An organic farm estate has been hailed as a role model after winning a top environmental award for its “incredible” work to become carbon neutral.

The Rhug Estate, near Corwen in Denbighshire, was named as one of the winners of the inaugural Net Zero Leaders’ Awards organised by the North Wales and Mersey Dee Business Council.

Rhug, which produces award-winning organic meat products which are sold wholesale, online and in its highly successful farm shop, café, takeaway and a drive thru alongside the A5, was honoured in the category for medium to large businesses.

The awards were organised as part of the Business Council’s Net Zero 2021 online conference which was designed to encourage private sector and not-for-profit organisations across the Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales to reduce their carbon footprint.

The other winners were Mold-based Celtic Financial Planning who scooped the prize in the micro business category and Anglesey Sea Zoo who were crowned in the small business category.

The awards were presented by the Business Council’s Commercial Director, Ashley Rogers.

Under Lord Newborough’s leadership, Rhug has pioneered a sustainable eco-friendly approach to running the estate.

Livestock range freely on clover-rich pastures that are free of sprays and artificial fertiliser while packaging in the farm shop, drive thru and takeaway are fully compostable or recyclable.

The estate produces its own power through solar, hydro, wind and geothermal  schemes which all contribute to minimising  its carbon footprint.

Rhug has also launched a range of Wild Beauty skin care products, made using ingredients found on the estate, which are bottled and packaged in recyclable materials. 

Earlier this year they appointed a low carbon project manager, Mared Williams, to develop a climate action plan with the aim of reducing carbon emissions even further.

Lord Newborough said: “I am thrilled to win this Net Zero Leaders’ Award. It is the icing on the cake because it reflects what we’re trying to do here in addressing one of the biggest threats that faces our planet – global warming. 

“Everything that we’re doing is aimed at sustainability and it doesn’t matter whether it’s farming, the meat business, the farm shop or even the skin care products, we’ve arrived in the right place at the right time.

“Our unique skin care range  is probably the most certified, honest, organic and natural skincare collection to be launched onto the global market in the last twelve months. 

“Now we have found a new asset in the form of carbon. By doing what we do here, organic farming, we have taken the harmful carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and trapped it in the ground.

“We’re not using artificial fertiliser, we’re not using sprays which enables carbon sequestration to happen in our organic clover-rich pastures. 

“This is complemented by the trees growing on the estate, the hedgerows that we’ve planted and the responsible management of the mountain terrain where the peat acts as an enormous reservoir of carbon.

“It is well known that 333 acres of organic grassland is equivalent to taking 117 cars off the road every year, so when people go and buy our meat, they are actually also helping the environment.”

Ashley Rogers said: “I would like to congratulate Lord Newborough and the whole of the team at the Rhug Estate on winning one of our first ever Net Zero Leaders’ Awards. 

“The judges were blown away with the incredible amount of work that has already been done at Rhug over a significant number of years to reduce its carbon footprint. 

“Rhug is a perfect example for others to get ideas from on how to work towards being carbon neutral. They are an ideal role model.”