The winners of the 2024 RBST Scotland Food & Farming Sustainability Awards were recognised at the Royal Highland Show with a presentation on 20th June 2024.

The awards for excellence in sustainable food and farming were presented to winners from across Scotland by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Mairi Gougeon MSP.

Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) is the national charity that promotes the UK’s rare native livestock and equine breeds. The RBST Scotland Food & Farming Sustainability awards, an important fixture in the Scottish farming calendar, celebrate the people and businesses throughout Scotland’s farming and food industry who have placed environmental sustainability and native breeds at the heart of their business 

Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon, who presented the awards to the winners at the Royal Highland Show, said: “I wish to thank the Rare Breeds Survival Trust for their ongoing work to protect and conserve a key part of Scotland’s rural heritage. Their ongoing expertise is vital in helping us to provide a future agricultural support system that is both sustainable and regenerative. I’d like to congratulate all of today’s winners and nominees for the important work that they continue to do to protect the most historic breeds in Scottish agriculture.”

Martin Beard, RBST Vice President Scotland, said: “The winners of this year’s RBST Scotland Food and Farming Sustainability Awards show just what can be achieved with native breeds at the heart of a sustainable business. The creativity, commitment to supporting the environment and entrepreneurial approach displayed by these winners is highly impressive and we are delighted to celebrate their work with these awards. We introduced two new award categories this year, reflecting the exciting innovation we are seeing in sustainable farm diversifications and in the development and marketing of sustainable produce. Entries for these and all the categories were of exceptionally high quality and we congratulate all those shortlisted as well as the award winners.”

 

The award winners for 2024 are:

  • Sustainable Farm of the Year - Uradale Farm (Scalloway, Shetland): the judges praised the forward-thinking farm for its demonstration of what can be achieved with using the right breed in the right place, and for the creation of a unique market for PDO organic native Shetland yarn.
  • Sustainable Small Farm of the Year (sponsored by The Scottish Smallholder Festival)The Lint Mill (South Lanarkshire): judges were impressed with the use of rare native breeds to support biodiversity, the focus on restoration alongside food production, and the farm’s strong diversification strategy. 
  • Sustainable Farm Diversification of the Year (sponsored by Burness Paull)Guardswell Farm (Perthshire): judges admired the quality and commitment to nature in the diversification of this small farm into rural escape destination alongside events, regenerative market garden, cider apple orchard and native livestock. 
  • Sustainable Food Producer of the Year (sponsored by Scotland Food & Drink)Butchery at Bowhouse (Fife): Showcasing the high quality end product from the estate’s native breeds, judges were impressed with the dedication to local, sustainable food and the business’ inspiring success in a difficult market.
  • Sustainable Chef of the Year (sponsored by Scottish Food Guide) - Paul Newman, Errichel (Aberfeldy, Perthshire): Errichel is a family farm based farm-to-fork business, and judges were impressed with Paul’s passion for showcasing the rare breeds reared on the farm on each plate at Errichel’s Thyme bistro.
  • Sustainable Produce Retail Outlet of the Year (sponsored by SAC Consulting)Chocflock (Dumfries & Galloway): Judges praised the Chocflock team’s passion for the rare native Castlemilk Moorit sheep, from animal to clothing and every stage in between, as well as an excellent online retail operation.
  • Sustainable Product of the Year – Orkney Boreray Salami from Highland Charcuterie (Sutherland): Judges commended the execution of a brave business plan with native breeds at its heart, and the locally-sourced fantastic end product. 
  • RBST Champion of the Year (sponsored by RBST) – Lorna Holden (Argyll): The judges were impressed with Lorna’s enormous dedication to the Eriskay pony breed and her years of hard work, energy and drive towards a clear goal to improve the outlook for this very rare breed.

The winners of the eight categories were chosen from the entrants by a judging panel led by RBST Scotland Chair Steve McMinn alongside creator of The Scottish Food Guide Wendy Barrie; Principal Consultant at SAC Consulting Ceri Ritchie; and Rosemary Champion of the Scottish Smallholder Festival. 

Quotes from a selection of the award winners:

Winner of the Sustainable Produce Retail Outlet of the Year - ChocFlock, a Dumfries and Galloway-based producer and retailer of handcrafted woollen products championing the rare Castlemilk Moorit breed. Rebecca McLellan who runs Chocflock said: “We are very proud to win this award, which is a real testament to the effort and skills of many people, from shearer to weaver to tailor. The digital revolution has opened up all kinds of opportunities for retailing the unique, high quality produce of our local native sheep breed and we have customers all over the world who really appreciate the creative passion for our Castlemilk Moorits that goes into what they buy from us.” 

Winner of Sustainable Farm Diversification of the Year - Guardswell Farm (Perthshire). Anna Lamotte, Founder and Managing Director of Guardswell Farm said: “We were beyond thrilled and bowled over to have been nominated in this new category, let alone to win it in its first year! RBST do such brilliant work for our native and rare breeds in Scotland, something that we feel strongly and passionately about ourselves, and the decisions we make in stocking the farm. We feel that there is only ever room for improvement within our diversified and farming enterprises and we hope to use this win to galvanise our efforts in the forthcoming years, we still have a long way to go at Guardswell Farm.” 

Winner of Sustainable Farm of the Year – Uradale Farm (Scalloway, Shetland). Jakob Eunson of Uradale Farm said: “"I am extremely humbled and honoured to have won the RBST Sustainable Farm of the Year. Not only is this a fantastic award for Uradale Farm to be awarded again, but it’s a fantastic award to the rare breeds we exclusively use with the Shetland native lamb and Shetland native cattle. As important of an award this is to us at Uradale Farm, it’s as important as a great advert to the Shetland native cattle and Shetland native lamb that we use. These breeds are reared on very poor forages and in very harsh conditions and yet they produce some of the nutrient rich, tastiest meats in the world."

Winner of Sustainable Food Producer of the Year - Butchery at Bowhouse (Fife), on Balcaskie Estate. Rosie Jack, Business Development Manager at Balcaskie, said: “We at the Butchery are very pleased to have been awarded Sustainable Food Producer of the Year by the RBST. Being part of Balcaskie Estate means we hand-select livestock from the farm team while also working seasonally to offer our customers meat when it's at its best. We will continue to champion rare breeds like Lincon Red beef and Tamworth pork for their quality and flavour.” 

 
Winner of Sustainable Food Producer of the Year - Butchery at Bowhouse


Sustainable Produce Retail Outlet of the Year - Chocflock


Sustainable Farm Diversification of the Year - Guardswell Farm


Sustainable Product of the Year – Orkney Boreray Salami from Highland Charcuterie


Sustainable Small Farm of the Year - The Lint Mill


Sustainable Chef of the Year - Paul Newman, Errichel


RBST Champion of the Year  – Lorna Holden (Collected by Mary McGillivray on behalf)


Sustainable Farm of the Year - Uradale Farm (Collected by Wendie Barrie on behalf)