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Fen Farm Dairy picks up another prestigious award

PUBLISHED: 11:07 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:07 16 April 2019

Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore (centre) and their business coach Stephen Unwin (r) receive their award from ActionCOACH chairman and founder, Brad Sugars.

Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore (centre) and their business coach Stephen Unwin (r) receive their award from ActionCOACH chairman and founder, Brad Sugars.

Archant

A Bungay farming family has been honoured yet again as it continues to transform a once struggling dairy business into a thriving market leader.

Jonny Crickmore holding his Baron Bigod brie cheese at Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHYJonny Crickmore holding his Baron Bigod brie cheese at Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHY

Jonathan and Dulcie Crickmore of Fen Farm Dairy received the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the ActionCOACH Business Excellence Awards dinner earlier this month.

It is the second time in three years the farm has won the award in just three years.

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The farm is famed for its raw milk, raw butter and Baron Bigod cheese – the only Brie-de-Meaux style cheese produced in the UK.

“This award means a huge amount to us”, said Mr Crickmore.

Dulcie and Jonny Crickmore and family of Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHYDulcie and Jonny Crickmore and family of Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHY

“We are excited to be proving that dairy farming can be profitable and that the dairy industry can provide exciting job opportunities for young people.”

The win comes shortly after the family were named Best Manufacturer at the National Rural Business Awards in February.

Just six years ago, the business was in very different shape - barely able to make a profit and at the mercy of the commodity milk market.

In a bid to create a brighter future, the Crickmore family took steps to diversify the farm, selling their raw cow's milk direct to the public from the farm gate.

Dairy cattle at Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHYDairy cattle at Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHY

Following the success of farm gate sales, Mr Crickmore invested in a brand new cheesemaking facility.

And now Fen Farm Dairy are a fast-growing dairy producer, making over 60 tonnes per year of their popular Baron Bigod and employing a team of 15 local people.

Mr Crickmore attributes part of the company's success to the help and advice of business coach Stephen Unwin – who the farm has been working with for four years.

He said: “Business coaching has been invaluable to us during the early years of our company's expansion into new products and markets.

Dairy cows at Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHYDairy cows at Fen Farm Dairy of Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHY

“I'm a great believer in the value of having experienced mentors at every stage of our development and we have benefited enormously from Stephen's expertise as both a business owner himself, and a long-established coach.”

Last year the farm was subjected to a tirade of online abuse from vegan internet trolls.

However the social media response was overwhelming with customers leaping to the firm's defence - with sales and popularity rising as a result.

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