Farm charity, Addington Fund, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 Cornwall Farm Business Awards, which was held on the 23rd February at The Pavilion Centre in Wadebridge.

The event, which aims to highlight the region’s most outstanding farm businesses, saw an unprecedented number, and quality, of nominations this year, and recognised those exceling in their field.

Winning the Best Commercial Farmer Award and accredited with the prestigious Cornwall Farmer of the Year Award 2017 was F G Brewer & Sons (Farms) Ltd, which is owned by Andrew and Claire Brewer from Fraddon, who run a 750-cow unit near St Columb.

“Over the last 25 years Andrew and Claire have tripled their farming area to just under 1000 acres in total.  They are highly innovative farmers, erecting one of the first 500 Kw wind turbines in Cornwall, which has helped fund further expansion in recent years,” explains Ian Bell, Chief Executive, Addington Fund.  “The Brewers are great believers in working with others, getting off farm to see how others succeed and mentoring new entrants to farming.

‘This farm is a fantastic example of a farming business that is prepared to share knowledge with other participants in the industry and amongst their own staff, not only improving their own efficiency and profit levels, but also helping others in their own professional development,” Ian adds. “They truly deserve this award, and I congratulate them on their achievements.”

Winners of the category awards are as follows:

Best Dairy Farmer, sponsored by Rodda’s

  • James Johns, Sixty Acres Farm Ltd, Zelah

Best Farm Processor, sponsored by Robinson Reed Layton

  • The Cornish Cheese Co Ltd, Knowle Farm, Upton Cross

Best Young Farmer, sponsored by NatWest

  • Robert Halliday, Cornish Valley Farming, Tremeer Farm, Pensilva

Best Beef Farmer, sponsored by PKF Francis Clark LLP

  • Mark Pilcher, Gear Farm, Zennor

Woman in Farming, sponsored by Worldwide Financial Planning

  • Mel Squires, NFU Regional Director

“Mel has had to deal with a number of difficult issues and crises over her years with the NFU, including the floods in 2007 and the relentless pressure the whole South West farming community has faced from the scourge of TB,” Ian explains. “Mel is truly a champion for the whole industry and well deserves the accolade of Cornwall’s top woman in farming.”

Farming Champion, sponsored by NFU and NFU Mutual

  • Paul Gluyas.

“Paul Gluyas is a passionate farmer who has worked hard for many years not only building his own business but for the benefit of his fellow farmers, representing his colleagues at local and national level,” adds Ian. “It is important the industry acknowledge his commitment and dedication to the UK farming industry.

“This is a night to celebrate the remarkable farming businesses that Cornwall has to offer,” explains Ian. “The enthusiasm, professionalism and innovation shown by these individuals is inspiring, and I hope will motivate others in the industry, particularly new entrants, to strive for the world class standards achieved.

Phil Reed, partner and head of rural services at Stephens Scown LLP said: “Farming can be very rewarding, but it is never easy. Success comes as a result of long days, sheer hard work and determination – and often the bravery to do things differently and take a risk. I know all the nominees of the Cornwall Farm Business Awards have all worked incredibly hard to build their businesses. Congratulations to them all – this recognition is well deserved.”

“It’s also important to remember that this event raises vital funds for our charity, which helps those less fortunate in the farming community, and enables us to offer support and solutions for those in need,” Ian concludes.