Waitrose director of buying Heather Jenkins has become the first retail industry figure to be awarded the David Black Award - a major accolade awarded annually for services to the pig industry.

Jenkins - director of buying for meat, poultry, fish, frozen and dairy - was presented with the award yesterday at the House of Lords. 2012 was the 52nd year in which the award has been given.

Jenkins had “transformed British pork and pork products into a sustainable, high quality, aspirational food,” the judges said. She had helped - in conjunction with Waitrose pork supplier Dalehead Foods - to create a successful, expanding and enduring pigmeat supply chain that had brought wide-ranging benefits to all British pig keepers, they added.

Jenkins said she was “stunned and delighted” to win the award. “I’m proud to be involved in the pig sector and there’s no doubt in my mind it’s a very resilient one.”

A farmers’ daughter from West Wales, Jenkins studied at Harper Adams University College.

Also at yesterday’s awards, McDonald’s won a British Sausage Week (which is taking place this week) ‘sausage Oscar’ for its support for the British pig industry in being a “constant supporter of British pig farmers” by sourcing pork from 800 British pig farmers for its bacon rolls and sausage McMuffins. Last year, it used 10,000 tonnes of pork from British farmers.