Co-op scoops top prize at SuperMeat

The Co-operative was celebrating after taking the title of SuperMeat & Fish Retailer of the Year as the awards celebrated a decade of rewarding retail success.

The event, organised by MTJ, saw The Co-operative take the top title, with judges praising its business initiatives, high standard of entries and the fact it punched above its weight in terms of store sizes. The Co-operative store in Lisburn also took the title for Best Meat Counter.

Martyn Connor, Co-op sales manager, said: Its absolutely unbelievable and just a great testament, driven well by all the staff. Its just been a fantastic 12-18 months.

Asda was another big winner on the night, taking home the Head Office Initiative Award for its varied Link schemes, the Innovation Award for its Pork, Blueberry and Dark Chocolate Sausage and its senior red meat buyer Jim Viggars took the vote for Personality of the Year.

Viggars said: Its absolutely brilliant and totally unexpected. Its my 25th year in the industry and to take over from Stuart Roberts, whom Ive got to know really well, is an absolute privilege.

Sainsburys had success in the products awards, taking the overall title with its Bacon Lattice Chicken Joint.

Tesco also took a number of awards, a highlight being the award for Best Fish Counter at its store in Leyland, Lancashire.

Marks & Spencer, meanwhile, performed well in the product awards, with a large number of finalists, and took home three titles: Best Lamb, Best Ready to Eat and Best Fish.

The SuperMeat & Fish awards have been going for 10 years now and aim to reward excellence in supermarket retailing of meat and fish at both store level and in the manufacturing of fantastic meat products.

This years do saw more than 400 people attend the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London, for the premier meat awards event of the year.

Five supermarkets took part in the competition this year: Asda, The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys and Tesco. Competition was tough, with first-rate entries across the board, judges reported.

Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: Its great to see that the awards continue to go from strength to strength 10 years down the road. Weve had some superb entries and the competition, as always, has been intense. The atmosphere on the night was brilliant and Id like to congratulate all our winners and finalists on their success.

This years event was supported by BPEX, EBLEX, HCC Meat Promotion Wales, Bord Ba and the Vion Food Group.

>> Go to main events page for Supermeat & Fish Awards

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