BEST ESSEX PRODUCER
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.