Food and Drink Hero winner at the EADT Suffolk magazine Food and Drink Awards 2016
PUBLISHED: 11:18 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:31 27 April 2016
This award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Suffolk’s food industry.
Winner: Jimmy Butler, Blythburgh Free Range Pork
We’re sometimes rather casual in our use of the word ‘hero’ these days, but if what we really mean is someone who is outstanding at what they do, who goes the extra mile not just for his own family business, but for his entire industry, who has been a major force for change and improvement, then our 2016 Food Hero certainly deserves the title.
With his wife Pauline, and two sons Stuart and Alastair, Jimmy Butler runs a large pig herd, at Mells, Halesworth, producing high-welfare, free-range pork for the family’s highly successful Blythburgh Free Range Pork brand. But in truth, Jimmy is much more than just a pig farmer. He’s a pig hero.
Jimmy has never been shy about helping his industry - serving on the National Pig Association Producer Group, working with Ladies in Pigs to help educate school children about British farming, putting the industry’s point of view in the media, during good times and bad. He was a driving force behind the British Pig Industry Support Group in East Anglia and, more recently, it was Jimmy who suggested pig farmers use their roadside fields to advertise British pork, an idea that was picked up by the NPA and led to the industry’s successful “Banners Blitz” campaign, which saw over a thousand banners promoting British pork appearing next to busy main roads and motorways across the country. And who could forget his memorable participation in the 2008 industry hit single, Stand By Your Ham?
Jimmy doesn’t just promote high-welfare British pig production to consumers, he practices what he preaches in the way he runs his own business, and his outstanding achievements have won him national awards. He and his family know that good production systems, efficiency, great marketing and promotion get you nowhere if you don’t have a great product that people want to put on their plate. So successful is the Blythburgh Pork brand that it can now be found not just on the menus of establishments throughout Suffolk, but is sought after way beyond the county’s borders. A great Suffolk product.
Find out the rest of the winners at the EADT Suffolk magazine Food and Drink awards.