The launch of the 2014 Farmers Weekly Awards marks a decade of recognising the skills, commitment and achievement of British farmers. Since the campaign’s beginnings in 2005, perceptions of farming and farmers have changed beyond all recognition.
Today, UK farming businesses are not only slimmer, fitter, customer-focused, communicative and constantly innovating, but importantly they are now regarded by the general public as essential to the food security of our nation. It’s a dramatic turnaround from the days where the public saw farmers as “subsidy grabbing” and creating “food mountains and wine lakes”.
British farmers can be proud of the place they hold in the nation’s interests. It is their ability to adapt, respond to consumer demands and innovate that has secured the public’s change in attitude.
Farming and farmers continue to innovate and evolve and two new categories in this year’s awards campaign showcase those developments.
The 2014 categories
- Arable Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by British Sugar
- Beef Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by McDonald’s
- Contractor of the Year
Sponsored by JCB
- Farm Adviser of the Year
- Farm Employer of the Year
Sponsored by Safety Revolution
- Dairy Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by DairyCo
- Diversification Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Agribank
- Sheep Farmer of the Year
- Farm Manager of the Year
Sponsored by Claas
- Poultry Farmer of the Year
- Farmworker of the Year
Sponsored by Isuzu
- Pig Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Karro
- Local Food Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Asda
- Sustainable Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Firestone
- Young Farmer of the Year
Sponsored by Tesco
- Farming Champion of the Year
Sponsored by NFU
Farm Employer of the Year reflects the professional approach that farming businesses now employ to secure skilled staff, efficient production and strong relationships with their customers and buyers. This important to attract the brightest and best in the industry. A well-trained and ambitious team is at the heart of every successful commercial business – farming is no different.
Sustainable Farmer of the Year showcases what so many farming businesses are now doing to protect natural resources, nurture wildlife and biodiversity and minimise the impact of farm production methods on the countryside. This new category is looking for individuals who are embracing fully-integrated methods of production and green energy to deliver a business that is fully sustainable.
The 10th year of these awards is an opportunity to look back and reflect on the achievements of nearly 500 outstanding individuals and farming businesses who have been finalists and winners. Their place in the history of the Farmers Weekly Awards is assured. They, along with so many in this industry, have shown themselves to be resilient to the challenges of the world we live in today, breaking new frontiers through their innovation.
You too, could be part of Farmers Weekly history – and indeed the country’s heritage – by joining the gallery of men and women who have been honoured in these awards.
Nominate someone today, or enter yourself, by going to the Farmers Weekly Awards website at awards.fwi.co.uk.
Lord Robert Newborough, 2013 Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year and Diversification Farmer of the Year
Winning the 2013 Farmers Weekly Awards has been very positive for the business. It has opened doors which would not have been so easy to open before and strengthened our brand nationally.
We had record Christmas sales here and overseas with new markets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and shortly Muskat, in Oman.
We have co-branded products with Plum Baby foods – all new packaging includes the Rhug brand. We have also worked with Isuzu, Subaru and Plum Baby on joint competitions, which has generated thousands of responses.
The Rhug Estate restaurant also received Michelin recognition in its 2014 guide. The coverage of “Colditz”, the story of the turkey that escaped the “royal platter”, helped boost our recognition.