The search is on to find the very best farmers on the Isle of Man as the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture launches the nomination process for this years’ award, which is again sponsored by Manx food retailer Shoprite.
Nominations should be made before the 28 March 2014, giving a brief reason for the chosen nomination and describing how the farmer meets the awards’ selection criteria which are:
- Efficient and profitable farming
- Meeting consumer demands with their produce
- The promotion of locally produced food
- Innovative farm diversification
- Farming in ways that conserve the environment for the future
Nominations should be sent to;
Thie Slieau Whallian
DEFA Minister Phil Gawne, MHK said:
'This award not only aims to showcase the best farmers in the Isle of Man but provides an opportunity to share best practice, to inspire others and to let people know more about the hard work that goes into producing the quality produce which we can all enjoy. The Government is committed to helping the local agri-food sector to grow over the next few years but there will need to be co-operation and commitment from everyone in the supply chain to achieve this. This award helps to recognise those farmers who are already successfully re-aligning their farming businesses with market demand – and who usually have some very innovative ideas. We have some excellent Manx farmers so we look forward to receiving plenty of nominations'.
John Speakman, Senior Buyer for Shoprite, commented:
'This award is very important for the Isle of Man as it recognises the farmers who provide great quality, fresh produce which Shoprite prides itself on stocking in its stores and which our customers want to buy. In addition, it should encourage future generations of farmers on the Isle of Man by demonstrating that there is demand for local produce and therefore a future in the industry. Supporting local production is beneficial to the Isle of Man as it contributes to the local economy as well as providing long term sustainability and traceability in our food supply.'
Last year’s winners were John and Alison Teare from Ballavair Farm, Bride and David Cooil, from Ballacreggan Farm, Port St Mary. These farmers cannot be nominated for the award this year.
The judges will be:
- DEFA Minister Phil Gawne MHK
- John Speakman from Shoprite
- DEFA Agricultural Adviser Chris Kneale
- President of the Manx NFU Brian Brumby
- President of the Royal Manx Agricultural Show Alan Jones.
A shortlist will be selected from the entries and farms will then be visited by the judges in July. The winners will be revealed at the Award ceremony, which will take place at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show, on Friday 8 August 2014.