Flour Power: Stuart receives a prestigious award for his contribution to agriculture

With more than 36 years at the helm of the family mill in Driffield, Stuart Bradshaw has been recognized for his contribution to agriculture as he was presented with Driffield Agricultural Society’s prestigious Mountifield Award.

Stuart was presented with the award in front of a packed audience at the Rix pavilion prior to an interactive Q&A session with BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur.

The Mountifield Award is presented for outstanding contributions to agriculture and the rural community. Through his work at E. B Bradshaw & Sons and the education committee of DAS, Stuart has helped fulfill the Society’s remit of educating people about the origins of their food.

Stuart Bradshaw – Mountifield Award Winner 2023

He has been educating people about food production through the popular wheat-to-bread demonstration, which he has been running at the Driffield Show since 2006. Stuart expressed his great honor in receiving the award.

“I was over the moon to receive the Mountifield Award, especially as it is awarded by peers in the industry. Looking back, I first joined Driffield Agricultural Society around the year 2000, and very quickly I was asked to join the education committee, which I was very pleased about because it is one of my passions. Unfortunately, many people don’t value food and don’t care where it comes from. My aim has been to help people understand where their food comes from.”

“It was wonderful when I was asked to do the wheat-to-bread demonstration at the Driffield Show. The first demonstration was back in 2006, and after an absence during the COVID years, we are back with a bang this year. We will be making pizza dough, and people will be able to make and take away their own pizzas. Since we began, we have had 2,500 people attend the demonstrations. I also take part in the annual Education Day in May, giving hundreds of schoolchildren the chance to learn about how wheat is grown, harvested, dried, tested, and processed into flour before being baked into bread.”

Stuart Bradshaw – Mountifield Award Winner 2023

“I hope I have helped to sow the seed, and maybe someone will go on to make baking their career. I’ll only think my job is done when the winner of the Great British Bake Off says they were inspired to take up baking after attending the wheat to bread demonstration at the Driffield Show. Then I’ll think my work is done, and I’ll be able to hang up my miller’s whites!”

The Bradshaw family first began milling in Driffield in the late 19th century. Previously involved in forestry trades, they moved into milling with Stuart’s ancestors operating Upper Dean windmill and Benjamin Bradshaw leasing Perio Mill in Fotheringhay for 60 years. Eleazor Benjamin Bradshaw (E B Bradshaw), Benjamin’s eldest son, settled in Driffield in 1875 as Mill Manager for Richard Kirby, the owner of Bell Mills. In 1894, after Richard’s death, he bought the business and in 1910, the freehold to the mill from the Londesborough Estate.

Three of Benjamin’s five sons joined the business (the other two chose farming and baking careers), and in 1927, the company was restructured as E B Bradshaw & Sons Limited, with brothers John, Peter, and Alfred (Stuart’s grandfather) as directors. They continued to manage the business and guided it through a devastating fire in 1949, resulting in the world’s first all-metal mill. The mill underwent several remodelings until the commissioning of C Mill in 2018.

Stuart joined the family business in 1987 having completed his A levels in Driffield, a degree at Reading University and a year working in Australia where he gained a wealth of experiences on farms across the country.

Just 13 months after joining the business, Stuart’s father Alan passed away leaving Stuart, his cousin Simon and his uncle Phil who came out of retirement to run the business.

E.B Bradshaw & Sons mills 4,000 tonnes of wheat a week and produces just over three per cent of the nation’s flour for a range of customers.

“It’s an interesting industry to be in and no two days are ever the same and you have to adapt and manage to whatever the harvest of the year provides you with,” he added.

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