FARMING MATTERS: Recognising farming successes

British Farming Awards 2018
British Farming Awards 2018

Award ceremonies don’t just happen for Hollywood movie stars and musical artists. Farming has its own share of award events too.

And one of these was held recently. The results of the 2018 British Farming Awards were announced at a fabulous ceremony attended by more than 700 farmers and industry professionals from across the country.

Organised by AgriBriefing, parent company of Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming, the 14 award categories welcomed entries from across farming’s core sectors including beef, arable, machinery, agricultural students and diversification.

In addition, awards were also presented for Family Farming Business of the Year, Farm Worker of the Year, Digital Innovator of the Year, New Entrant Award: Against the Odds and Farmers Guardian Farming Hero.

The evening started with the presentation for Outstanding Contribution to British Agricultural Award, given to Mary Mead, co-founder of Yeo Valley.

As the biggest organic brand in the UK, nine million homes buy at least one Yeo Valley dairy product including milk, yoghurts, creme fraiche and butter.

With a career spanning more than 60 years, Mrs Mead, together with her husband Roger, started with just 35 cows. Their entrepreneurial spirit launched the award winning brand from scratch and following the death of Roger, Mary continued to lead the family run unit alongside her son Tim.

Today the business runs 450 pedigree cows across two units spanning 1,400 acres and employs more than 1,700 people.

Recognised for their product quality, innovation and sustainable farming practises, the company has been award two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for the revolutionary way it works with farming suppliers, encouraging them to turn organic and giving them long term fair trade contracts.

Although Mrs Mead was unable to attend the award evening she sent a message of gratitude, saying: “Thank you so much for this award, and I’d like to accept it on behalf of all women in farming.”

To enter, nominate or attend next years event register your interest at www.britishfarmingawards.co.uk/2019-interest-form/