‘Local Food & Drink Champion’ in The Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars.

The Courtyard Dairy has been crowned ‘Local Food & Drink Champion’ for The North of England in The Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars.

The Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars are an annual celebration of the best of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage available through small hard-working businesses.

The Courtyard Dairy competed against businesses throughout the north. Kathy Swinscoe, one of the directors of The Courtyard Dairy, was thrilled that the business won the regional final: “It’s been a busy year for us, as we have grown into our new premises at the former Falconry Centre on the A65 near Settle,” she said, “So to become regional champion and make it through to the national final is a great reward and recognises the excellent efforts made by all our staff. It’s also a testament to our business ethos of supporting the small independent farms that are making amazing cheese – and helping the market for these tastiest of cheeses to grow!”

The award judges were quick to praise the business “Andy and Kathy Swinscoe at The Courtyard Dairy enthusiastically support small farmers making cheese in traditional ways. What defines this business is the way that it sources and champions products from local producers, and they offer an excellent selection of cheeses from the north of England. Over the last five years they have been able to support three local farms to establish traditional cheese-making; fulfilling a valuable role in the local community.”

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee explained the rationale behind the awards: “This year’s regional winners are all truly exceptional. The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services. The awards exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight. These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition.”

As Regional Champions, The Courtyard Dairy will participate in the national finals, which will be held at the House of Lords on 25th April 2018.