Queens Awards for agricultural enterprise

The 2016 Queen’s Awards for Industry, revealed last week, include five businesses with links to agriculture. The Awards, the UK’s highest accolade for business success, recognise outstanding achievement by UK companies in the fields of innovation, international trade, and sustainable development.  2016is the 50th year of the Queens’ Awards scheme

Devenish Nutrition International, the export division of the Belfast-based feed manufacturer, receives the Queen’s Award for International Trade for its 300% increase in overseas sales during the last three years.


Since the division was created in 2012, it has established over 25 overseas markets for its vitamin and mineral premixes, neonatal feeds and other nutrition products, with a strategy of working directly with largescale buyers. It has also established bases in eight of these countries.

 “It is a great honour to be recognised through this prestigious award,” comments Owen Brennan, Devenish Group executive chairman. “We strive to go beyond nutrition, building our business through the talent and expertise of our people; the integrity of our brand and customer service, our independent nature and international outlook.  When we launched our international division we set out to grow the business organically year-on-year by 75%, and we are very pleased with our progress.

 “We spend over £30million each year on innovation and this has proved to be a solid foundation for business growth, both locally and internationally.  We have also invested heavily in developing new markets and expect to see this translated into further significant growth in the coming years as we continue to expand our international presence,” he concludes.

Delamere Dairy, the Lancashire-based specialist in dairy goat and cow’s milk products, receives a Queen’s Award for International Trade for “outstanding growth over the last three years”. The company, with annual sales of £20 million, now exports to 20 countries in the Far and Middle East, Europe and North America. China is its largest market – predominantly for UHT milk – and the company has opened offices in Belgium and Hong Kong.

Liz Sutton, Delamere dairy founder and co-owner comments: “When my husband Roger and I started the business all those years ago, we made it our mission to make goats’ milk readily available all across the UK in every supermarket as well as rural village shops. We never imagined at that time we would see Delamere Dairy products on supermarket shelves in Italy, China and the USA.”

Managing director and co-owner Ed Salt adds: “We’re thrilled to have been ranked so highly amongst other progressive, ambitious companies, operating on a global level. It’s significant that a speciality dairy company has been born from a region renowned for traditional dairy and is pushing the boundaries with its product innovation in the UK and in markets across the globe.”

GA Pet Products of Chorley, Lancashire receives the Queens Award for International Trade for its “continuous achievement in overseas markets”.  The business started as an arable farm diversification, producing dry extruded pet foods from cereals produced on the farm. Export sales have grown by 49% - worth £8 million – over the past 3 years.

Probiotics International, located in Somerset, produces the Protexin range of probiotic supplements for human and veterinary markets. International sales account for 60% of turnover and have risen threefold in the last 6 years.

Gripple, the Sheffield manufacturer of a wire fence joining system, receives a Queens Award for International Trade for its continuous international growth over the past six years. The business exports to more than 80 countries around the world.

Apetito, a Wiltshire based manufacturer of frozen meals for the welfare sector, receives the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Founder and chief executive Paul Freeston is also a director of Countrywide Farmers