Essex Life - - FOOD & DRINK -

Judges: Rose­mary Pad­field and He­len McTurk Spon­sored by: Belle­fontaines Highly Com­mended: Brad­fields Farm Dairy, North Ben­fleet Highly Com­mended: Martin’s Lane Vine­yard, Stow Maries

Win­ner: Cotchel – Ge­orge Thomp­son Ltd, Great Oak­ley

What the judges said:

Every­thing was Es­sex based, with the pro­duc­tion and pack­ing all done on the farm. We were also im­pressed at how they had taken their fruit pro­duc­tion to not only juic­ing for sev­eral va­ri­eties of ap­ple juice but en­sur­ing they utilised all the waste fruit — cap­i­tal­is­ing on this with the ap­ple juice and for the fruit gins. Above every­thing we en­joyed the team’s dy­namic ap­proach to pro­duc­tion. They were very in­no­va­tive and al­ways pre­pared to try new prod­ucts and ideas for pro­duc­tion as well as new mar­ket­ing routes.

What the win­ner said:

We are hon­oured, hum­bled and in great com­pany, es­pe­cially when you look at who we were up against and who has won this category be­fore us. We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to next year. This award is bril­liant. Cotchel is a very new brand and we are find­ing our feet, so this is re­ally great pub­lic­ity for us. It’s a great way to con­nect to new cus­tomers.

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