SDT/ICDA announces 2021 award winners

The SDT held its Annual Dinner on the eve of the International Cheese and Dairy Awards (ICDA) at the Staffordshire County Showground last week with Saputo and Arla employees receiving the highest awards for their conscientous work in the industry and for their industry-led projects. The Dinner was attended by 155 dairy and supporting industry personnel and Amanda Owen, Yorkshire Shepherdess, was the guest speaker. Earlier in the day a symposium with a cheese-theme was held at the same venue, with speakers from NIRAS, Foss and Leeds University.

The award winners are listed below:

SDT Eden Student of the Year Award and ICDA/SDT Student of the Year Awards: Stephanie Nish, Arla Lockerbie

This year, as last year, the winner of the both the student awards was presented to an employee of Arla Foods Lockerbie, Stephanie Nish, environmental, health and safety coordinator.

Stephanie joined the company three years ago to embark on the Eden Dairy Technology foundation degree course. Stephanie has had a non conventional journey into the dairy industry: she was working for Marks & Spencer for 11 years as a visual project co-ordinator which included window dressing, when her partner, now husband, Lee, here today, embarked on the Eden course (cohort 8). She supported him with his revision for exams and thought how interesting the content was. As a result she applied through Arla to join the Eden course and got selected – the rest is history.

Stephanie’s project looked at implementing new technology from Chr. Hansen to determine the optimum firmness of cheese curd at cut to increase fat retention within the cheese thereby increasing yield.

Eden Student of the Year Runners up:

  • Sharlene Harrison (Muller Milk and Ingredients)
  • Mark White (Saputo Davidstow)

Eden Student Supporter of the SDT Award

This award is presented to an Eden Dairy Technology Student, from any year of study, who has been judged to have gone out of their way to support the SDT in many ways. This years winner of the Eden Student Supporter of the SDT Award was presented to Abigail Matthews from Saputo Davidstow.

Throughout her three years on the course, Abigail has helped promote the Society with her colleagues within her company and within schools where she has given dairy technology linked presentations to try and entice more interest in dairy technology careers. She has regularly come up with ideas to develop the Society further including the inclusion of member profiles in the monthly newsletter to support younger members with ideas of routes for their progression within the industry. She has continually shown her passion for the industry and always has a can-do attitude.

Brian Peacock Award

This award is made in recognition of the work of Brian Peacock who was an active and respected leader of the dairy industry for many years and a member of the Society for over 50 years. Brian was a member of SDT Council and had a real passion and drive to see both the Society and industry succeed, despite some trying times. It is presented annually to a member, nominated by another member(s), in the opinion of the awarding committee, has performed outstanding work as a dairy technologist during the previous 12 months. This could be in the form of project work, problem-solving, dedication to the industry or similar.

This year the Brian Peacock Award was presented to another Saputo employee, Vince Adams, head of site Food safety & quality at Saputo Dairy UK’s Davidstow Creamery.

Vince has been involved in the dairy processing industry for over 30 years, having started his career at Dairy Crest Ltd in the late 1980’s. In the intervening years he has continued to be at the forefront of food safety and quality across a number of different food manufacturing industries in both a permanent and consultancy capacity. Throughout this time, he has remained a keen member of the Society of Dairy Technology.

A couple of years ago Vince Adams returned to his roots by re-joining Dairy Crest (now Saputo Dairy UK) at Davidstow. During his time at site, he has helped redefine and restructure the technical department to create succession development for the team and helped to ensure that the exacting standards of demineralised whey and galacto- oligosaccharide manufacturing are delivered, aiding in the achievement of the dry blend infant formula standard. Wider than this he has selflessly aided in the development of his colleagues. A great example of this would be the time and support he has given to current Eden students, Abigail Matthews and Mark White, as their mentor during their time on the Eden Programme at Reaseheath College.

Vince’s leading approach, quality-focused mindset, selfless attitude and unwavering dedication to the industry is why he was proudly nominated for this year’s Brian Peacock Award.

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