This award will celebrate innovative food businesses, brands or products, that are leading the way and pushing the boundaries of what being a ‘traditional’ British producer, supplier or retailer means. With a commitment to promoting ‘The Best of British’, using sustainable quality ingredients and skills based approaches to production as well as developing a commercially successful business, this award will highlight some of the innovative up and coming stars of the rural food sector as well as those who continue to make traditional produce into sustainable business. The winning business will be able to clearly demonstrate the following:
• A well articulated business strategy
• Strong business ethics and financial competency
• The achievement of the aims and objectives
• A clear understanding of the market and customers to whom the business is selling
• That where possible they use local or sustainably sourced ingredients and/or produce
• Uniqueness in offering – what sets the business apart from the competition
• Availability for sale in the UK
• A platform for continued commercial success
• Customer and staff engagement
• Effective leadership, operation and management
At NFU Mutual we’ve been providing quality insurance to our customers, for over 100 years.
Today, we meet the needs of over 850,000 customers with a comprehensive range of high quality and specialist insurance covers. Ranging from farming and business insurance, home and motor insurance to Financial Planning Services products.
Our commitment to offering high quality levels of cover, our efficient claims handling and attentive, local, personal service is delivered through our 300 local agency offices and UK-based call centres.
To find out more visit: www.nfumutual.co.uk
“Rural businesses and communities are at the heart of NFU Mutual. Through our local network of agents we work closely with businesses to understand their priorities, challenges and opportunities so we can support them.
Over the years we’ve established close relationships with food and drink manufacturers, and we’ve seen first-hand the drive and determination it takes to achieve success. Awards like this are vital for celebrating achievements, sharing expertise and building connections across rural communities. We’re therefore proud to play our part as judge and sponsor for the Best Rural Food Business category at this year’s Rural Business Awards.”
Best Rural Food Business Winners
St Ewe Free Range Eggs
Nestled on the stunning Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, St Ewe Free Range Eggs are an independent, family business producing award-winning free-range shell and liquid eggs. Instead of championing specific breeds, they have developed bespoke diets for their hens, which is fantastic for hen health and produces high quality free-range, delicious tasting eggs for customers. This approach has also allowed them to bring unique brands to market such as Rich Yolk and the newly launched Super Eggs. Sustainability, nutrition and welfare is at the heart of St Ewe and they firmly believe that happy, healthy hens make delicious and highly nutritious eggs.
Mash Direct is an innovative farming enterprise, run by the Hamilton family at their family farm in County Down close to the shores of Strangford Lough. With six generations of farming expertise, Mash Direct has grown from 70 to 1,650 acres of fields that are tailored to growing heritage varieties of vegetables grown for their distinct flavour. The family grow and produce quality, convenient ‘field to fork’ vegetable and potato side-dishes ranging from mashed potato to cauliflower bites. All of which are sold in major supermarkets across the UK and Ireland including Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose.
Best Rural Food Business Finalists
Lisa Smith founded Ginger Bakers in 2006 in her home kitchen, baking cakes for a local café to supplement her income. After 18 months she decided to bake for herself and sell the cakes she created at farmers markets. Ginger Bakers are now located in a purpose-built bakery at the Lakeland Food Park, Plumgarth’s, near Kendal, where Lisa and her team create a delicious range of cakes and bakes using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. They craft a range of delicious cakes which can be enjoyed by everyone, including catering for special dietary requirements, that deliver simply unforgettable flavours.
Launde Farm Foods
Launde Farm Foods is a meat supply and butchery business, established by the Owen family, which directly complements their sheep farming enterprise. Situated on the Leicestershire/ Rutland border it includes the management of some of the Launde Abbey parkland. Their aim is to provide a multi level platform for bespoke butchery and the supply of ethically and sustainably reared meats, suitable for the modern world. Conservation is at the forefront of the farming methods used, so the farm works in close conjunction with various organisations to protect and enhance the Leicestershire countryside, such as the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Swshi brings fresh, handmade sushi to the people of Wales and the Borders through home deliveries, pop up nights and festivals in the trusty mobile Swshi kitchen. Catering for both the seasoned sushi fan and the curious beginner, the fresh and flavoursome dishes of Swshi have something for everyone to enjoy. From the outset, Swshi wanted to provide restaurant quality sushi and Japanese inspired food to rural Wales whilst ensuring that local, Welsh & British producers and suppliers were used to create a sustainable business. Environmental factors are also a high priority with plant based PLA compostable packaging used for the delivery service.
The Blaenafon Cheddar Company Ltd
The Blaenafon Cheddar Company Limited is a family business situated in the World Heritage mining town of Blaenavon. The company produces some of Wales most awarded handmade cheeses and some are even aged 300ft below ground in the Big Pit Mining Museum. Due to its success, the business draws in visitors from all over the world as a Food Tourism Destination. Using a selection of ingredients taken from all over Wales, The Blaenafon Cheddar Company Limited blends these into a delicious creamy Welsh cheddar, taking customers on a tongue tingling journey from South to North Wales finishing with a delicious hop over to Anglesey.
Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project
The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award