Food and drink manufacturers who make significant contributions to their local communities are to be recognised in a new awards scheme launched by the Food and Drink Federation as The Grocer went to press. FDF president Peter Blackburn told the organisation's annual dinner on Thursday: "The food and drink manufacturing sector is an unsung success story. "All over the UK our companies and the people in them are working hard to play their part in their communities. Now, we plan to recognise their achievements." The FDF is working with William Reed, publisher of The Grocer and Food Manufacture magazines, to provide a showcase for the contribution made by food and drink manufacturing firms. Speaking at the dinner, the editor of The Grocer, Clive Beddall said: "Many firms have deep historical links with individual communities ­ think of the old established confectionery groups. "Others make an enormous contribution at corporate level to play their part in civic, artistic and other community activities." FDF deputy director general Martin Patterson said the awards would be a focal point for the FDF's annual gala evening. The first set would be presented at the FDF's annual dinner in March 2003. The FDF is also working with Business in the Community to develop the awards as a means of sharing best practice and good ideas. {{NEWS }}