Warburtons has become the first food manufacturer to earn a place on The Sunday Times’ Best Big Companies to Work For list for a third successive year, moving up from 23rd to 17th place.

Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, said the listing was a testament to the hard work, passion and commitment of everyone associated at the family business.

“The manufacturing and distribution sector continues to be a tough industry to recruit for, but we are very proud to say that our people continue to feel valued, well looked after and proud to work for us,” said Warburton.

“This makes the honour of being on the Best Big Company to Work For list even more meaningful and makes our job so much more worthwhile.”

The annual Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For survey compiles the views of employees on eight key areas, including wellbeing, leadership and personal development, to give the business an overall ranking.

The survey took place in September 2017 and the results were announced on 23 February.

Last November, Warburtons and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) agreed a “landmark” deal to improve employee terms and make the business more agile. The business said the move would enable it to meet changing consumer demand through innovation while improving the long-term security of its staff.