Three Herefordshire businesses are preparing to battle it out against companies from across the UK ahead of the Amazon backed Rural Business Awards final, which will take place on Thursday 25th February 2021.

The companies are:

·       Rural Media Productions from Hereford (Best Rural Creative or Artisan Business category).

·       Celtic Marches Beverages from Bishops Frome (Best Rural Drink Business category).

·       Foxtail from Ross on Wye (The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award category).

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the 2021 finalists will attend an online ceremony where the overall winners in each category will be announced.

This year, businesses had 13 categories they could enter, ranging from Best Rural Start-Up Business and Best Rural Diversification Project, through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and The Triumph Over Adversity Award.

Rural Media Productions is a Hereford-based media skills training company and charity that works with young people, rural communities, schools and Gypsies Roma and Travellers to create issue-driven films, heritage and digital arts projects that raise awareness, influence change and celebrate rural life. 

Celtic Marches Beverages is one of the UK’s largest self-sustaining single estate cider producers. The company has been in business for seven generations and exports its cider to 14 different countries outside of the UK. Its award-winning Herefordshire Craft Cider is vegan, gluten free and created from eight different apple varieties.

Founded in late 2017 by husband-and-wife team, Ross Whelan and Leigh Russell, Foxtail is a craft gin distillery focused on producing authentic, small batch spirits using local in season botanicals and providing immersive customer experiences with the aim of educating the general public on the art of distilling.

Speaking ahead of the final, Grant Black, Creative Director and Deputy CEO of Rural Media Productions, said: “We’re extremely grateful to receive recognition from Amazon and the Rural Business Awards. Our team has worked tirelessly to adapt to the extraordinary events of the past year. We’re delighted with the way we’ve adapted and proud of the work we have created and hope to continue to go from strength to strength.” 

“The Rural Business Awards is an excellent opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of rural businesses and we’re very proud to be sponsoring the awards, particularly during this challenging year,” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “I would like to wish all three businesses the best of luck ahead of the final.”

The Rural Business Awards 2020/21 will mark the Awards’ sixth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural sector, which contributes [1]£299bn in Gross Value Added to the overall UK economy. 

The Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.

Jemma Clifford said: “Every year, the quality of entries blows us away and this year has been no exception. It’s a privilege to showcase the incredible talent of the British rural sector and we would like to wish all the businesses from Herefordshire good luck in the final.”

The award winners will be announced during the virtual ceremony, to be held on Thursday 25th February 2021. 

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