As you know, Alder Carr Farm is very much a family affair, having been founded by Joan and Nick Hardingham back in 1981. Since then, the farm and farm shop have gone from strength to strength, with Ellie Sheldrake, (Joan and Nick's daughter) now running the farm with her husband, Barry, whilst Stephany Hardingham (also Joan and Nick's daughter) has also won multiple awards for her Alder Tree ice-cream.
Read on to find out why Amy, Ellie and Stephany's sister, is the latest family entrepreneur winning national recognition.
We're delighted to announce that Amy Hardingham has just scooped the 'Gold' award for her sustainable charcoal 'Barbecube' product at the Ixion Enterprise Awards 2014.
The annual awards celebrate the achievements of more than 5,000 businesses across East Anglia, Essex and South London.
Barbecube, a locally-grown instant lighting charcoal, was only launched in September last year but in just ten months has now been made available in over 140 stores across the UK including Alder Carr Farm and East of England Co-op stores throughout East Anglia.
On being presented the 'Enterpirse of the Year and Gold for Innovation' title by Employment Minister, Esther McVey at Central Hall Westminster, Amy, the brainchild behind the product said, "It's fantastic news and great to see people really getting behind the idea of using British charcoal.
"Up until now, if you wanted to have a barbecue your only option was to buy imported charcoal soaked in lighter fuel. These commonly contain material from rainforests and have been transported half way round the world, "said Amy. "I wanted to change this."
The Barbecube's innovative packaging serves as fuel for lighting the charcoal so there's no waste packing to throw away, whilst the charcoal contains no chemical additives and no material from rainforests. It's quick, too, with the charcoal being ready to cook on
"People are used to thinking about where their food comes from but they don't extend this to the fuel they use for their barbecue. Charcoal production is a major global driver of deforestation. Buying British charcoal not only protects forests overseas but helps to support Britain's woodland economy and wildlife," says Amy.
The wood used for the Barbecube is grown on land at Alder Carr Farm.
Well done, Amy. We're so proud of you!!!