The winners of the 2018 British Farming Awards have been revealed at a fabulous award ceremony last night, held at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham, and supported by Morrisons.

More than 700 farmers and industry professionals attended the event, which showcased the innovation and achievements of British farmers across the agricultural industry.

Organised by AgriBriefing, parent company of Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming, the 14 awards welcomed entries from across farming’s core sectors including beef, arable, machinery, agricultural students and diversification.

Sophie Throup, Morrisons agriculture manager, says: “Morrisons is pleased to once again sponsor the British Farming Awards and help celebrate some of the great work British farmers do.

“Our customers tell us year in, year out, buying British and supporting British farmers is as important to them as it is to us.

“As British farming’s biggest supermarket customer, we value the 3,500 farmers and growers we deal with directly and know that by working together, we can build long-term business sustainability through strong and enduring relationships.”

Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture

Kicking off the evening was the presentation for the Outstanding Contribution to British Agriculture Award, given to Mary Mead co-founder of Yeo Valley.

As the biggest organic brand in the UK, nine million homes buy at least one Yeo Valley dairy product including milk, yogurts, crème fraiche and butter.  

With a career spanning more than 60 years, Mary Mead moved to Holt Farm in Blagdon, Somerset, with husband Roger in 1961. The farm then had just 35 cows.

Their entrepreneurial spirit launched the award winning brand from scratch and following the passing of Roger, Mary continued to lead the family-run unit alongside her son, Tim.

Today the business runs 450 pedigree cows across two units spanning 1,400 acres and employs more than 1,700 people.

Recognised for their product quality, innovation and sustainable farming practises, the company have been awarded two Queen’s Award for Enterprise for the revolutionary way it works with its farming suppliers, encouraging them to turn organic and giving them long-term ‘fair trade’ contracts.

On receiving her award ahead of the night as she was unable to attend, Mary Mead said:

“Thank you so much for this award, and I’d like to accept it on behalf of all women in farming.”

Farmers Guardian Farming Hero

The winner of this year’s Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award is Dr Jude Capper, a leading independent Livestock Sustainability Consultant.

Passionate about the role of animal agriculture in sustainable food production, her current research and knowledge exchange work communicates the global importance of livestock production, while also improving the understanding and knowledge of stakeholders within food production from farmers and retailers to policy-makers and consumers.

Dr Capper also launched a successful social media campaign earlier this year to promote the role of UK dairy farmers and dairy products following a growing backlash from animal activists who present misleading messages to the public.

#Februdairy galvanised British dairy farmers and others within the industry to share their positive and sustainable farming practices with the wider general public to dispel the negative food production myths hitting headlines.

On receiving her award, Dr Capper said: “I am so excited, humbled and overwhelmed to be receiving this award.

I would like to accept it on behalf of all the wonderful farmers, industry professionals and supporters who help promote our fabulous industry every single day.

It is an absolute pleasure to share our values and explain what we do to the rest of the world. I hope this award will keep pushing us all to do more to tell the amazing story of British agriculture.”

Interested in entering, nominating or attending the British Farming Awards 2019? Register your interest here and we’ll be in touch when entries open!