Designed to recognise the vitally important contributions that women make to the meat sector, the Women In Meat Industry Awards (WIMIA) returned for 2023, culminating in a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony, where 12 winners were announced.

The awards are organised by Meat Management magazine and driven by reader nominations and votes. Over 11,000 votes for finalists were registered as part of this year’s programme and the WIMIA website received over 100,000 visits.

At the awards ceremony, held at the 5-star Royal Lancaster Hotel on Friday 17th November, special-guest host and broadcaster Jennie Bond presented the awards to this year’s winners. Speaking on the night, Jennie said that she was thrilled to be involved with the programme and to speak to so many amazing women throughout the course of the evening.

Representatives from this year’s category awards partners were on hand to reveal the results of each of the 12 award categories.

Julia Hewerdine, group food safety and quality project manager at Dunbia, took home the coveted title of Meat Businesswoman of the Year 2023; and the Rising Star Award was presented to Elizabeth Clarke, environmental and sustainability officer at ABP / Linden Foods.

The WIMIA 2023 winners

  • Meat Businesswoman of the Year Award – Julia Hewerdine, Dunbia
  • The Rising Star Award – Elizabeth Clarke, ABP / Linden Foods
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Trade Body – Katie Doherty, IMTA
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Foodservice – Diane Lumley, Becketts Foods Ltd
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Wholesaling – Vicky Parsons, Campbell Brothers
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Craft Butchery – Sammy Isaacs, Bridget B’s
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Poultry – Catherine Glendinning, Moy Park
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Training & Education – Julia Hewerdine, Dunbia
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Industry Supplier – Ioana Dobre, Eville & Jones
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Independent Retailing – Olivia Slack, Crich Butchers
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Multiple Retailing – Suzanne Coombes, ASDA
  • Meat Businesswoman Award: Manufacturing/Processing – Nicola Davies, Pilgrim’s UK

Smashing success for the industry

Lead organiser of the Women In Meat Industry Awards Sharon Yandell said: “This year’s Awards were a smashing success, with a record 400 guests attending and so much enthusiasm shown by the industry. WIMIA keeps reaching new heights, and we’re already laying the groundwork for an even more spectacular celebration in 2024.

“We can’t wait to see what the future holds! Many congratulations to everyone who made this night truly unforgettable!”

Editor of Meat Management Joanna Thomson added: “It’s real pleasure to be involved with this awards programme every year, because we know how much it means to those within the industry. Celebrating hard work and success is what it is all about, and the contribution made by women across the meat sector is remarkable and deserves to be recognised.

She continued: “Yes, the industry still has its challenges when it comes to gender representation; but we’ve come a long way in recent years, and we’re so proud that WIMIA, in championing women’s work and voices within the industry, has been a part of that progress.”

The 2023 Women In Meat Industry Awards partners: