A NEW Herefordshire crisp brand that respects the county’s beautiful countryside and celebrates local ingredients has been entered into the Three Counties Farming Awards.

Two Farmers Crisps, launched by farming friends Sean Mason and Mark Green at Peterstow, is a contender for the Sustainable and Diversification Award.

The potatoes are grown by Mark and flavoured using some iconic local ingredients, including Hereford beef, Droitwich salt, Hereford Hop cheese and Sean’s Herefordshire apples.

And excitingly, the bags, made from eucalyptus fibres, are believed to be the first 100 per cent compostable crisp packets to be made.

The two friends decided to diversify into crisp making in 2016. Mark’s family has been growing potatoes for decades and they converted a potato store into the crisp factory just a few miles from the fields where the potatoes are grown.

They began selling their crisps last year. They hand cook them in small batches before adding the special flavourings, powering the process with renewable energy produced on the farm from their own anaerobic digester.

They are also planning to invest in electric delivery vehicles, run from their own renewable energy and use their own gas to run their fryer.

Since their launch in September last year, the business has seen rapid growth from zero to 75 trade customers, plus a shop on their website.

Customers are delighted with the local green product and so are Sean and Mark.

“As farmers living and working in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside we have seen first-hand the impact plastic waste can have on the environment. We want to protect this for our families and generations to come, so we worked hard to find a plastic-free bag for our crisps.

“Our farm has won an award for being the UK's Most Carbon Neutral farm. We want to continue this with our crisp band.

“Our intention was always to build a brand that respected our countryside and made use of the potatoes we grow and shine a light on local ingredients,” they said.

Since their launch they have also found time to support local charities, providing crisps to sample and auction at events. They also sponsor their local rugby club and Welsh Newton YFC and provide tours for small school groups.

The Three Counties Farming Awards are being organised by Newsquest Media Group, publisher of the Three Counties Farmer, and its sister newspapers and websites the Stroud News and Journal, Gloucestershire Gazette, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Worcester News, Hereford Times, Malvern Gazette, Ledbury Reporter, Evesham and Cotswold Journal, Tenbury Wells Advertiser, Kidderminster Shuttle, Bromsgrove Messenger, Redditch Advertiser and Droitwich Advertiser.

The awards are supported by headline sponsor Harper Adams University, and entries are invited for 12 categories; sheep, cattle, pig, poultry, fruit/hop and arable farmer of the year, as well as young farmer, farming contractor and farming hero.

Awards will also be presented for the best family-run farm and best farm exhibiting sustainability and diversification.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, April 10.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner of local produce at the Three Counties Showground on Thursday, June 13.

Visit www.herefordtimes.com/awards/tcf/ to find out more and submit a nomination for the awards.