The team at a poultry business based near Driffield are celebrating after being shortlisted in two categories of the Rural Business Awards.
T.Soanes & Son was announced as finalists in the Rural Employer of the Year and Best Food and Drink Business categories by award organisers last week.
Following a points-based judging process, the long-standing farm-based business is now up against four other businesses in each of the two categories with award winners to be announced in the autumn.
General manager Nigel Upson said: “This business has spent some 70 years rearing quality chicken to butchers both locally and regionally and has done a magnificent job of providing rural jobs over those years.
“I thought it was time that Soanes Poultry shouted loud about its achievement because at our heart, we embody everything that is rural, that is nurturing rural jobs, local people, local suppliers and the rural economy.
“It is wonderful to have reached the finals in both categories and we know there is solid competition out there so it’s certainly a marked achievement for the business.”
To reach the final five of the Rural Employer of the Year category, the business had to demonstrate satisfactory levels of staff development, retention and recruitment, high employee engagement, excellent leadership and management, and creative and collaborative customer service among other requirements.
Meanwhile, for Best Food and Drink Business, the onus was on proving a commitment to promoting the ‘best of British’ using sustainable quality ingredients and being a leader in the British food and drink producer field.
Now in their third year, the Rural Business Awards, in partnership with the Country Land and Business Association and Amazon, are dedicated to showcasing the success of UK rural businesses.
Hundreds of organisations from 52 counties entered the Awards this year, with nearly three times as many entries as last year.
The Rural Business Awards co-founder Anna Price said: “These awards give rural enterprises of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their success and the contribution they are making to our thriving rural economy.
“If ever there was a sector of business which screamed ‘countryside’, it’s food and drink and we were blown away by our entries in this category. Our judges noted one of the reasons that Soanes Poultry was chosen as a finalist was because the company can illustrate that it impacts positively on local lives whilst operating in a national commercial market.
“The firm’s positive impact on the local community was clear, it’s super to see businesses engaging with their stakeholders so successfully as part of their normal operations. We wish them, and all the other finalists, good luck.”
The results of this year’s awards will be revealed at the ceremony at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey, on October 5.