Cullompton's Piper's Farm triumphs at rural Oscars
Cullompton business Piper's Farm has triumphed at 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars).
They were presented to top rural businesses by the Secretary of State for Defra, Owen Paterson MP, at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament yesterday.
Piper's Farm won the Defra Local Food category.
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The Awards are the Countryside Alliance's annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are now in their eighth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win.
Mr Paterson told the packed reception of 250 people: "Rural businesses are vital to the country's economic recovery. The Government is right behind them.
"We are backing aspiration and giving entrepreneurs the support they need to create jobs and support thriving local communities."
The Parliamentary reception was attended by Regional Champions from across the UK & Ireland, keen to celebrate rural business and produce. The eventual UK & Ireland Champions were selected from the Regional Champions and their identities were announced live by Countryside Alliance Chairman Kate Hoey MP. The UK & Ireland Champions were selected by a UK & Ireland judging panel at a lunch in February.
The judges said of Piper's Farm: "The energy and passion of the Greig family leave you feeling very excited about the future of food and farming – anything is possible here.
"For 25 years Pipers Farm has been championing not only local food heritage, producing meat that is sensational to eat, but also supporting local family farms that have been the foundations of our rural communities and landscapes for generations.
"This has resulted in 25 small, family run farms, rearing animals in the same way that their parents and grand-parents would have before them, ensuring that there is a 100% guarantee for Pipers Farm produce.
"The passion of this family is inspiring. Peter Greig taught himself to butcher and experimented over many years with different cuts until he was satisfied. The family still experiment with different recipes and cuts and the judges were invited to stand around the frying pan at the farm with them to test the produce.
" It is an inclusive and supportive business that reaches out to and supports myriad local suppliers. Not only is the commitment to animal welfare, great taste and the local community paramount, there is also an encouraging glimpse into the future, with young Will bursting with ideas for the business. Pipers is an exceptional blend of heritage, tradition and dynamic enterprise."