Last night I attended the East Midlands Awards for Excellence, along with Sara our Production Manager and Sarah from our Wholesale Department. As featured in the Financial Times, 6 companies from the East Midlands have been awarded Big Ticks and a further 7 have been reaccredited. Pachacuti is one of just 3 companies from the East Midlands region who have been shortlisted as National Examples of Excellence and, along with Rolls Royce and Northern Foods, we will be progressing to the national finals within our categories. Pachacuti is a finalist in the International category and our award will be announced personally by Prince Charles on 5 July,the only award category he is announcing on the night!
It was a truly inspiring evening for myself and my staff. After champagne and canapes, Mandy Yound of Adrenaline Alley in Corby took to the stage. She told of how she set up the extreme sports park in response to an attack on her son when he was carrying his skateboard. What started as a small skatepark has turned into the biggest extreme sports centre in the world outside of the US - all run as a Social Enterprise.
After Dinner and the presentation of the Community Impact Awards, Michelle Feeney, CEO of St Tropez, talked about Mac cosmetics. Michelle used to work for Estee Lauder and, when the company bought Mac, she became their head of Global Communications. I had no idea at all that all profits from Mac Viva Glam go to the Mac Aids Fund. It sounds like a truly impressive company and convinced me to linger a little longer next time I pass a Mac Cosmetics counter!
Finally it was time for our Award, the last category award of the night. Our video looked fantastic on the big screen, showcasing our work on the Sustainable Fair Trade Management System through video and photography with an actor's voiceover.
We were certainly the smallest of all of the companies receiving awards last night, with other winners including Rolls Royce, Experian, Northern Foods and East Midlands Airport. However, I think it is so important to show that a small, East Midlands company can not only have a huge impact locally (and we do work closely with our local schools and community) but can have a significant impact Internationally. I think that the important element of our work on the Sustainable Fair Trade Management System is not just the impact on our 1000 or so producers, but the real development potential which the system offers to small organisations and companies throughout the world as a means of addressing Millenium Development Goals.
We were delighted to receive our Big Tick Award and are excited about the forthcoming National Awards for Excellence on 5 July.