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Posted on April 03, 2018
Scooping the regional titles for Rural Enterprise (The School of Artisan Food) and Local Food and Drink (Welbeck Farm Shop), both finalists were selected by the judges from more than 11,000 nominations, and now have a shot at national glory.
Along with the other regional champions, they will go to Parliament for the British finals, and in the presence of MPs and Ministers, just five will be crowned British Champions.
Julie Byrne, managing director, The School of Artisan Food, said: “I’m so pleased that my team at The School of Artisan Food has been recognised for their great work, they really are a fab bunch of individuals who work tirelessly to promote ‘small food’ as an affordable and delicious alternative to ‘big food’ and as a way of bringing communities together. The one thing that gets us all out of bed in the morning is the opportunity to make a difference.”
Oliver Stubbins, Welbeck Farm Shop, said: “We’re a rural farm shop and the countryside is at the heart of everything we do. We are located in a fantastic part of the country which produces great local produce and have a team and customer base that are really passionate about food. We’re delighted to be the regional winner and look forward to meeting the other inspiring finalists.”
The Welbeck Estate nestled within Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire is fast gaining a reputation as a hub of artisan food, with a thriving artisan food community.
The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses. They are now in their thirteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. This year they received over 11,000 inspiring nominations, meaning these finalists truly are the best of the best.
Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee commented: “This has been a record year for nominations, showing how much the public values and supports our hard-working rural businessmen and women. For these finalists to get this far is already an exceptional achievement and I look forward to meeting them as judging gets underway. The Rural Oscars were set up to champion those who go the extra mile for their communities and it is an honour to offer a voice to rural business in this way.”
Judge William Sitwell, Waitrose Food Editor, MasterChef critic and award-winning author, said: “I am delighted to be a judge on the Countryside Alliance Awards – these Awards reward the very best of our produce, entrepreneurial spirit and determination of those who run rural businesses. I am most looking forward to sampling some of the best produce our countryside has to offer and hearing inspirational stories of those who keep our rural communities alive.”