The brothers behind a successful regional egg production business are celebrating their inclusion in a national industry awards line-up for the first time.
Richard and Stephen Tulip, of County Durham-based Lintz Hall Farm, have been shortlisted in the Poultry Farmer of the Year category in the 2013 Farmers’ Weekly Awards.
Regarded as the Oscars of the agricultural world, the competition aims to recognise and reward farmers for innovation, commitment and hard work and honour the industry’s unsung heroes.
It is the first time that the family-run Lintz Hall Farm at Burnopfield, has been in the finals of the national awards.
The Tulips’ success has been made all the more sweet by the fact that not only was Lintz Hall Farm nominated for the accolade by other poultry industry stalwarts, but that the business, which employs 41 staff, is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Lintz Hall Farm is the North East’s biggest and longest-established egg producer, and its wares can be found on supermarket shelves across the region.
Sales and marketing director Richard, 36, and production director Stephen, 40, are up against egg producers from West Sussex and Aberystwyth, Wales, in their category.
Winning would cap off a remarkable 12 months for Lintz Hall. Last September, the brothers bought out Sunny Hill Free Range Eggs at Belford, Northumberland, which also included the Oxenrig brand.
Just before Christmas, the Tulips acquired another 100-acre farm complete with 12,000-bird free-range unit, just a mile from their current base in the heart of the Derwent Valley, bringing the number of their hens to almost 300,000.
Last night, Richard said he and Stephen were surprised and humbled to have been shortlisted in the awards.
He added: “The Farmers’ Weekly awards celebrate the best of British producers and are highly-coveted and respected, being judged by experts in both farming and retail circles.
“Just to have made the shortlist – and to know that you were nominated by your peers – is extraordinarily exciting and helps you stand out against your competitors.
“To win would be phenomenal after what has already been an incredible last 12 months for Lintz Hall Farm, and would help to push a business that has been quietly growing and improving for six decades onto a whole new plane.
“It makes retailers sit up and take notice, opens doors that might otherwise have been closed to you and helps raise awareness about you and your business.”
Lintz Hall is an RSPCA Freedom Food and British Lion Code-approved company which supplies Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Nisa and Costcutter in the North East, Borders and South East Scotland as well as scores of independent outlets with its Lintz Hall Premier Quality and Derwent Valley egg brands.
It is also the sole supplier of locally-produced free-range eggs to both Tesco and Asda throughout the North East.
It recently received a local supplier award from Asda for active sales growth, while it has seen its large pack of six Derwent Valley Free Range Eggs achieve the highest unit rate of sale in Tesco nationally.
The winner of the award will be announced at a glittering ceremony at a hotel in London’s Park Lane. Richard said: “History has shown that those people who have been shortlisted and then gone on to win have gone from strength to strength. We are already well down that road.
“But perhaps more importantly, this nomination reflects well on the hard work and dedication of everyone here at Lintz Hall. Without them this business could not and would not survive.
“Stephen and I are very much looking forward to going to the awards ceremony in October and hopefully bringing back the winner’s trophy to the North East.”