Accolades galore for our farmers
The hard work of our tenant farmers has been rewarded at our 10th annual Fine Farm Produce Awards. The awards are one of the top food and farming honours and celebrate the very best produce from our 1,500 tenant farms and estates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
To mark a decade of farming excellence the awards were held at Vintage Salt on the rooftop of Selfridges as part of its yearly ‘Meet the Makers’ campaign. A record 62 products from 37 producers were recognised at the awards having met or exceeded the strict judging criteria.
‘This is a landmark year for the awards and we’re thrilled to be able to award more tenants and food producers than ever before,’ said Rob Macklin, our head of food and farming and chair of the judges. ‘It really is the best way to mark the dedication and work our tenants put into their businesses.’
This year 62 outstanding food, drink and countryside products ranging from sausages to dressed brown crab, apple juice to beetroot and rapeseed oil to charcoal were given the Fine Farm Produce Awards ‘stamp of approval’.
Twenty-four products were awarded the marque for the first time including lamb racks from F Conisbee butchers in Surrey and venison and black pepper burgers from Dinefwr in Wales. Since 2005 over 350 products have been recognised at the annual awards.
Stand out winners
Three producers excelled in the 2015 awards to be crowned overall food winner, overall drinks winner and producer of the decade, a special accolade announced for the 10th anniversary of the industry-recognised awards.
Organic natural yoghurt produced by Martyn and Lorraine Glover at Ashclyst Farm Dairy near Exeter in Devon and English sparkling wine from Charles Palmer Vineyards near Winchelsea in East Sussex won the overall food winner and overall drinks winner awards respectively. Potatoes produced by Peter and Gina Smithies at Trehill Farm in Pembrokeshire won the special producer of the decade award.
Strict judging criteria
Products not only have to excel in the obligatory taste test, but entrants to the awards also have to pass a checklist of environmental standards to guarantee the quality and origin of ingredients alongside high standards of production.
‘As the country’s largest farmer, we take our responsibility to champion sustainably produced food very seriously. That's why these awards are important,’ said Rob Macklin. ‘Sustainable farming practices that work for people, nature and the economy will continue to shape our lives and landscapes in the future.’
The winners were decided by a judging panel consisting of 12 food and drink experts, including representatives from the Selfridges food team.