Candidates have been shortlisted for the hotly-contested 2022 Sir Bryner Jones Memorial Award.

With exceptional entries from ten counties across Wales, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society judges have had a challenging task whittling it down to three very worthy candidates.

Once again, the overall winner of this year’s coveted award will be kept under wraps until the Royal Welsh Show, where the shortlisted contenders and their families will attend the presentations on the first day of the show to hear the winner announced for the first time.

Sir Bryner Jones helped shape the direction of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society for 50 years, was Agricultural Commissioner for Wales and subsequently became Welsh Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. He was President of the Royal Welsh in 1954, the society’s golden jubilee year.

Since 1957 the award has been made annually to someone from a different area of the farming industry who has reached the highest level of achievement in the chosen sector.

This year the judges were looking for an individual or business that is actively involved in food and/or drink production which demonstrates sustainable innovation and enhances the environment in Wales.

“We had the privilege of visiting ten businesses throughout Wales over the course of five days throughout May and June.” remarked the judges Mr Brian Jones MBE FRAgS and Mr Richard Vaughan.

“All the candidates were a credit for the food and drink sector in Wales showing excellent product knowledge with efficient marketing regimes, which bodes well for growing the industry here in Wales.”

In alphabetical order, the shortlisted candidates are:

Gwenyn Gruffydd Ltd, Bryn Bach, Dryslwyn, Carmarthen

Gwenyn Gruffydd was founded in 2010 after Gruffydd decided to follow his dream of keeping bees. His passion for beekeeping has continued growing and the successful hobby resulted in Gwenyn Gruffydd Ltd being established in September 2019.

The business now in its third year of trading as a Ltd business proudly supplies farm shops, delis and wholesalers who distribute the honey across the country.

Owners Angharad and Gruffydd Rees, are a motivated and committed young couple who are so essential to the production of food whereby without such people and their dedication to the bee industry then cropping would be reduced by over 60%.

Every question asked of them was so professionally answered and in such an understandable way.

Gwenyn Gruffydd have a range of pure natural honey products. Each product is unique – from the colour right down to the aroma notes and flavour.

The business has developed where other farmers are contracted to position hives on spare land which gave them some extra and valuable income and is now one of the bigger beekeepers in Wales with over 200 hives in his care.

Radnor Hills Water Co Ltd, Heartease Farm, Knighton, Powys

Radnor Hills Water Co Ltd is a very sophisticated business with major investment in automation that required a substantial skill set in engineers. Radnor Hills have adapted hugely for the demands of no waste and using renewable packaging in all its containers.

A very impressive recycling of all waste with no landfill being used. Any unused water and water from the plant that's been used for cleaning and washing etc is filtered back into the nearby river as perfectly clean water fit enough to be drank after going through a multi filtration system.

Mr William Watkins diversified the business in 1988 when he started to pack cuplets of mineral water for the Airline Industry. From there the company grew and Radnor Hills was set up in 1990.

Over 30 years ago, after their first bottles were sold, they now supply over 250 UK wholesalers and retailers including some of Britain's largest supermarkets.

The Heartsease farm on which the water company is located extends to approximately 1400 acres of which 800 acres are arable. The remainder is grass which carries approximately 140 Welsh Black cows and well over 1,000 mules.

The Rhug Estate, Corwen, Denbighshire

The Rhug Estate in Denbighshire covers 12,500 acres with approximately 6,700 of those farmed in hand.

Lord Newborough took over the Estate from his father in 1998 and because sustainability is at the heart of the business mission, it was converted to an organic farm with full organic status from 2000.

This sustainable farming model is producing as much now as when farmed conventionally.

Carbon footprint and environmental impact is uppermost in all plans across the business and has been from the offset and since the carbon footprint has been measured, they are in a carbon negative position due to the system and the way they've farmed and managed the land.

The farm shop at Rhug opened in 2002 selling its high-quality award-winning meat of beef, lamb, chicken, venison, geese and turkey, in a wide range of products choices and cuts. There is also a restaurant, cafe and takeaway and a recent addition is the new drive thru which is very popular due to its location right on the side of the A5.

Four years ago, Lord Newborough and Rhug Organic Farm, farm shop and the butcher's counter were awarded the Royal Warrant of Appointment to the Prince of Wales.

The winner will be announced at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society award presentations in the Council Enclosure on the first day of the show, Monday, July 18, at 2.30pm.