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Thorntons wins prize for 'Education Initiative' at FDF Awards

23 September 2016

Thorntons wins prize for 'Education Initiative' at FDF Awards

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Derbyshire-based Confectionery Company Thorntons won the award for 'Education Initiative' at last night's prestigious Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Awards. The ceremony, held at London's The Brewery, celebrated exceptional businesses and industry professionals from across the food and drink supply chain. The Education Initiative category is sponsored by General Mills.

The initiative that caught the judges' eye was Thorntons' Factory Tours and Educational Projects programme, which has been running for five years. In that time, it has expanded from its beginnings as a purely factory-based tour programme to a multi-faceted educational initiative which has now reached over 12,000 people.

The main activity is a factory tour, where Thorntons colleagues take groups of visitors around both manufacturing and packaging plants. Alongside the tours the firm runs longer projects for both primary and secondary schools, which include additional input both at the Thornton Park site and during visits to their school.

The impact of the tours programme has been significant. Employees say that they take great pride in their work and enjoy sharing the skill and professionalism of colleagues with visitors, and they also benefit from the cross-functional teamwork that is an integral part of the factory tours programme.

FDF's Director General Ian Wright said: “The FDF Awards truly are a badge of excellence. Thorntons' win demonstrates the positive contribution that food and drink businesses are making to their surrounding community. Thorntons has shown a clear passion for sharing its expertise with local communities and reaching out to local schools. The programme is also an opportunity for Thorntons colleagues to gain additional professional skills by being involved in the project and introducing the wider community to their place of work.”

Sue Swanborough, HR Director at category sponsor General Mills commented: "Thorntons is a worthy winner. Its initiative is a great example of how an education programme can have a positive and significant impact on thousands of visitors, including on potential future employees and stakeholders."

More information

Event photos are available on FDF's Flickr page

The 2017 FDF Awards will launch in November 2016.

Notes for editors

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector.
  2. View the winners' case studies
  3. Derbyshire-based Thorntons produce chocolates, special toffee and fudge using the finest cocoa beans
  4. General Mills is one of the world's larger food companies, with offices or manufacturing facilities in more than 30 countries. For more information visit

Contact Matthew Evans, Corporate Affairs Division, at:, or (0) 20 7420 7152.

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