One of the most noteworthy prizes in the UK pig industry, the David Black Award, has this year been given to Charles ‘Charlie’ Allen, of Oxfordshire-based DC & RJ Allen & Partners.
Mr Allen started farming in 1971 with his father, brother and cousin with responsibility for 300 sows and has never looked back. Today the business has more than 5,000 sows on units in the counties Oxfordshire and Dorset, which Mr Allen still runs with his brother, his son and two nephews.
Receiving his award from member of parliament Neil Parish, Mr Allen said, “I’ve been in the industry all my life growing up looking after pigs and I’ve been at it ever since. It’s as simple as that, so to receive the award was a surprise and I never thought for a minute that I would get it.”
Mr Allen was a founding member of the National Pig Association (NPA) and he is chairman of Thames Valley Cambac marketing operation, the largest in the UK. Mr Allen said, “We’re a large farming business. My father and uncle started off with 250 acres (101 ha) and today we farm in the region of 7000 acres (2,833 ha). The business has been successful over the years, through hard work and a bit of luck.”