The South West’s rural Champions of 2011 have been revealed in the Countryside Alliance Awards. The strong line up of local businesses will now head to the House of Lords in March to hear if they have scooped a national title.
The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, are now in their seventh year of celebrating the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick. The Awards are public-nomination led, meaning each business is put forward by a supportive customer. Judging of a shortlist of businesses has now taken place and a regional winner declared in each category. The South West's winners for 2011 are introduced by Alison Hawes, CA Regional Director for the South West:
Local Food category champion - The Traditional Beef Company, Farley, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 01722 712963 www.traditional-beef.co.uk. Alison says: “Jo and Robin received many nominations and what struck me was that their friendliness and support for their community was mentioned every bit as much as the quality of their produce. One nomination said “Their beef is the best I have ever tasted” – which is an exceptional testament to the company. The meat is fully traceable and properly hung and this traditional approach is hugely popular. People want down-to-earth high produce, quality and service and that’s what you get here. The Farley cows and the Farley community are equally lucky to have Jo and Robin.”
Village Shop/ Post Office category champion - Ludwell Stores and Post Office, Ludwell, Shaftesbury, Dorset, 01747 828227 http://ludwellstores.co.uk/. Alison says: “Ludwell is so clearly the heart of the village – we received many, many glowing nominations for this shop and enthusiasm for owners Jo and Phil. Ludwell is that rare shop that stocks more produce than you would think possible in a village shop. The support for the area is total, and the local produce on show is a real testament to that: they sell the wares of 24 producers from within 10 miles, 40 producers from within 30 miles and 62 producers from within 50 miles. But it’s not just a showcase for Dorset produce, even though the locals value the range and chance to support their local suppliers. It’s about being the hub of the community – people wanted Jo and Phil and their team to win as a “thank you” for all their hard work. The Countryside Alliance is happy to oblige!”
Enterprise category champion - Warminster Maltings Ltd, Warminster, Wiltshire 01985 212014 www.warminster-malt.co.uk Alison says: “This is Britain's oldest working maltings (1855) making malt by hand, supplying over 200 craft brewers, mostly across the UK as well as all round the world. It is vitally important that we celebrate and support our traditional businesses and the skills they continue to practice. Enterprises like Warminster Maltings are the very essence of traditional rural enterprise and they are loved for it.”