Sainsbury’s, Cadbury and The Co-operative Group are among those jostling for honours in the new ‘employability’ category of this year’s IGD Food Industry Awards.

The event, now in its 21st year, recognises excellence in areas ranging from sustainability and consumer understanding to social innovation.

The new Employability Award by Asda seeks to recognise a company that has introduced the most outstanding employability initiative over the last 12 months.

The year’s other new category is The Co-Operative Award for Ethical Responsibility. Due South Restaurant, Mars Chocolate UK, Tesco and Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate have been shortlisted for the award, which honours companies that demonstrate the best or most improved ethical practice towards suppliers, its workforce or the environment.

The winners will be announced on 11 October at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel.