Champions of the UK Farming Industry

Champions of the UK Farming Industry

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Champions of the UK Farming Industry

Clinton Devon Estates was named Employer of the Year at the 2012 Food & Farming Industry Awards that took place on 14th December at the House of Commons.

The event is a celebration of the people and companies that are growing the UK economy through innovation and ideas.

Clinton Devon Estates owns and manages over 17,000 acres of farmland (25,000 acres of land?) in East and North Devon. 65 local people are directly employed by the Estates, with many others indirectly employed, such as contractors and professionals. The longest-serving employee is Steve Woodley, who has worked as a woodsman for some 41 years.

The judges were impressed by the depth of Clinton Devon Estates entry that included comments such as: "We like to think of ourselves as a progressive rural estate with a rich and colourful history. Responsible stewardship is at the heart of how we go about our business. Our People Strategy Objective is to attract, develop, and retain skilled and highly motivated people to deliver our 10-year plan. Our core values are to be open, honest and supportive".

The submission process included an on-site assessment by the judges, who looked at a number of areas of employment, including induction, benefits, communication and training. Backed up by a comprehensive estate strategy 2011-2021, Clinton Devon Estates stood out as a 'clear winner'.

The award was presented to Estates HR Manager Graham Vanstone by Oliver Dale, Managing Director of category sponsor Safety Revolution.

Graham, who has himself worked for Clinton Devon Estates for 36 years said:

"This award is an acknowledgement of our commitment to our staff and belief that our employees are one of our most important assets. We firmly believe that the happier people are, the better they work. New employees receive a warm welcome into the organization, and are introduced early on to the Clinton family and Estates Director John Varley". 

Graham commented that the awards success was influenced by principles learned from inclusion in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies list. "Employee engagement is vital. We make sure that decisions taken in the boardroom are cascaded to all employees, and that the Estates strategy is understood by every member of the team. Running an estate is a complex business and we require 100 per cent commitment from all employees."

Speaker at the awards event, organized by Farm Business, was broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Neil, and the host was Neil Parish, Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton, and a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.

…and the Lord Clinton was, by the whole Council, brought to the King’s presence, who after like thanks was given, was pleased that he should be made High Admiral of England and one of his Privy Council…

– Official record of appointment of 9th Baron Clinton as Lord High Admiral for life on 4th May 1550

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

We are trustees for life of the countryside

– 22nd Baron Clinton, 2002

Do what you can to elevate your profession. It is an honourable one

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892