Cream teach reaches finals of Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards

A NEEDHAM Market farm business is cream of the crop after reaching the finals of the prestigious BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards.

Alder Tree, which makes award-winning fruit ice creams at Alder Carr Farm, Needham Market, is one of three finalists in the Best Food Producer category.

The awards – nominated by BBC audiences – set out to find the best of British including Best Food Market, Best Local Food Retailer, Best Drinks Producer, Best Food Producer, Best Retail Initiative, Best Public Caterer, Best Takeaway and the BBC Farmer of The Year.

“We are delighted to reach the finals of such a prestigious award,” said managing director Stephany Hardingham.

“Although the business is growing, it hasn’t been an easy year and recognition in a national award such as this will make a real difference.”

Winners will be announced at the Food and Farming Awards’ ceremony held on November 23rd at the NEC, Birmingham. They will include the 2011 BBC Food Champion, awarded in previous years to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and baker Richard Bertinet.

Chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan chairs this year’s panel of judges which includes farmer and Countryfile presenter Adam Henson, school dinners champion Jeanette Orrey, chef Jeremy Lee and food writer Charles Campion.

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Chair of judges Richard Corrigan said: “The finalists on this list are cooks, farmers and food producers who all, in their own way, reflect where Britain is today, and what it can be in the future.

“We have young entrepreneurs using food to create exciting new businesses, farmers with radical ideas of how our food can be produced in a more sustainable way, we have school cooks who believe the meals they serve each day are helping to change the lives of young people and drinks producers working hard to save some of our greatest craft skills and artisinal traditions.

“I grew up in a farming family and always understood the power of being connected with the land, with livestock and with people who were proud to play a role in feeding their community. Few of us are lucky to have that connection today and for that reason these awards are invaluable for one simple reason; they help reconnect people with the story of the best of British food, where it comes from, how‘s it‘s made and who makes it.

“We boast some of the world’s best farmers, food producers and food entrepreneurs and so I hope when people hear more about the stories on this shortlist they’ll understand why it gives me some optimism for our future”.

The awards will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 23rd November at the BBC Good Food Show, NEC, Birmingham, and will be hosted by Sheila Dillon, presenter of The Food Programme.

She will be joined by some of the biggest names in the food world including Rick Stein, James Martin and Angela Hartnett.