Cornish Mutual is proud to have been a sponsor for the 2019 Addington Fund Farm Business Awards, which took place in both Cornwall and Devon. Technical Leader, Ria Locker, describes her experience of sitting on the judging team for two of the award’s prestigious categories.
This year, as one of the sponsors of the Addington Fund Farm Business Awards, I had the great pleasure of being involved in the judging for both Cornwall and Devon. This tricky task involved meeting candidates across two categories: Best Woman in Agriculture and Best Farm Processer. Both classes had a high calibre of applicants with worthy business cases and I couldn’t wait to pull on my wellington boots to find out more!
Along with the other judges, I visited each candidate at their premises and spent some time getting to know them and their businesses. The applicants included a diverse range of farm enterprises. We saw a cheese maker, an egg farm with a delivery service, a duck breeder and meat producer, a milk vending machine outlet, an organic food box delivery service, and a dairy with a whole host of products operating on a carbon neutral basis.
The individuals each had their own unique response to the prospect of winning the award. Some were delighted, others surprised and one told us they had been so nervous, they had a mind to not let us in! However, when it came down to it, they each displayed the passion and gusto for their projects in a way that made it very clear why they had been nominated - it was easy to get caught up in the fervour.
Deciding on an individual to win each award was the hardest part of the process. Each candidate had a reason to triumph and, by not choosing them, somebody’s hard work would not be fully recognised. The desire to hand out six awards was a feeling that was tangible amongst us all. I finally understood why all children are given awards on sports day - it’s for the teacher’s conscience!
The Addington Fund was firm in its decision that they needed a winner though and after much discussion, my fellow judges and I were able to come to a consensus on where the awards should land. All nominees and judges were invited to attend the awards ceremony and dinner and after all that discussion and debate, I can think of nothing better than a slap up meal of fine local produce where the winners can lift their awards and receive the applause they truly deserve.
To find out the winners of the awards click here
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