From bike rides to mountain climbs, there have been some exceptional examples of hard work by fresh produce employees to raise money for charity this year. This award gives them the recognition they deserve.

1. Angus Soft Fruits

As the business grows, so do our responsibilities to our local communities.

Our staff in our two main UK offices have voted for local charities they wished to support that year (Enable Angus & Touchstones Child Bereavement Support). Our staff developed a calendar of fundraising events, mostly focused on health and wellbeing, which has not only raised money and strengthened team spirit but has also facilitated our colleagues to get fitter.

Our brand AVA™ Berries was “The Official Strawberry Supplier” for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2019, where we had a number of colleagues running the Marathon, Half Marathon and “Hairy Haggis Team Relay”, raising over £2,500 for Enable. Other team activities include an Inflatable 5km assault course, Bonnie Baby Pictures competition and the hotly contested Great Angus Bake Off.

Our aim is to raise over £10k this year and make a real difference to the charities that we are supporting. Alongside this activity, we devised a Schools Programme to build closer links with the local community. With support from our Agronomists teams, we provide hands-on experience for local schoolchildren to learn how to grow and care for their own strawberry plants.

We’ve also developed worksheets in line with the National Curriculum (England) and Curriculum for Excellence (Scotland). As part of this, we provide guided farm tours to teach young people about the fresh produce and agricultural industries, exposing them to potential future careers while also promoting healthy eating and giving them a greater understanding of where food comes from.

2. Sally Orange

Inspired by her surname, Sally completed her first marathon dressed as an orange, in a bid to show that sport and exercise doesn’t have to be about being the fastest or the fittest, but is about having fun, making others smile and has raised over £30,000 for charity in the process. She has completed 45 marathons (including one on every continent) dressed as different pieces of fruit and has a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a piece of fruit (as well as another for running as a nut!)

Sally’s zest for life is not confined to running and she has been known to stay fresh by climbing Kilimanjaro…dressed as a bunch of grapes, complete Ironman triathlons…dressed as an apple, and ran and cycled 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia in temperatures as low as -50….dressed as a chilli pepper. She has also ran as a banana in Afghanistan and a pear in Antarctica.

She has a strong desire to help others achieve their own goals, however big or small, and is more than simply a participant. Sally has now taken to applying her talents to mentoring, educating and organising, bringing inspiration to a variety of audiences and has also started a series of events aimed at children. These interactive workshops promote health and wellbeing through physical activity and healthy eating, dispelling myths on mental health and engender confidence, by telling her own story with honesty, humility and humour.