Cranswick’s April Dear Wins 2021 ‘One To Watch’ Prize
An enterprising site manager at Cranswick has won Meat Business Women’s ‘One to Watch’ prize for her tenacity during the Covid-19 pandemic and vision for bringing young talent into the meat industry.
31-year-old April Dear, site development manager for Cranswick’s Convenience Foods site at Sutton Fields, impressed the judges with her ability to roll with the punches during the pandemic, taking on more responsibility and delivering an ambitious NPD programme in challenging circumstances.
April also made the judges sit up and take notice with her passion for inspiring the next generation.
April told the judging panel: “Attracting talented young people is one of the biggest challenges the meat industry faces. I had no idea a role like mine existed. When I was at school, I said I liked cooking and they told me to be a chef or a dinner lady. Those were my two options. Now, I get to put products on the shelf. I understand how much effort is involved, how many creative minds it takes to make that happen, but no one is making that clear to young people. I want to play my part in changing this.”
Winners of the ‘One to Watch’ prize receive a £4,000 investment into their personal development. April plans to use the money to establish a cross-industry programme to engage young people in schools and inspire them to explore meat industry careers.
The ‘One to Watch’ is the annual prize for female talent aged 35 and under in the meat industry, organised by Meat Business Women. This year’s awards attracted more than 50 applicants from across the meat supply chain who underwent a rigorous judging process assessing their professional impact, creativity, innovation, industry knowledge and vision for the meat industry.
Laura Ryan, global chair of Meat Business Women, says: “The calibre of the applications was very high and it was extremely hard to pick a winner, but April made a big impression on our judging panel. She has had a phenomenal impact in her career to date and displayed a perfect balance of operational and strategic excellence. We also loved her idea for establishing a schools programme to inspire the next generation and can’t wait to see what she does next.”
Commenting on April’s win, Cranswick CEO Adam Couch says: “It’s a huge accolade, not just for April, but for the wider team at Sutton Fields. It’s also a huge testimony given the competition that was within the category from other entrants, not just from Cranswick but from outside our business as well. Many congratulations to April and all the other entrants, and thank you for all your hard work.”
The independent judges for this year’s awards were: Margaret Boanas, chair of the International Meat Trade Association; Lucianne Allen, director at Aubrey Allen; Alan McKeown, company director at Food for Thought; Julia Glotz, writer, consultant and former managing editor of The Grocer; and Meat Business Women global chair Laura Ryan.
In line with Meat Business Women’s mission to mentor and support female talent, every one of the more than 50 applicants for this year’s prize will receive dedicated, personalised feedback on their application.
Meat Business Women is grateful to the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers for sponsoring this year’s prize.