people and the business and the development of innovative products and services.

More information is available at www.businessachieversaward.com.