We’ve been shortlisted for Co-op Producer of the Year (and we need your help to win!)

by Lawrence Frohn, January 12, 2017

In the depths of winter when it’s freezing outside and dark when I leave the house, I must admit I have to dig just a little bit deeper for motivation. Without a doubt, my biggest source of motivation is our customer base. But industry recognition for all the work we do here at Hillfarm comes a close second, and it doesn’t get much better than being nominated for the East of England Co-op’s Sourced Locally 2017 Producer of the Year!

The Producer of the Year Awards are designed to highlight the work of people across all of Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex who make or grow the produce sold in East of England Co-op stores. The awards are now in their fifth year, and I never fail to be hugely inspired by the award-winners and nominees on an annual basis. And I speak on behalf of the whole team here in saying that we feel honoured to be in such wonderful company on 2017’s shortlist!

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We all believe passionately about what we do, and how we do it. It’s really rewarding to know that there are people out there who are supporting us and share our beliefs.

We’d absolutely love you to vote for Hillfarm in the Producer of the Year awards – here are a few reasons why we think we deserve the top-prize!

Why have we been shortlisted?

The East of England Co-op decided to shortlist Hillfarm based on a number of important factors. Here’s a quick run-down.

  1. We produce the highest quality products in a sustainable way, without compromise. As a true family business, we have kept our values from the very beginning and that’s something we will never compromise on.
  2. Our environmental credentials are top-notch. We’ve been given the silver accreditation by the Suffolk Carbon Charter, in recognition of our eco-friendly farming practices. Our bees pollinate our crops, our electricity comes from PV panels on our roofs, and we even use our home-grown poultry manure for fertilising.
  3. We regularly work with other local suppliers, for example with manufacturing and packaging our range of hand lotions using our award winning cold pressed rapeseed oil.
  4. We’re very keen on sharing our knowledge by taking on local apprentices, providing placements for university students, visiting schools and going along to family festivals.

BBC Radio Suffolk photo

You can find out more about Hillfarm by listening to me chat to Radio Suffolk about the upcoming awards. Fast-forward to 31 minutes in for the full interview!

We need your vote!

The first round of the Producer of the Year Awards is decided by YOU! We’d absolutely love to be finalists, but we need your help to get there and we’d really appreciate your support. To cast your vote for Hillfarm, simply go to the East of England Co-op website or visit your local East of England Co-op store and complete a voting card. A huge thank you for myself and the whole team in advance!

Voting is open until the end of this month, Tuesday 31st January. The votes will whittle it down to three finalists, with each producer then having a visit from food and farming experts who will eventually crown the winner in March at the annual Supplier Supper.

We’re not complacent about getting your vote, so here are a few extra reasons why we think you should cast your vote for Hillfarm!

  1. We have an unwavering passion in producing a really good, healthy and natural product
  2. All our oil is grown, pressed and bottled on our family-run farm. That means we know exactly what goes into every bottle, and there are virtually zero ‘food miles’ during production
  3. We’re a local business, employing local people
  4. We pioneered ‘cold pressed’ rapeseed oil back in 2004, kick-starting an industry that now supports 30-40 businesses here in the UK
  5. We’re conscientious about how we make our oil. We are trustees of the land, and we look after it throughout every stage of farming
  6. We produce virtually no waste as our by-product, rapeseed meal, is used as feed on a neighbour’s pig farm
  7. We support the local Suffolk economy by buying our packaging and services from other Suffolk businesses wherever we can
  8. The Hillfarm site is powered by solar panels, making us truly sustainable
  9. We set ourselves very high environmental standards, with the most recent example being our thriving bee farm which produces our Hillfarm honey

So please vote Hillfarm Oils as your Suffolk Producer of the Year 2017!

WP_20170104_003If you’d like to chat with us before casting your votes, we’ll be making visits to the East of England Co-op stores on the following dates. We’d love to see you there!

  • 11th Jan – Wickham Market
  • 12th Jan – Debenham
  • 13th Jan – Leiston
  • 18th Jan – Framlingham
  • 19th Jan – Leiston
  • 20th Jan – Sax Rd, Aldeburgh

 

 

 

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