Blythburgh/Stradbroke: Pig farmers celebrate accolade at 2014 National Pig Awards

Producer Retailer Award winners: Alastair Butler, Jimmy Butler, Pauline Butler, Robert Lawson of awa

Producer Retailer Award winners: Alastair Butler, Jimmy Butler, Pauline Butler, Robert Lawson of award sponsor Rattlerow Genetics, Stuart Butler and Ann Butler (Stuart�s wife) - Credit: Archant

Pig farmers from Suffolk were among the winners at an inaugural awards event held in London last month.

Producer Retailer Award winners: Alastair Butler, Pauline Butler, Martin Bayfield (rugby celebrity s

Producer Retailer Award winners: Alastair Butler, Pauline Butler, Martin Bayfield (rugby celebrity speaker), Ann Butler, Stuart Butler and Jimmy Butler - Credit: Archant

Blythburgh Pigs, a free range pig operation run by the Butler family, scooped the Producer Retailer of the Year title at the 2014 National Pig Awards, held at The Royal Garden Hotel.

It farms 2,100 outdoor sows, finishing all of their progeny totally free range and selling over 700 free range finished pigs under the Blythburgh brand each week. The pigs are reared across 350 acres of light sandy land along the Suffolk coast.

Meanwhile, Stradbroke-based BQP, which manages the rearing of pigs for Dalehead, the largest pig producer in the UK, scooped three awards - the Multiple Site Producer of the Year, Producer of the Year and Innovation of the Year. Its team of 45 provides administrative, field and veterinary support to more than 250 pig farms, mainly in East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the South West. It also operates two of its own farm units in Suffolk and Norfolk.

The awards were organised by Pig World in association with the National Pig Association and levy-payers’ organisation BPEX. The principal sponsor of the event was ForFarmers, which has its UK headquarters in Ipswich.

Judges whittled entries down to a shortlist and carried out farm visits before deciding on the winners.

Alastair Butler said: “It’s amazing to win the first award ever.” His mother, Pauline, added that they were “absolutely delighted”.

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Alastair’s father, Jimmy Butler, said it was a lot of work. “It’s great to be recognised for what you do,” he said.

Howard Revell of BQP said: “It’s great for the whole team to be recognised and we are really proud.”