Congratulations to the winners of the Kent & Medway Food and Drink Awards

In recognition of more than 600 years of agricultural history, the Rochester Bridge Trust has helped to celebrate a modern day farming achievement with sponsorship of the Farm Shop of the Year category in the Kent & Medway Food and Drink Awards.

Junior Warden Russell Cooper presented the trophy to Perry Court Farm of Ashford. He said: “I was pleased to announce the winner of the Farm Shop Award. The Rochester Bridge Trust has been involved with agriculture since the charity’s inception, more than 600 years ago, and so to support this category is one of our ways of helping to celebrate the excellent work of the farming community.

Picture courtesy of KM Media Group
Picture courtesy of KM Media Group

“Farm shops are the public face of agriculture, and it’s good to see three excellent examples listed as finalists in these awards, with special congratulations going to the winners, Perry Court Farm.”

Owned by the Fermor family since the 1950s, Perry Court Farm first became known for its vast strawberry fields. Now, the farm grows and sells apples, pears, cherries, potatoes and asparagus and employs 25 members of staff, including three of Martin and Heidi Fermor’s four children.

The three finalists were Perry Court Farm, Ashford; Macknade, Faversham; and Brambledown Farm Shop, Sheppey.

The Rochester Bridge Trust, which provides the bridges over the River Medway at Rochester at no cost to the public, sponsored the category because of its long history of farming and its commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

Tim Cathcart, Chief Estates Officer at the Trust, added: “A substantial part of the income that allows the Rochester Bridge Trust to provide the crossings comes from our agricultural property estate. Many of the agricultural properties are in Kent and include soft fruit farms, orchards, vineyards, arable land and grazing.

“The Rochester Bridge Trust, which has achieved net zero carbon management of its bridges and other activities, recognises that farm shops provide an opportunity to ‘buy local’ reducing food miles and cutting carbon emissions. We congratulate all the finalists on being champions of the local economy.”

As well as supporting the awards, the Rochester Bridge Trust is keen to help young people as they prepare for a career in farming. It offers the annual Spence Agricultural Scholarship to pupils looking to study agriculture at university.

For more information about the Spence Agricultural Scholarship and other opportunities visit the scholarships web page.

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