Organic, biodynamic, regenerative and local principles underpin the ethos of several winners at this year’s BBC Food & Farming Awards.
The Award ceremony took place on 9 November at the National Museum in Cardiff. Hosted by presenters including BBC Radio Wales’ Wynne Evans, they were joined by judges including Sheila Dillon (Presenter of The Food Programme), Asma Khan, (Restaurateur), Adam Henson (Countryfile presenter and farmer), Matt Allwright (The One Show/Watchdog presenter), and nominees from several categories.
Best Food Producer went to Tablehurst Farm, a social enterprise founded in the mid-1990s, which produces meat, poultry, vegetables, raw milk and arable crops to biodynamic and organic standards.
Tablehurst spokesperson Peter Brown said: “We are just absolutely thrilled and honoured. We have been farming for many years with these ideals and trying to work with nature and produce the very very best food, and it’s very thrilling when its recognised. We’re just very happy about it.”
Best Drinks Producer was awarded to ‘peppermint people’ Summerdown. Summerdown produces tea from Black Mitcham peppermint it has been growing for almost three decades, all from a family farm in the Hampshire countryside.
Joe Coleman from Sommerdown said: “It means the world being recognised for doing something that everyone else thought was daft, and being here 30 years on and creating a award winning drink company.”
Glasgow-based social enterprise supermarket Locavore took Best Shop or Market. Working across central Scotland it has been helping build a more sustainable local food system by providing local, organic grocery shops and veg box deliveries, using food from their land, local growers and ethical producers.
Celtic Cabin, from Barmouth, West Wales, scooped Best Streetfood/Takeaway
Celtic Cabin strives to serve fresh and healthy street food wraps along with many other goodies for the beach. Suzy Simpson from Celtic Cabin said “It means the world, seriously. When you are trying to do something you love and that means so much to yourself […] and you stick to your guns, to be recognised for that? Its pretty special.”
Food Innovation went to TastEd, A charity bringing sensory food education to the UK. It provides free lesson plans and training for teachers to deliver a playful, evidence-based approach to food education.
The Farming Today Farming for the Future Award went to Jake Freestone at Overbury Farms. Freestone is farm manger at Overbury Farms which been using a regenerative farming system since 2013 employing no till, cover crops and livestock tor reduce artificial fertiliser use.
Samuel Ikua was recognised as BBC World Service Global Youth Champion. Ikua trains urban farmers in food production. He works with a network of urban farmers in Nairobi. The initiative focuses on women, men and young farmers, including farmers with disabilities. Ikua believes urban food production also serves as an income opportunity for people in poorer areas
Tim Spector – known for his journalistic work and as a science writer (he is the author of the new book Food for Life) – received the Derek Cooper Outstanding Achievement Award. Spector, is a leading epidemiologist who studies the microbiome, linking what we eat to our health.
Mair Bowen received the BBC Cymru Wales Food Hero Award. She was nominated for her voluntary work for over fifteen years preparing meals for the residents of Kilgetty and the wider area to coincide with events in the community.
She said: “This is a special privilege and an honour. Thank you to whoever thought to nominate me. I’m pretty sure there are others who have helped far more than I have, but thank you so much!”
Tablehurst Farm receives Best Food Producer Award at the BBC Food & Farming Awards