Organic dale farm shop wins 'rural Oscar'
CROSS Lanes Organic Farm has been judged a regional winner in the Countryside Alliance Awards.
The awards, nicknamed the “rural Oscars”, are an annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage.
Now in their 15th year, they have become the definitive rural business prize to win. Driven by public nomination, they offer customers the chance to say why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.
This year there were more than 18,000 nominations – a record. Judges said the regional finalists have done exceptional well to even go this far because the competition was “incredibly high”.
Cross Lanes was named North East winner in the “local food/drink” category.
The judges noted: “Cross Lanes can talk you through the whole story from pointing to the animals in the field, to the produce on the shelf which ensures this business is a family favourite.”
Deborah Hare, from Cross Lanes, said: “After a challenging year through Covid, ‘team Cross Lanes’ have nailed it.
“We are so proud and overwhelmed to be announced regional winner in the Countryside Alliance Awards.
“This is the uplift we needed and encouragement to keep going – it is such an honour for our continued hard work to be recognised.
“This award is special, highlighting everything that Cross Lanes stands for and that we are passionate about.
“It is such a prestigious award to win as they are driven by nominations from the public. A huge thank you goes out to our amazing team for getting us through this and an even bigger thank you to our fantastic customers who have stuck by us – without their loyalty and continuous support we would not be here.”
Cross Lanes Organic Farm is a family business. The organic restaurant serves meals using organic, fresh, wild, local and home-grown ingredients. The traditional butchers is supplied by the family farm next door, where Simon Hare is dedicated to regenerative farming and is the only farm in the North East producing organic Pasture for Life beef.
The main aim of the farm shop is to support local producers as well as selling an extensive range of Cross Lanes products made in house.
Through the lockdowns, Cross Lanes provided a Grab and Go and home delivery service to the community. An online shop has been developed, providing a nationwide delivery service of organic meat and other shop goods.
Countryside Alliance Awards director Sarah Lee commented: “This year’s regional finalists are all truly exceptional.
“We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year. The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.
“They 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.”