Cammas Hall Farm at Hatfield Broad Oak named PYO of the Year in Farm Retail Awards 2021
Cammas Hall Farm near Hatfield Broad Oak has been crowned the best pick-your-own produce farm in a national awards ceremony.
The winners in the Farm Retail Awards were announced in a virtual ceremony hosted by the Farm Retail Association (FRA) and opened by celebrity chef Rosemary Shrager.
The judges declared that Cammas Hall – which won PYO of the Year – is “how a pick-your-own should be: professionally run with the layout of healthy, tidy and clean crops meticulously planned to be as efficient as possible, with a view to coping with future expansion".
The team at the popular family-run attraction at Needham Green – just eight miles from Bishop's Stortford – are delighted with the accolade.
Cammas Hall farmer Jonathan Lukies said: “I'm overjoyed to receive the FRA award for the best pick your own farm 2021. It's recognition of a huge amount of hard work and dedication by Cammas Hall’s incredible team. A massive thank you to them, to all of our wonderful customers and, of course, the FRA.
“It's been a rollercoaster ride since my grandfather started our PYO in 1966 and in recent years the business has grown considerably with the help of our tea barn, farm shop and numerous events.
"We continue to stick firmly to our ethos of supplying the highest-quality local produce whilst providing an enjoyable, friendly experience to all of our customers.
"The last 12 months have brought additional challenges but we're proud to have maintained our standards throughout."
As well as a wide selection of ‘pick your own' fruit and vegetables available from June to October, Cammas Hall has a tea barn, farm shop, maize maze (August to October), nature trail and children’s play area.
It prides itself on providing good-quality, locally and sustainably sourced products at a very reasonable price.
The Lukies family has been farming at Cammas Hall since 1889 and when the PYO opened in 1966 it became one of the pioneering PYO farms of the era.
Current farmer Jonathan took over the reins in the 1990s and lives on the farm with his wife and four children. In addition to the fruit and veg, he also farms wheat and oilseed rape that can be seen in the surrounding fields before the August harvest.
The Farm Retail Awards, judged by fellow farm retailers, celebrate the best farm shops, farm cafés and restaurants, farmers’ markets and trade suppliers in the country.
FRA chairman Rob Copley said: "Farm retailers play a crucial role in the rural economy, providing welcome support for thousands of independent suppliers, from family farms to artisan makers.
"Judging this year’s entries really was no mean feat. The FRA is proud to represent a sector that is bursting with imagination, full of innovation and, most importantly, a real passion for quality British produce. A huge congratulations to all our winners – they're truly among the very best in the business.
“It has taken a superhuman effort by everyone in farm retail over the last 12 months to adapt to very different ways of doing business and serving customers. All of our winners can take great pride in what they have achieved and they can look to the future with great confidence."