We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Cornwall Farm Business Awards, which was held on the 26th April at The Pavilion Centre, Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge.
The event, highlights the region’s most outstanding farm businesses and this year saw an unprecedented number, and quality, of nominations and recognised those excelling in their field.
BEST COMMERCIAL FARMER
Sponsored by Carter Jonas and AMC plc
Suzanne & David Simmons, Riviera Produce
Suzanne & David Simmons with Caroline Lawrence, Carter Jonas
The Simmons business has achieved incredible growth under David’s management, evolving from a 160 acre mixed farm in the 1980s to one of the Country’s leading brassica growing businesses, farming some 5,500 acres, supplying a range of crops to several of the UK’s major supermarkets. The combined business employs 200 people based in Cornwall and a further 250 Eastern European staff at peak times of year.
BEST WOMAN IN FARMING
Sponsored by the Duchy of Cornwall
Gayle Bersey, Triffle Farm
Gayle Bersey with Alastair Martin, Duchy of Cornwall
Gayle started The Lynher Valley Aberdeen Angus in 1994 on the retirement of her parents from farming due to ill health. All the cows can be traced back to three of the original cows. Her aim is to produce easy keeping, easy calving with size that is commercially viable without losing the traditional traits of the Angus. Gayle does a vast amount of work, and nothing is too much trouble.
BEST LIVESTOCK FARMER
Sponsored by PKF Francis Clark LLP
David Turner, Mendennick Farm
David Turner with Brian Harvey, PKF Francis Clark LLP
David can trace his family farming history back to 1597 and since 1922 on the current family farm of Mendennick Farm at St John. Having lost his father aged two, David took on the farm aged just 20 and has grown the business into the 1600 acre organic enterprise that exists today. With over 2,000 Highlander ewes and 65 Stabiliser Cattle David certainly has his hands full and he is pleased that his youngest son Will is shortly going to return to the farm having graduated from Aberystwyth.
BEST FARM PROCESSOR
Sponsored by Savills
Roger and Tanya Olver, The Cornish Duck Company
Roger and Tanya Olver with Mike Pennington, Savills
The Olvers are breeders and producers of award winning table duck and duck eggs. They hatch, rear and dispatch on farm where they also process the duck to make duck burgers, smoked duck and Drake’s Pudding. The business employs 2 full time people, with Tanya overseeing the egg production and incubation process, right through to slaughter.
BEST DAIRY FARMER
Sponsored by Rodda’s
John Heller & Tom Nicholls, Acland Farm
Tom Nicholls & John Heller with Nicholas Rodda, Rodda’s
Since joining the team at Acland Farm ten years ago as a stockman, Tom has worked together with John Heller in the transformation of the dairy enterprise to a highly efficient and well organised milk producing unit, despite significant physical constraints. Adaption in 2012 to house the dairy herd all year round and install 7 robotic milking units was an innovative and pioneering step six years ago.A keen advocate of utilising technology for business advantage, Tom has embraced the information generated by the robotic system and used it to fine tune cow management systems.
BEST YOUNG FARMER
Sponsored by NatWest
Tom Jones, Trelay Farm
Tom Jones with Johanne Wingfield, NatWest
Tom comes from a generation of farming family, operating a dairy farm of 350 acres outside Davidstow supplying into the local Dairy Crest factory under the cheese contract. He operates a grass based forage system. Tom has a deep understanding of the individual costs of his business and what this equates to in pence per litre of output. His dedication, and desire to ensure the continuation of his dairy farm whilst not compromising the welfare or output of the herd is extremely impressive.
Sponsored by NFU
Peter Clarke, Farming Community Network
Peter Clarke with Melanie Squires, NFU
With a lifetime of dedication to the farming and wider countryside communities, a genuine desire to seek justice for farming families, feared and revered by politicians and authority alike, and renown by many for his distinctive gruffness & determined character – this year’s deserved winner of the Cornwall Farm Business Awards – Farming Champion is PETER CLARKE.
CORNWALL’S FARMER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Cornish Mutual
David & Suzanne Simmons, Riviera Produce
David & Suzanne Simmons with Cornish Mutual representative
What the Simmons family have achieved with Riviera is incredible in terms of growth, profit, efficiency and as a supporter of the local economy is incredible and they deserve all the plaudits thrown at their door. Every county needs a Riviera and Cornwall are lucky enough to have them benefitting the rural economy.