Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) has been named employer of the year at the 2012 Food and Farming Industry Awards.
The award was collected by Budleigh Salterton’s Graham Vanstone, a CDE employee since 1977, and was awarded by broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Neil.
The event, held at the House of Commons on December 14, was an annual celebration of the people and companies that are growing the UK economy through innovation and ideas.
CDE owns and manages over 25,000 acres of land across North and East Devon including 17,000 acres of farmland.
A total of 65 local people are directly employed by the Estates, with many others indirectly employed, such as contractors and professionals.
The judges were impressed by the depth of the CDE’s entry in which the company described itself as a progressive rural estate with a rich and colourful history.
It demonstrated its personnel objective as attracting, developing, and retaining skilled and highly motivated people to deliver the organisation’s 10-year Estate Strategy which runs from 2011 – 2012.
Judges also visited CDE to assess a number of areas of employment such as induction, benefits, communication and training.
According to the judges, the Estates stood out as a ‘clear winner’.
Graham, an assistant accountant with responsibility for property, land insurance and risk management, joined CDE 35 years ago as a junior clerk in the accounts department.
He said: “This award is an acknowledgement of our commitment to our staff and belief that our employees are one of our most important assets.
“We firmly believe that the happier people are, the better they work. New employees receive a warm welcome into the organisation and are introduced early on to the Clinton family and Estates director John Varley.”.
Graham said that the awards’ success was influenced by principles learned from inclusion in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies list.
“Employee engagement is vital. We make sure that decisions taken in the boardroom are cascaded to all employees and that the Estates strategy is understood by every member of the team. Running an estate is a complex business and we require 100 per cent commitment from all employees,” he said.
Speaker at the awards event, organised by farming magazine Farm Business, was broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Neil, and the host was Neil Parish, Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton, and a member of the environment, food and rural affairs select committee.