East London-based food wholesaler Wanis International Foods has been honoured by the Business Champions Awards for its community and charity work. They won the Business Community Award, presented by BBC news legend Huw Edwards.
Trading for nearly six decades, Wanis has been recognised for their strong record of charitable and philanthropic work locally, nationally, and internationally which includes:
• Supporting food banks across London
• Donating fresh water pumps in Pakistan
• Supporting Birmingham-based charity, Prison Link
• Supporting schools in Central Village, Jamaica
• Partnering with the NHS Blood Service to encourage blood and organ donation within Black and Asian communities
With over 800 applicants to this year’s awards, Wanis beat off stiff competition to snag the prestigious trophy. Having grown from humble beginnings the company was founded in 1964 as small retail outlet by Tulsidas Wadhwani (aka Mr Wani), who was asked to source hard-to-find foods from “back home” by his customers, many of whom were members of London’s new immigrant communities from South Asia, Caribbean and African communities.
Wanis is now a leading importer and distributor of food and drink from around the world; operating from two sites and with annual revenues in excess of £100m. Still a family-owned company, Wanis supplies brands such as Tropical Sun to supermarkets, independent retailers, wholesalers, restaurants and take aways throughout the UK. They also export to more than 35 markets across Europe, West Africa, the USA and the Middle East and were recognised for their work in international trade last year when they were awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to receive this amazing award and be recognised for the work we do in all the communities we serve,” said Paul Harrison, Head of Community. “As a food company, we’re in a unique position to make tangible change; we strive to harness the power that food has to bring people together.”
Wanis Director, Kapil Wadwani said: “We’re all really thrilled to receive this award. Our community work means a lot to all the Wanis family, so it’s amazing to be recognised.”
Saira Begum, the founder of PL84U, an interfaith charity that Wanis supports, added: “Congratulations to Wanis on their well-deserved Community Award. Their support has proven invaluable to PL84U AL-SUFFA and the wider community and we look forward to our long and fruitful partnership.”