2 Sisters Food Group owner Ranjit Singh and LJ Fairburn’s managing director Daniel Fairburn were named Poultry Person of the Year and Young Poultry Person of the Year respectively at an industry dinner on Monday (2 November).

The awards were presented at the annual Egg and Poultry Industry Conference (Epic) in recognition for the individuals’ contributions to their own businesses and to the poultry sector.

Presenting the British Poultry Council/ForFarmers Poultry Person of the Year award, conference chairman Paul Kelly described Mr Singh as “an outstanding champion, not just for our industry, but for all of our food and agriculture production”.

See also: Who was last year’s winner?

“2 Sisters Food Group has been built from nothing in 1993 to become Europe’s largest broiler producer today,” he said.

“Ranjit’s efforts have meant that a huge portion of UK poultry production is British owned, and he has been rightly praised by politicians, retailers, and the food and farming community.”

Mr Kelly also applauded Mr Singh’s “hands-on approach”, adding that his “drive and determination sets the tone for the whole company”.

“Ranjit is a true captain of industry and I can think of no more worthy winner of this award in 2015.”

Unfortunately Mr Singh was not able to collect his award, for personal reasons, but later said he was delighted to be recognised in this way. “I share this recognition with my poultry team. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the hard work they put in every day serving our customers, which has been instrumental in our success as a poultry producer.”

Rising star

In the Young Poultry Person of the Year category, established four years ago in memory of renowned egg processor Clive Frampton, Daniel Fairburn was identified as the “standout candidate” from this year’s nominees.

Poultry World editor Philip Clarke said the Fairburn’s business had achieved “amazing growth” in recent years.

Daniel Fairburn (centre) with Elwyn Griffiths (right) and Poultry World editor Philip Clarke (left).

Daniel Fairburn (centre) with Elwyn Griffiths (right) and Poultry World editor Philip Clarke (left).

Under Mr Fairburn’s leadership, turnover had increased from £12m in 2012 to £60m this year, and the firm was now packing more than 13 million eggs a week. It also produced its own feed and reared two million pullets a year.

“Daniel oversees all of this, working in close collaboration with his family to drive the business forward,” said Mr Clarke.

He was especially active at farm level, and would never let staff do anything he would not do himself.

Mr Fairburn was also involved in charitable activities, and had helped other young farmers get into poultry production.

The trophy was presented by Elwyn Griffiths, chairman of the British Egg Products Association.