BQP Farmer Awards Evening 2011

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BQP’s Annual Awards Evening took place on the 21st November at Norwich City Football Club, and once again it was a fantastic event attended by more than 300 people who were all there to celebrate the successes and achievements of pig farmers supplying Waitrose.

After Howard Revell, BQP’s Pig Production Manager, welcomed everyone to the event Jamie Matthewson, Waitrose’s Pork Buyer, highlighted Waitrose’s achievements in 2011.  He emphasised the importance of the unique supply chain and thanked the farmers for their hard work.

Paul Arundel started the presentation of the prizes with the Breeding Farms Awards.  Prizes included Highest Performing Unit, Most Improved Farm and Waitrose Select Farm Highest Scoring Farm, which was won by the Mutimer Partnership for achieving a score of 100%!  Richard Gooding, presented the Growing Farm Awards, which included Finished Pig Selector of the Year, Stock Person of the Year, and Highest Performing Farm.

Andrew Saunders, Dalehead’s Director of Agriculture, spoke about our successes over 2011 including increasing the amount of locally sourced grain used, the Prince of Wales’ visit to an organic farm, and the New Build Project; designed to attract new farmers into the supply chain.  Andrew stressed the value of partnership by quoting Churchill; “If we are together nothing is impossible.  If we are divided all will fail.”

Special honours were awarded by Freedom Foods to three farms which were considered to show the utmost levels of welfare, management and passion.  Fawley Farms and Paul Howland received awards for good performance, dedication and contribution to the supply chain.  The third accolade went to Garry’s Farm, Ringland.  Manager Garry, and his team, have transformed the farm since taking it on.  Sadly Garry passed away this year and so this award was a special tribute to the hard work and devotion that Garry and his team put into the herd.

This year’s Innovation Award was won by The Eco Pig Project Team for undertaking many ventures designed to find the best environmental practices for outdoor pig production.  These include looking at farrowing hut design, increasing green cover, and most notably trough feeding; which is already changing the face of outdoor pig farming.

New to proceedings was a prize sponsored by Compassion in World Farming, given to Roger Newton and his team who supply Waitrose with free range Hampshire sired pigs.  CIWF said that the award was exceptionally difficult to judge and they were very impressed with the quality of the stock and the attitudes of all the farmers nominated.

The evening was rounded up with an excellent supper of Waitrose sausages and mash with Delia’s onion gravy.

Many thanks to BOCM PAULS for kindly sponsoring the awards, to Waitrose for providing the food and champagne and to Sarah Rogers and Pam Hembra for all of the hard work that went into making this event such a great success.

Award Winners

Breeding Farmer Awards

BOCM PAULS Award for Best Managed Farm for Feed Ordering and Deliveries (Breeding) – Elite Pigs at Heath Farm

Young Stock Person of the Year – Mark Hunter from BQP’s Gilt Mating Unit

Best Recorded Herd (The Golden Paperclip Award) – David and Jill Robinson

Highest Number of PIPR Points Scored – David Pack

Most Improved Farm – Ben Holden and the Team at Uptons Farm, Bacton Pigs Ltd.

Waitrose Select Farm Highest Scoring Farm – The Mutimer Partnership

Organic Producer Award – John Rendle and Paul Batterham

Highest Performing Farm (single parity or in-pig gilt replacements) – Brandon Farm, Norfolk Free Range

Highest Performing Farm (closed herd or maiden gilt replacements) – Garry’s Farm Ringland, Peddars Pigs

Growing Farmer Awards

BOCM PAULS Award for Best Managed Farm for Feed Ordering and Deliveries (Finishing) – Gary Barrell from RJ & M Ellis at Old Hall Farm

Dalehead/BQP Finished Pig Selector of the Year – Richard Swales 83%

Dalehead/Essentials Finished Pig Selector of the Year – LKL

Dalehead/Free Range Finished Pig Selector of the Year – Philip Payne

Stock Person of the Year – Mark Kitchen

Two Stage Outdoor Reared Production – Cliff Garrod – Railway and Heath Farms

Growing Performance (Below 1500 pig places) – Edwina Peck

Growing Performance (Over 1500 pig places) – GCF Hillier & Sons

BQP Special Achievement Award – Pig Industry Professional Register (PIPR) Top Achiever Award – Helen Hooks, BQP

BQP Special Achievement Award – New Build – Greg and Sharon Nicklin

Innovation Award – The Eco Pig Project Team

Compassion in World Farming Award – Roger Newton and the team at North Farm Livestock

Freedom Foods Welfare Awards

Garry’s Farm Ringland, Peddars Pigs

Fawley Farms, Bagnum

Paul Howland, Shingle Hall Farm

Sophie Hope, BQP’s Waitrose Supply Chain Fields Person