Andy Bairstow, CEO of Yorkshire and North East food packaging specialist PFF Group, has been named Family Business Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors at its Director of the Year Awards 2021 for Yorkshire and the North East.

The Director of the Year Awards celebrate leadership talent and showcase success and achievement across industry sectors.

The Family Business award recognises individuals who have responded to the specific challenges that face directors in family firms and who have contributed to the success of the diverse, dynamic and innovative family business sector.

This year’s award also recognised PFF Group’s response to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Andy Bairstow established PFF Packaging 28 years ago with his wife Michelle. Through capital investment and strategic acquisition, he has grown the business from a small family company producing plastics for imported toiletries to one of the UK’s largest independent recyclable food packaging manufacturers, supplying supermarkets, multi-national food manufacturers, food service and fresh produce companies across the UK.

During the pandemic, Andy used his specialist sector expertise to lead PFF’s diversification into healthcare products – investing £2m in machinery, employing 100 new staff and establishing a separate division to produce PPE for frontline healthcare workers, while maintaining the business’ essential core food packaging function.

Under Andy’s guidance, PFF has grown to a £45m turnover business, playing an active role in global initiatives to reduce plastic waste and to produce the first commercially available high quality food grade polypropylene (FGrPP).

The judging panel of regional business leaders was chaired by Simon Walton, managing partner of Berwick Partners/Odgers Berndtson, Leeds. The award was presented by Poonam Kaur, chair of IoD West Yorkshire branch.

Andy said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have won this prestigious award which not only celebrates the success of the whole PFF team in rising to the unprecedented challenges of the past year but recognises the contribution of family businesses to the UK economy. Both our packaging and health divisions are members of Made in Britain, an initiative which champions UK manufacturing and one that I feel very passionate about.”

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