The woman behind a free-range egg brand that’s taking supermarkets by storm has been named Cornwall’s Farmer of the Year.
Rebecca Tonks, who runs St Ewe Free Range Eggs based at Tregony with her parents Richard and Christine, also won the title of Best Woman in Farming at the Cornwall Farm Business Awards last night (Thursday February 27).
Sponsored by Coodes Solicitors and organised by farming charity the Addington Fund, the awards recognised and celebrate Cornwall’s diverse and resilient agricultural industry.
More than 200 farmers and agricultural specialists gathered at the Pavilion Centre at the Royal Cornwall Showground for the winners to be unveiled.
Ms Tonks said of her win: “This award isn’t for me – it’s just a real team effort. My dad is really committed to high nutrition for our birds, which is why our eggs are proving so popular.
“We’re now in three main supermarkets between here and Wiltshire, and these awards are a testament to our collective hard work.”
Pam Johns, agricultural specialist at Coodes Solicitors, said: “St Ewe is a brilliant example of how Cornish farming is making an impact on a national scale. They’ve focused on a really good quality product with superb marketing, which is now finding great commercial success.”
St Ewe Free Range Eggs, based at Ventonwyn Farm, Tregony, packages and sells eggs from 42,000 high-welfare birds. They are stocked at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda stores in Cornwall, Devon and beyond.
Also commended on the night was recently retired farming journalist Peter Hall, who after editing the Western Morning News’ farming pages for 12 years was named Farming Champion.
Ian Bell from the Addington Fund said: “Peter is synonymous with farming in the South West, and as farming editor at the Western Morning News he campaigned and represented the major issues that have impacted agriculture over the past 10 years.
“He really is the voice of farming in the South West and is our ideal winner for the Farming Champion.”
Full list of winners as follows:
Best Dairy Farmer sponsored by Rodda’s – Neville Morrow (Laddock)
Best Woman in Farming sponsored by Worldwide Financial Planning – Rebecca Tonks (St Ewe Eggs, Ventonwyn Farm, Tregony)
Best Commercial Farmer sponsored by Hodgson’s – Jonathan Cole, Trebartha Barton, (Launceston)
Best Farm Processor sponsored by Cornwall Agri-Food Council – David Buscombe (Cornish Mill and Bakehouse – St Newlyn East)
Farming Champion sponsored by NFU Mutual – Peter Hall (Western Morning News)
Best Farm Diversification sponsored by Chesterton Humberts & AMC
– James Mutton (St Mabyn)
Best Young Farmer by Francis Clark – Nathan Pryor (Stithians)
Cornwall’s Farmer of the Year – Rebecca Tonks (St Ewe Eggs, Ventonwyn Farm, Tregony)