On a glittering night in the House of Commons for the Food and Farming Industry Awards organised by Farm Business magazine, Hay Farms, a farming and contracting business from Easter Rhynd in Perthshire carried off the big prize of the evening. The Hay family carried off the Farm Business of the Year trophy in the face of severe competition.
The Hay family has a fifth generation farming and contracting business which has now grown to 2,000 hectares across Perthshire on a mixture of owned, rented and contract farmed land.
The aim of producing high yielding, high quality produce is met using progressive and sustainable farming techniques, which in turn delivers good returns to customers. David and son Finlay now manage the business and have implemented huge changes over the past few years and have changed the emphasis on the products that are grown. These currently include wheat, oats, oilseed rape, barley, potatoes, vining peas, swedes and carrots. They have a committed team working for them, which will help them drive the business forward and achieve the ongoing transformation of this very successful business. “Our ethos is to get the most from the land, but do it in a way that allows a focus on enbvironmental improvements,” said David Hay.
Retailer of the Year
Elsewhere the other main winners included Aldi as the retailer of the year, for its efforts in promoting British agriculture, by offering amongst many things fresh British meat all the year round.
Progrssive Farmer of the Year
Andrew Booth won Progressive Farmer of the year for improving the infrastructure of his business to ensure sustainability.
Agronomist of the Year
The Agronomist of the Year went to Andrew Goodison of Hutchinsons, who received credit for helping his customers beyond the call of duty and also in helping new entrants into the world of agronomy.
Outstanding Contribution to Farming
Professor Sandra Edwards won the award for Outstanding Contribution to farming for her work as the chair of agriculture at Newcastle University. The judges also gave a special mention Daphne Tilley MBE for her work as an ambassador for Welsh lamb and raising its profile.
Food Chain Marketing Award
The Food Chain Marketing Award went to Jonathan Shepherd of the Yorkshire Wagyu Company who supply this special beef to consumers, chefs, butchers and the wholesale food market.
Food Innovation of the Year
Natures Crop Internation won the Food Innovation of the Year award for their work with ahiflower, which is a rich source of key omega fatty acids an ideal and more sustainable repalcement for fish oil.
Farm Innovation of the Year
By putting in a resevoir and introducing irrigation to his fruit farm, Clive Baxter of JL Baxter & Son was able to get more consistant yields each year which inevitably has led to expansion and The Farm Innovation of the Year award.
Farm Manager of the year
Andrew Mahon won the Farm Manager of the year for his work on the Bromborough estate in Nothamptonshire. His achievements include a solar park and a new conservational soil management system.
Young Farmer of the Year
Meanwhile the Young Farmer of the Year award went to Molly Westwood for her work with her own Panda herd of pedigree Holsteins which has achieved many accolades across the industry.
Family Business of the Year
Finally the Family Business of the Year went to The Appleby family from the Vale of Evesham for their Spot Loggins Ice Cream business which was developed in 2004 and continues to go from strength to strength.