Fire-reducing kitchen grease filter wins top business award

L-r: Awards host, comedian Sean Lock; Simone Hart Sibbald of Shepherd Filters; and judge Peter Thom.

Shepherd Filters UK has scooped the Service and Maintenance Initiative of the Year honour at the H&V News Awards 2018.

The company, run by Stirling-based entrepreneur Simone Hart Sibbald, installs environmentally-friendly kitchen grease filters made of antipodean wool in commercial premises.

The product, which is designed to reduce the risk of kitchen fires, has also been nominated for the Business Innovation Award at the CIS Excellence Awards.

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Hart Sibbald officially launched the innovation, currently being trialled nationwide by a major restaurant chain, in the UK in January of this year.

She said: “This is the first time we’d entered the filter for an award and we were over the moon to win.

“The H&V News judges seemed impressed by the simplicity of the product and the fact it has the potential to revolutionise the current way of working in the kitchen grease extract industry.

“They liked the environmental benefits compared to traditional grease extract cleaning which uses water and chemicals and creates hazardous waste.”

She added: “Because Shepherd Filters are made from wool, the product is biodegradable and can easily be disposed of with food waste.

“For me, the award is validation of the first year of work in the UK raising people’s awareness of this revolutionary filter and overcoming scepticism which is always the challenge when bringing something new and different to an established market.”

Shepherd Filters are claimed to cut the risk of fires by reducing the build-up of grease in kitchen extract systems. They are said to capture up to 98% of airborne grease before it enters the system – compared to regular metal filters which catch around 20%.

The initiative beat off competition from three other companies to win the H&V News Service and Maintenance Initiative Award for firms working in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry.

The filter has also been shortlisted for the annual CIS Excellence Awards which recognise creativity, innovation and excellence in the Scottish hospitality, catering and tourism sectors.

Shepherd Filters UK are up against Chefs Eye Tech, a food waste reduction technology, and The Scottish Salmon Company for the Business Innovation accolade with the winner set to be unveiled at a ceremony in Glasgow tonight.

Hart Sibbald, who is vice-chair of the National Association of Air Duct Cleaners UK (NAADUK), said: “We’re delighted with the nomination and looking forward to going before the impressive panel of judges to tell them more about the product.

“It’s very heartening to be recognised by the catering industry and gives us a real boost as we move forward in demonstrating the many benefits of the filter to potential customers throughout the UK.”

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