Business of the Year
Sponsored by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, EDF Energy
The recipient of the Business of the Year title is selected from among the winners of the other categories of the EADT Business Awards.
The judges look for a winner which is not only outstanding in its category but which also demonstrates all-round strength, not just in terms of financial performance but also in areas such as leadership, people mangement, customer awareness and social and environmental responsibility.
As a “winner of winners” award, Business of the Year was not open to direct entries. However, in compiling their category entry, or entries, businesses were recommended to take into account the wider perspective the Business of the Year judges would be taking.
Business of the Year Sanctuary Personnel, which also won The Youth Pledge and Large Business awards, is the umbrella company of Sanctuary Social Care, the largest independent provider of social workers in the UK, Sanctuary Health and Sanctuary Criminal Justice, together providing professional staff to the three sectors throughout the UK.
In a changeable marketplace where competitors have contracted in size, Ipswich-based Sanctuary Personnel continues to grow by developing innovative solutions for its public sector clients to make greater financial efficiencies.
A commitment to best practice has seen it grow in stature, with many milestones en route to employing more than 250 people. It is one of the largest private sector employers of apprentices in the region, offering a gateway to permanent employment and an opportunity to build a career.
The judges were impressed by Sanctuary’s record of 80% growth over the past three years, the passion and commitment of its leadership, the opportunities available for career development and its creative use of work experience and apprenticeships, making a broader contribution to the local community.
C&K Meats, placed second in the judging for the overall Business of the Year title and winner of the Food and Farming Excellence category, is a family-owned abattoir and wholesaler which promotes British meat.
It has a passion for provenance, supplying high quality, high welfare, locally-reared beef, pork and lamb to customers in the UK and worldwide.
It is committed to animal welfare, low food miles and to reducing its carbon footprint, and has many accreditations including The Queens Award for Enterprise, Red Tractor, RSPCA Assured and BRC Grade A.
Judges were impressed by the Eye-based company’s strong growth which has been achieved despite challenging times in food commodity markets through a willingness to adapt and innovate, including a developing focus on high-value markets overseas.
In third place overall is Aponic, winner of the Small Business title and also runner-up in the Knowledge Catalyst and Food and Farming Excellence categories.
Aponic, based at Acton, near Sudbury, started in 2014 with a small business start-up loan to develop a vertical soilless growing system.
It is now taking orders from Australia, Dubai, Kenya, Jamaica, Portugal, Spain, India as well as the UK farming sector for its freight container farms and sustainable food growing equipment while also aiding charities and NGOs in Africa to enable people to sustainably grow their staple foods even in drought.
The judges were impressed by the simplicity of the idea developed by founder Jason Hawkins-Row and its broad range of potential applications around the world, combined with is wider focus on working with charities, schools and colleges.