CLA & Agricultural Society announce return of prestigious awards

At the CLA’s IOW ‘Food vs. Environment’ debate, the CLA and the Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society announced the return of their prestigious awards celebrating rural work and life on the island – and nominations are now open.

The Isle of Wight Rural Awards honour those who demonstrate success and achievement from all parts of the rural economy.

The winners will be crowned at a presentation at the Royal Isle of Wight County Show on 28 June in the CLA Show Theatre at 11.30am, followed by a drinks reception in the CLA’s marquee. Winners also receive an Island-shaped wooden trophy, rosette and certificate.

To enter, businesses, individuals and organisations can nominate themselves, or be nominated by others.

The categories in the Isle of Wight Rural Awards 2020 are:

  • Wight Marque Food Business of the Year
  • Rural Tourism Business of the Year
  • Small Countryside Business of the Year (up to five employees)
  • Countryside Business of the Year (six or more employees)
  • An overall winner from the above four categories, receiving the Isle of Wight Rural Business of the Year award
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Rural Young Person of the Year (aged 26 and under).

The awards recognise those individuals and businesses who represent the very best of rural achievement on the Isle of Wight.

The panel of judges, made up of CLA IOW Senior Adviser Cindy Betley, the Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society’s Danny Horne and independent Chairman Robert Lovegrove, will meet and assess the shortlisted finalists ahead of the show.

CLA South East represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses across the Isle of Wight and is this year sponsoring the Show Theatre (next to the WightFibre Main Ring), which will be branded as the CLA Show Theatre.

Senior Adviser on the island Cindy Betley said: “The CLA is immensely proud to be part of the rural community, and these awards really highlight the incredible individuals and businesses we have on the island.

“Last year we had some inspirational winners, and we’re hoping for more of the same this summer. This is the third year we’ve run these awards and it’s pleasing to see them grow; we’ve got more categories this year and new faces on the judging panel.”

Graham Biss, Vice Chairman of RIWAS, said: “The Island’s rural sector is a hub of innovation and enterprise, and the awards are designed to promote and celebrate excellence across the whole sector. We would encourage every type of business, big or small to submit a nomination form.”

Last year the Food and Drink Business award went to Island Roasted/Caffe Isola, while The Garlic Farm was crowned best Rural Tourism Business. Tapnell Farm Park triumphed in the Rural Commerce Business category, with The Garlic Farm named the overall winner and the Isle of Wight Rural Business of the Year 2019. The award for Rural Apprentice of the Year went to Will Earley, and the Lifetime Achievement was won by Sir Martin White.

To nominate please download the application form on the RIWAS or CLA website and submit it by post or email before the final deadline of April 30. Visit