The cream of the UK farming industry gathered in London this week for the National Farmers’ Union’s annual Farming Excellence Awards.

Everything from retailing to high environmental standards received honours during the lunchtime awards ceremony.

The Great British food award title was taken by Judy Bell of Shepherd’s Purse Cheeses, North Yorkshire, for her award winning range of sheep’s cheese products.

The innovation award was taken by Clem Tompsett of Tompsett Burgess Growers, Cambridge, for his development of the purple carrot.

On the retail side, Stuart Beare, of Tulleys Farm, West Sussex, took the farm retailer of the year award for turning his family owned pick-your-own business into a world class farm shop.

The farming ambassador of the year was revealed as Guy Smith of Wigboro Wick Farm, Essex, who had worked tirelessly to promote the farming image.

Young farmer of the year was given to Richard Geldard, of JA and R Geldard and Sons, Cumbria, for his future vision.

The farming for wildlife award was given to Tom Meikle of Lower Freelands Farm, Worcestershire, for his conservation work, which includes creating a reed bed system to reduce pollution.

And finally, the Daily Telegraph David Brown Award was given to Nicholas Watts of Vine House Farm Bird Foods, Lincolnshire, who was described by NFU President Tim Bennett as a world class producer.

NFU President Tim Bennett said: “There’s no doubt that we face times of great change and we will have to work hard, but I’m encouraged by the fact there’s so much determination and dedication shown by our farmers.

“If the rest of industry can follow these people’s examples then we have a good future.”