The Royal Smithfield Club’s President HRH The Countess of Wessex has presented former Waitrose & Partners Director Heather Jenkins with the Club’s annual Bicentenary Trophy in recognition of 30 years of outstanding service to the agriculture and meat sectors.
The Countess thanked Mrs Jenkins for her dedication and commitment to UK farming as the Award was presented to her following an industry strategy group meeting of the Smithfield Forum at Convocation Hall, Westminster, London.
As Waitrose & Partners Director for Meat, Poultry, Fish, Frozen Food and Dairy, and Director of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Strategy, Heather Jenkins pioneered many industry-leading initiatives during her career as well as working extensively to positively influence Government food and farming policies.
Announcing the Award, Club Chairman William Bedell said Mrs Jenkins’s influence on UK farming and livestock production had been both positive and wide ranging. “Her role in the success of Waitrose & Partners support for UK agriculture and the success of the wider business cannot be overstated and neither can her support for and love of farming.”
Mrs Jenkins supported a policy that ensured Waitrose & Partners pioneered short supply chains, close links with its farmers and the sale of mostly British produced meat. She also insisted on award-winning animal welfare standards across its supply chain including in the production of its Continental meats. All positions it continues to maintain.
Her wider support of British farming has led to many claimed UK industry firsts including male dairy calves into the beef and veal supply chain, and a Farming Partnership scheme to help farmers manage costs, drive innovation and research, and reduce their dependence on imported soya beans for animal feed. She also positioned Waitrose to become the first supermarket buyer to sell only free-range eggs.
“From lairage design to butchery standards, factory design, improved animal welfare and industry-leading relationships with farmers, fishermen, and other suppliers Heather has been involved,” Mr Bedell said.
1. The Royal Smithfield Club Bicentenary Trophy celebrates the bicentenary of the founding of the Smithfield Club in 1798. The trophy is awarded each year to a person or organisation deemed to have made a significant contribution to the UK meat industry. Recipients can be from any part of the industry - from livestock producers through education, research, processing to retailing.
2. Heather Jenkins is the 19th recipient of the annual Award which includes presentation of the Club’s Armada Shield.
3. Past winners are:
2000 Sir Donald T.Y. Curry, CBE
2001 Frederick J. Mallion, MBE
2002 John Thorley, OBE
2003 The Late Jack Woodhead
2004 Norman Bagley
2005 David Raine
2006 J. Alan H. Stevenson, OBE
2007 Ian Galloway, CBE, ARAgS
2008 Dr Basil G. Lowman, MBE
2009 Richard M. Cracknell
2010 Professor Geoff Simm
2011 J. Rees Roberts, OBE, BSc (Hons), FRAgS
2012 H.R.H. The Prince of Wales
2013 The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust
2014 David B Gunner
2015 John Cross
2016 Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, OBE
2017 Robert Forster, FRAgS