Chairman of Judges David Cotton FIAgrM, FRAgS
Dairy Farmer, Bridge Farm


I am delighted to be Chairman of Judges for this year’s Cream Awards campaign.

As a judge I always enjoy seeing the number of entries that we get coming forward, and to wonder who will be challenging for the prestigious John Beckett Memorial Cup.

The Cream Awards has celebrated some fantastic businesses over the last ten years and I have no doubt we will again see some inspirational entries. 

Entering the Cream Awards is one of the best ways you can demonstrate the innovation, ingenuity and sheer hard work that is going on across the industry – to celebrate British dairy farming and to inspire others.


David Cotton, Dairy Farmer, Chairman of Judges

David farms in Somerset with 280 dairy cows and 350 youngstock. He is Chairman of The Dairy Show at Shepton Mallet and is a Strategic Dairy Farm for AHDB Dairy. David has lifelong experience in the dairy industry and is a great advocate for the ongoing training and development of everyone in the sector.

Rickard, Business Economist and Company Director

Former NFU Chief Economist, Director of Cranfield MBA programme and government advisor. Sean now runs Sean Rickard Ltd providing independent economic analysis primarily relating to the food industry. He is also Chair of First Milk’s Members Committee.

Mike King – RABDF

Mike King and his brother Chris run the Kingspool Holstein herd at Two Pools Farm in Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, alongside their herd manager Jared Kloke and Team. With the herd established almost 100 years ago, and now numbering 765 year-round calving cows averaging 14,295 litres per cow, the team maintains a tight hold on health & welfare. Previous Cream Award and Gold Cup winners.

Neil Baker, Dairy Farmer

Haselbury Plucknett is a family farming company who have been milking and caring for dairy cows for over 90 years, Neil has been running the dairy herd management side of the business for over 25 years with a herd of 2000 milking cows plus replacement heifers. He has focused on constant improvement of herd performance with the analysis and use of herd data. He regularly holds visits on the farm from milk buyer, retailers, politicians, farmer groups, consumer groups, schools as well as taking part in Open Farm Sunday. Multiple accolades from the Cream Awards, RABDF Gold Cup 2015, Tesco TSDG Farmer 2017.

Sarah Tomlinson – Farm Vet

Sarah Tomlinson has been a farm vet for 20 years. She is now a veterinary consultant for Kingshay and is the technical director for the TB Advisory Service (TBAS). She is a member of the Defra bTB Partnership, and sits on the board of the British Cattle Veterinary Association.


Category judges:


Category Judge

Steward McAlister, Customer Solution Manager, Lely


Category Judge

Michael Oakes, Dairy Board Chairman, NFU

Michael is the NFU’s National Dairy Board Chairman and a tenant dairy farmer on the southern outskirts of Birmingham, milking a closed herd of around 180 pedigree Holsteins.


Category Judge

Paul Savage, Agricultural Director, Arla Foods UK

Paul has over 20 years’ experience working with globally recognised consumer brands, developing strong commercial relationships and sales results. He is directly responsible for the UK Agricultural team – focused on supporting Arla’s farmer owners with on-farm management as well as Arla’s leading sustaina­bility agenda and commercialisation offering.

AWARD FOR INNOVATION Sponsored by British Dairying

Judged by the Senior Panel


Category Judge

Anna Sutcliffe, Ruminant Technical Manager, KW Feeds

A degree in Animal Science from Edinburgh University, followed a PhD from Nottingham University investigating the dynamics of rumen function and the impact of designing rations that synchronised energy and protein supply to the rumen microbiome on cow productivity. Today Anna provides nutritional support and advice to dairy farmer customers for KW Feeds.


Category Judge

Eileen Bulloch, Farm National Sales Manager, Virbac

Eileen has served the veterinary industry for over twenty five years, working closely with vets to provide products and services that are critical to animal welfare.

YOUNG DAIRY FARMER OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Kite Consulting

Category Judge

Becki Leach, Head of People & Senior Consultant, Kite Consulting

Becki specialises in recruitment and people management consultancy. She works with some of the largest and most progressive dairy businesses in the UK, delivering strategic people management advice and enabling leaders to build effective and motivated tea.


Sponsored by Trouw Nutrition and Willsbro Holsteins

Category Judges

Mathew Wills, Trevor Birchall, Dr Liz Homer

Mathew Wills is a partner in Wills Brothers and has been actively involved in the development and management of the business – which won three Cream Awards in 2022 – for many years, overseeing the continued evolution of the business.

Trevor Birchall, proprietor of TBA Ltd, is a widely respected dairy nutritionist and consultant with over 40 years experience working with some of the country’s leading dairy farm business.

Dr Liz Homer is Ruminant Technical Development Manager at Trouw Nutrition GB where she develops innovative farm solutions based on the latest R&D.  She is also sustainability lead for TNGB.


Category Judge

Matt Witt, Sustainability and Technical Manager, Mole Valley Farmers

After completing his BSc Hons at Harper Adams, he gained an MSc in Animal Nutrition from University of Aberdeen, and completed his PhD at Harper Adams. He has around 30 years of agricultural industry experience and currently works at monitoring and improving the company’s environmental impacts and helping dairy, beef and sheep farmers to do the same.

ORGANIC DAIRY FARMER OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Hi Peak Organic Feeds

Category Judge

Senior judging panel


Category Judge

John Reynolds, Head of Animal Nutrition, Volac

DAIRY VITALITY AWARD Sponsored by Wynnstay

Category Judge

David Howard, Wynnstay Head of Dairy Services

Head of Dairy Services, David has over 15 years’ experience in the ruminant feed industry. His specialties lie in dairy nutrition, robotic milking, lameness in dairy cows, transition cow management and sustainability in dairy production systems. David is also a qualified Cow Signals Master Trainer and is RoMS accredited for mobility scoring of dairy cattle.


An entry in the Cream Awards does so much for the industry. It shows what’s happening out there, the level of innovation and new ideas and thinking, it’s inspiring to others and that really is a positive force for good – especially after the last 12 months. It’s important to show what can be done with hard work, investment and ideas, it’s important to lead the way to a stronger dairy industry.

Enter your company or nominate someone. The campaign provides an excellent platform to shout about your business, to help you network with people and companies that can help you further your success. Our award shortlist is invited to the awards event, and after the event receive publicity in the form of article/interviews about their story.

It’s not just about winning the awards campaign really does help drive the industry forward for a better tomorrow.

2021 Cream Award Cup Winners Arla Foods

“As a cooperative, our farmers very much shape our direction and creating the future of dairy plus transforming the health of the UK are at the heart of our business agenda. As we work through the Covid-19 crisis it is more important than ever that we work together as an industry to promote the nutritional benefits of dairy and showcase our commitment to sustainability – we’re delighted with this win and that the industry recognises what it is we are trying to achieve make it all so worthwhile.” Ash Amirahmadi, MD Arla Foods

2020 Cream Award Cup Winners Volac International

“Volac is honoured to receive the John Beckett Memorial Cup, we passionately believe in the dairy industry, the benefits it can bring and it’s future.”

John Reynolds, Head of Animal Nutrition.

Winning the Cream Award for 2020, judges commented that Volac “is a truly exceptional family business and deserving winner of the Cream Award for 2020 – supportive of the UK dairy industry from the calf through to the consumer.”

2019 Cream Award Cup Winners, Wensleydale Creamery

“To win the prestigious John Beckett Memorial Cup at the 2019 Cream Awards was an outstanding achievement for our business. This award is recognized throughout the whole of the dairy industry from grass root milk supply, through the dairy supply chain, milk processors and national and international retailers. It reflects and rewards our collective efforts in supplying great products and services to our wide customer base and the contribution we make to promoting all that is great about the British dairy industry.” David Harley MD, Wensleydale Creamery