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We have been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise

We are delighted to announce that we have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for sustainable development, thanks to our commitment to low-carbon, organic practices on our farm in Archdeacon Newton, near Darlington, and farming collaborations in North Yorkshire.


We’re a family business, run by directors (and siblings) Caroline Bell and Graham Tweddle, and have been farming since 1928, converted to organic status in 1998 then launching deliveries two years later. Now, we deliver to thousands of households through our own fleet of drivers and a nationwide network of distributors.


Caroline said: “We are delighted to have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, especially in a field that is so close to our hearts.


“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, from how we feed the herd to how we generate our power.


“We are constantly reviewing our sustainability strategy, working with industry experts and bodies to find new ways, trial new technologies and understand changes that we can implement.”


Among the initiatives highlighted in the award entry were our commitment to producing organically, using no pesticides or artificial fertilisers, and avoiding routine antibiotics for its 500-strong herd of Dairy Shorthorn cows.


The farm also sources its energy from our own on-site wind turbine, we bottle all milk in our own plant, reducing unnecessary food miles, and use glass bottles, cutting 425kg per week of plastic from the local food chain.


Our next goal, which we expect to achieve this year, is to feed 100 per cent UK-produced food to our herd, no longer relying on any imported maize protein.


Caroline added: “Our overall business is stronger thanks to the sustainability interventions we have made.


“Each one, such as going organic and installing the wind turbine, has led to our business growing, thanks to their ability to provide our customers with better service, better products and a better impact on the local environment.


“As well as boosting our business, we can see the impact our practices have had on our local environment; we now host 98 different bird species across the year and have many red list species, including tree sparrows, oyster catchers and little owls.


“Receiving the Queen’s Award is testament to the whole term’s hard work and commitment. We all work towards the same goals and plans, and encourage ideas and intervention when it comes to every area of what we do.


“We are always looking to try to new things and improve ways of working – especially when they have a fundamental impact on our greater sustainable development.”


We also hold the Compassion in World Farming, Good Dairy Award for Cow and Calf Welfare Award, and have previously been named the Soil Association’s Best Organic Dairy in 2012, Food Awards England’s Best Dairy 2018 and Ethical Consumer Magazine’s Best Dairy Milk Brand in 2020.


The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in four categories: innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility.


For more information about Acorn Dairy and its products, visit

Caroline Bell

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