Countryside Alliance Awards


Sir Alan Haselhurst, Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden, has congratulated two businesses in the constituency who have made the East of England regional finals of the Rural Oscars. Humphreys Butchers of Saffron Walden represent the constituency against butchers from Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire, while in the Start-Up category the Local Food (& More!) Co-operative at Little Canfield takes on businesses from Norfolk and Suffolk.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, known as the Rural Oscars, celebrate the people, produce and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick. Now in their eighth year the Awards run across five categories. Regional finalists will now be judged and the winners announced in January 2013. Regional winners go on to compete against businesses from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Chris and Andy at Humphreys have been praised for always taking time with everyone that visits the shop in Saffron Walden. They know everyone by name and always find bones for dogs! They also take time to show children how they prepare the meat such as noisettes, which makes a visit to Humphrey Butchers a joy.

The Local Food (& More!) Co-operative is a great new not-for-private-profit rural enterprise in Little Canfield.  The Co-operative runs a weekend Cafe facility to encourage wider use of The Flitch Way - a walking/cycling path & one of Essex Council's linear Country Parks.  The Co-operative also runs monthly Local Food (& More!) food markets, promoting local food producers.  Trading since July, the Co-operative is run by volunteers and already has over 120 subscribed members from the local community involved in the project.

Sir Alan commented: “I congratulate everyone at Humphreys Butchers and at Local Food (&More!) for making the regional finals of the Countryside Alliance awards. I am proud to support the hard working businesses from the local area who contribute to both the rural economy and their own communities. It is vitally important that we do all we can to support our food producers and small businesses as they are the lifeblood of rural Britain. I wish both businesses luck and hope to welcome them to the Parliamentary finals next year”.

Countryside Alliance Eastern Regional Director, William Burton, commented: “The Rural Oscars are an inspiring shop window for our small businesses and we are very proud to honour them through this Awards scheme. Certainly the butcher category is one of the most popular, meaning Humphreys really is at the heart of its community. We are also encouraged by the calibre in our new start-up category, showing that new businesses are starting out despite the tough economic climate. In both cases I applaud the dedication of these businesses and look forward to meeting the team at each shop.”