Increasing diversification across the Island’s farmers, food and fishing producers was praised at an annual awards ceremony held this evening (Friday).
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture presented the Isle of Man Food, Farming and Fishing Awards and spoke of the importance of innovation and growth across all parts of the sector, as it continues its important contribution to both the Island’s economy and its environment.
The Minister said:
‘This year we can clearly see that those who will continue to do well will be those who are always looking ahead, understanding the changing trends in the marketplace and responding to them. The range of winners here tonight is also ample evidence of just how variable and diversified this sector has become, and how many opportunities that diversification brings about.
‘All the winners, and indeed all those who entered the Awards, are ample proof of just how innovative, forward-looking and varied our food, farm and fishing businesses truly are.’
The winners at the 2018 Awards were as follows (excerpts from their nominations in italics):
- Stuart Allanson, Rhendoo Farm, Jurby (Farming category)
Stuart looks after his 300 acre arable unit and keeps an eye on all aspects of the farm, not just the crops. He produces a large range of vegetables and is the largest vegetable producer on the Island.
- Will Faulds and Charlotte Traynor, Apple Orphanage (Food/Drink category)
Will and Charlotte have been making cider, wine and apple juice for 10 years. They keep things as natural as possible and chemical free. Minimising waste is also something they strive to do throughout the business and processes. They run a fruit exchange of apples and rhubarb.
Chris Clugson, Kallow Point Seafoods (Fishing category)
A small family business selling fresh Manx crab, lobster and fish (fresh and smoked). They catch and prepare everything themselves.
Joint winners (Diversification)
- Mike Walker and Clare Lewis, Isle of Man Goats & Manx Mohair
Set up in 2012. Mike and Clare come from generations of farmers and wanted to return to agriculture and are now responsible for the care of over 260 goats, the largest commercial herd on the Isle of Man.
- Will and Janette Qualtrough, BallaKarran meat company
They farm over 400 acres where they produce and sell their pasture fed lamb direct from the farm. Their mobile unit travels to targeted locations around the Island selling lamb, other Manx meat and local produce.
The awards are sponsored and supported by Shoprite.
They were judged by John Lewis from Shoprite, alongside Geoffrey Boot MHK, Andrew Cooper, Secretary of the Manx National Farmers’ Union, Jim Caley, President of the Royal Manx Show, Jo Overty, UNESCO Biosphere, David Beard, IOM Fisherman’s Association, and Andrew Lees, DEFA’s Food Business Development Manager.
Award-winners receive £100 and an engraved glass trophy from Shoprite.
John Lewis of Shoprite commented:
'With such a diverse range of entries, and such a high standard as well, coming to a final judgement wasn’t easy. But after a great deal of thought and a lot of discussion we have picked what all the judges agree is a set of very worthy winners. Our congratulations go out to all of them. As the Minister has said, they are a testament to the range of quality across all our food, farming and fishing industries.'