Speaker at the event, organised by Farm Business, was broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Neil, and was hosted by Neil Parish, Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton, and a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
Celebrating the best in the business
The U.K. 2012 Food & Farming Industry Awards took place on the 14th of December at the House of Commons, recognising the champions of the UK farming industry.
The Woodhorn Group were ‘Specially Commended’ and Runners Up in the ‘Rural Enterprise of the Year’ category.
The judges stated that the honour is “in recognition of the farm’s environmental credentials and its successful diversification into a wide range of agriculture-related products” and in particular that “The Group’s commitment to both the environment and the local community are highly commendable”.
Owner John Pitts, whose family has worked the farm since 1882, said: “It is a real honour to be recognised for an award because it reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone involved with the business. We care passionately about the quality of what we do and that has translated into a number of successful diversification projects.”
Award sponsor Nigel Parsons, from specialist rural software supplier Landmark Systems, added: “John and his team thoroughly deserve their recognition. They are the perfect example of how imagination and drive, coupled with sound business planning and financial management, can help a business to thrive through diversification, even in this difficult climate.”
An organic tenanted dairy farming business based in Oving, now run by John Pitts, has been managed by the Pitts family since 1882. John diversified into composting and recycling in 1998.
The compost site now recycles some 40000 tons of green and wood waste,
that would otherwise be landfilled, on behalf of West Sussex County Council, Arun and Chichester District Councils under the Reclaim West Sussex partnership in conjunction with Viridor Waste Management. Waste for recycling also comes from local horticultural nurseries, landscape gardeners and many other local businesses.
Woodhorn subsequently produce a range of peat free composts and soil conditioners, which are retailed under their Earth Cycle range. For more information on these products visit www.earthcycle.co.ukor telephone01243 781730
The Woodhorn Group opened a 5 MW solar farm in August 2012 producing enough renewable energy for c.1500 homes.