January 19, 2021

Yorkshire poultry experts celebrate double success in prestigious rural awards

Carolyn Pennock, second from left, and Nigel Upson, far right from Soanes with fellow award winners Tom and Gill Mellor from Wold Top Brewery Carolyn Pennock and Nigel Upson

An East Yorkshire family poultry business has won two categories at the CLA and Amazon sponsored Rural Business Awards 2017.

T.Soanes and Son Poultry, from Driffield, was presented with the awards for Britain’s Best Rural Food and Drink Business and Rural Employer of the Year at the awards ceremony that was held at Denbies Wine Estates in Surrey recently.

Judges were impressed that the business promotes from within, adding that staff were “clearly valued and treated as an asset”. They said the company had a “solid, joined-up view about employment”, developing talent and knowing how long staff had been working for them.

Andrew Soanes, from T.Soanes & Son Poultry, said: “Even after 70 years in business, it’s always great to be recognised with a national award and they don’t come much better than the Rural Business Awards.

“Our business has seen many highs and lows over the last 70 years so we know how important it is to cherish and support rural enterprises. Being named winner of two categories at this year’s Rural Business Awards is a great honour for us.

“It’s wonderful to be recognised in our sector as the Best Food and Drink Business, however, to be awarded Rural Employer of the Year is particularly special because it recognises how we run our company and how much we value, and invest in, our employees.”

The awards ceremony at Denbies Wine Estates, Surrey, was compered by Jules Hudson of BBC Escape to the Country fame. Now in their third year, the national awards are dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses.

Awards programme co-founder, Jemma Clifford, said: “Rural communities absolutely and utterly depend on fabulous local employment. It’s not easy to find jobs in rural areas and that’s why we wanted to showcase those businesses which are pulling out all the stops to create employment.

“More than that, we were looking for firms which are actually nurturing talent and creating not just jobs but enviable careers. This category of our awards saw a huge surge in interest this year but T.Soanes and Son really stood out as an outstanding employer really looking after its staff.”

Fellow co-founder, Anna Price, said: “We were blown away by our entries in the Best Rural Food and Drink Business category but T.Soanes & Son Poultry were clear winners. This family-owned business is showing such commitment to the local community while staying on top of its game in a really competitive marketplace.”

T. Soanes and Son rears over five million birds a year on 11 farms and the business sells premium chicken to butchers and independent retailers in Yorkshire, and to wholesalers and restaurateurs nationwide.