04th October, 2017
Over 350 key members of the dairy industry attended the ever-popular event on Tuesday 3 October which was held in partnership with Barber’s, Yeo Valley, Rodda’s, Wyke Farms, Lye Cross Farms, Crediton Dairy and Coombe Farm; West Country Family Dairy Businesses working together. While the reception was supported by long term partners, Burges Salmon.
The keynote speech was delivered by Mrs Minette Batters NFU Deputy President in which she called on Government to recognise the specific needs of the British dairy industry to ensure it remains competitive in a post-Brexit era. Mrs Batters asserted that the policies must be right on trade, labour and a domestic agricultural policy.
This year the Dairy Industry Award was a slightly different award;
Just after the Royal Bath and West Show in June a prominent farmer, businessman and supporter of the Bath & West was killed in a freak farm accident doing what he loved best – farming.
Derek Mead campaigned hard on behalf of the dairy industry; speaking in 2015 he described all areas of British farming as being “on the floor” but said dairy farming had “been in crisis for the last 20 years and it’s about time it was sorted out”.
As Chairman of the Mead Realisations Group, Mr. Mead was instrumental in the creation of Puxton Park, near Weston-super-Mare with his son, Alastair, and the agri-focussed development at Junction 24, Bridgwater, with his daughter Kathryn, that has opened-up the West Country for numerous businesses that support the farming community. His investment of £10m to help develop Sedgemoor Livestock Centre into one of the largest markets in country had “put new heart back in to the livestock trade” after foot and mouth.
The Dairy Industry Award 2017 was therefore posthumously awarded to Mr. Mead in recognition of his forthright and passionate contribution to West Country agriculture.
The award was announced by Mr Mark Duddridge, Rodda’s Operational Director, and presented to Mr. Mead’s son, Alastair by Mrs Mary Prior CVO MBE JP President of The Royal Bath & West of England Society and Mrs Minette Batters.
Outgoing Chairman of The Dairy Show, Mr Richard Calver was presented with a special award by Mrs Mary Prior and Mr David Cotton, the newly appointed Chairman.