York farmer Olly Heywood has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to sustainable farming and crowned Marks & Spencer’s Farming for the Future award winner for England & Wales 2014.
The prestigious award was announced at the M&S stand on the first day of the Great Yorkshire Show.
Olly, from Heywood Farms in York, triumphed in the influential farming awards thanks to his commitment to educating and encouraging future generations of farmers.
His 270 acre farm specialises in rearing sheep and provides high quality lamb to M&S through supplier Dawn Meats.
In addition to his day job, Olly provides work experience for teenagers during the summer months and gives lectures on insights into farming.
M&S Farming for the Future is a programme of initiatives which champions sustainability and innovation.
The programme is designed to help farmers identify opportunities for improvement, increase their profitability and provide a sustainable supply chain that can continue to deliver quality and innovation for the long term.
The awards celebrate suppliers working towards important M&S Plan A commitments including becoming carbon neutral, sending no waste to landfill, extending sustainable sourcing, setting new standards in ethical trading, and helping customers and employees live a healthier lifestyle.
Steve Mclean, M&S head of Agriculture & Fisheries, said:
“Choosing the winner of our M&S Farming for the Future England & Wales Awards gets tougher every year but Olly’s commitment to innovation, best practice and future-proof farming really set him apart from the competition.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Olly for his forward thinking approach and dedication to farming excellence.
“He has demonstrated a real drive to go the extra mile both in the quality of his produce and in his approach to sustainability.
“We are delighted to be honouring Olly here at the Great Yorkshire Show.”
“I’m absolutely delighted. It’s great to work with a big retailer like M&S which recognises the importance of high quality produce and the need to safe-guard our agricultural industry for future generations.
“These awards are a true validation of the hard work farmers are putting in right across the country and it’s a real honour to have been chosen as this year’s winner.”