The Countryside Alliance is delighted to announce that William Sitwell, Waitrose Magazine Editor and Master Chef critic and Defra Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, are the two new judges on this years’ panel for the Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’.

Joining them on the judging panel is:

  • Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance
  • Phil Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • Emma Penny, Farmers Guardian
  • Peter Gott, Sillfield Farm
  • Sally Merison, Clarissa Judge
  • Baroness Mallalieu, Clarissa Judge

The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to tell us why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. Judges will not just be looking for evidence of great produce, customer service and innovation, but stories of how businesses serve their communities.

William Sitwell, Waitrose Food Editor, MasterChef critic commented: “I am delighted to be a judge on the 2017 Countryside Alliance Awards – these Awards reward the very best of our produce, entrepreneurial spirit and determination of those who run rural businesses. I am most looking forward to sampling some of the best produce our countryside has to offer and hearing inspirational stories of those who keep our rural communities alive.”

Michael Gove will also be presenting the Awards at the winners’ reception on Wednesday 25 April at 12.30 in the House of Lords.

For more information please visit the awards website here.