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National recognition for a true local hero

A Northumberland Farm Shop has been highly commended in the nationally recognised “Rural Oscars” after winning the regional title of
“Best Local Butcher” earlier this month.

The Blagdon Farm Shop has been recognised in the Countryside Alliance awards and was delighted to receive national recognition at an awards ceremony presented to the top rural businesses by the Secretary of State for Defra, Owen Paterson MP, at the Houses of Parliament.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: “These awards celebrate rural businesses across the UK from post offices to butchers, they are the backbone of rural life and it is vital that we do all we can help create the right conditions to allow these businesses to compete and thrive.”

The awards are now in their ninth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win.

The shop, which was previously titled “Local Food Hero” for the previous two years, was acknowledged for supporting the local farming community and its commitment to educating the next generation in the craft of butchery.

Simon Osborne, head butcher at The Blagdon Farm Shop, said: “We are absolutely delighted and the whole team is on a high! To have been considered for the national awards and getting this commendation is a dream come true.

“We think the main reasons we were successful are because of our passion and commitment to supporting local food, offering excellent customer service and our produce tastes great.”

The retailer was recognised by its customers who nominated it for the regional award, automatically providing a pathway to the national awards held recently in London.

Countryside Alliance Awards judge, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Blagdon always has wonderful produce and the butchery counter is a must-visit, offering a wide range of the finest meat Northumbria can offer.

“Simon and his team work hard with other farmers so that the taste and quality cannot be beaten, and the bestselling Blagdon banger needs to be tasted to be believed!”

The Blagdon Farm Shop had its eyes securely locked on the main prize, shop manager, Joanne Celerier said: “It would have been amazing to win the national title of Best Local Butcher in the country, but a highly commended award is a real boost to our business and shows our little farm shop is right up there amongst the best in the industry.”

In other good news, the firm’s apprentice, Daniel Lovatt has been recognised by The Meat Training Council and Institute of Meat as the Best Young Meat Management Student.

The firm is keen to support apprenticeships and is in the process of looking to hire another.

Having being established 11 years ago, The Blagdon Farm Shop continues to go from strength to strength as more and more people become interested in where their food comes from.

The shop has plans to expand in the near future and has already secured some additional units for development.

The Blagdon Farm Shop is located in The Milkhope Centre, on the Blagdon Estate and stocks an extensive range of wholesome, freshly produced local food.

For more information, please visit: http://www.theblagdonfarmshop.co.uk



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