Long Sutton and Wisbech food manufacturer Princes named Employer of The Year
International food and drink group Princes has been named Employer of the Year at The Grocer’s Gold Awards 2021.
The company – which operates food manufacturing sites in Long Sutton and Wisbech – received the award at a glittering ceremony at London’s Guildhall hosted by Lord William Hague.
A Grocer Gold Award is one of the highest accolades a company operating in the food and drink industry can receive.
Open to retailers, wholesalers and food and drink manufacturers, the prestigious award is for the employer who, over the past 12 months, has ‘done the most to create a positive working environment, motivating, redirecting and training its people, and improving the company’s reputation and performance in the process.’
Princes currently employs almost 1,000 people at the two sites, over 2,000 across the UK, and around 7,000 globally.
Long Sutton is the group’s largest food production site in the UK, producing a range of peas, pulses, beans, fruits and ready meals for Princes, Branston and Batchelors, as well as customer own brands.
Princes Wisbech is the home of Branston Beans and Crosse & Blackwell soups. Princes recently concluded an £80m investment programme in Long Sutton, increasing efficiencies and boosting production, as part of ongoing efforts to future-proof the site and provide high quality employment opportunities in the area.
In announcing Princes as Employer of the Year, the judges described Princes as a “true turnaround story”.
They went on to say: “In 2018, Princes suffered a 22% slump in pre-tax profits. That prompted a transformation – and Princes’ people were a crucial part of this mission.
“The starting point was a ‘People Excellence Strategy’ that went on to deliver concrete action. To reward achievement, it put in place a quarterly Pride in Princes awards programme that gave out cash prizes to high performers. This was followed by an Inclusion & Diversity programme in the summer.
“And to support health and wellbeing, Princes put together a monthly campaign with updates and information. Plus, it ensured staff weren’t out of pocket for Covid-related absences, and has committed to flexible working in the wake of the pandemic.
“Princes has not only managed to boost retention, but had a record number of entries to its Graduate Scheme in 2021.”
Joe Dent, Princes’ chief people officer, said: “I am thrilled for everyone at Princes. These awards are the most sought after in our industry.
“What is also exciting is that we are only at the beginning of our journey. There is still so much to do to complete the transformation of Princes into a true Employer of Choice.”
Princes Long Sutton and Wisbech manager Rob James was shortlisted for Factory Manager of the Year.