The Lifetime Achievement Award
A few weeks ago I was both honoured and lucky to receive a communication from Family Business United to let me know that I had been chosen as a finalist for the Lifetime Achievement award which they were running.
The finalists had been chosen from Family Businesses across the country and the email contained details of eleven other finalists, which I read quite quickly and immediately realised what stiff competition I was competing with!
The awards ceremony was to be held one evening in a very nice hotel near London and myself, the family and our co-directors were all invited. You can imagine the excitement and sense of anticipation this created! After a very nice meal the results were announced; and I was the very lucky winner! I was so surprised and honoured as the other finalists were so impressive.
The judges seemed to have been impressed by the way I had included the family over the years and always encouraged them to come into the business if they felt that was what they wanted.
I had encouraged my family to understand the business from a very early age, just as I had been by my mother and father Tom and Ivy. As children they suffered many days and miles riding on tractors around the farm and helping me to look after the cows and pigs which was part of my every-day work. All the piglets that we had on our farm were brought home and fed on the Whey from the growing Cheesemaking business. I drove the pig lorry hundreds of miles around the locality to collect them.
Very often Tom, Sarah, Rich and Rachael would come with me and began to understand the trading process which went along with the buying and selling of the animals.
Needless to say, they loved coming along on these excursions and also at the same time learnt lots about the family business and my enthusiasm for it. I am sure that this very early introduction to our family business was of paramount importance later in their life, and some of the reason why Tom and Rich in particular have been such successful business men, and now lead the Wyke Farms team into the third and hopefully fourth generation.
They have played such an important part in building our business diversification and expansion into export markets, and the many highly technical advances which the business has had to make in recent times.
As I wrestle with retirement, which can be quite difficult for a man that was brought up in a family business, working seven days a week, I look back and feel so proud of the family and the many friends who still work with us now after many years of the ups and downs along the way. I am sure in their very able and safe hands that we can look forward to even more success in the future.
I am so grateful to Family Business United for the recognition. Thank you.