Cambridgeshire's ‘Mr Mustard’ made an MBE  

Michael Sly made MBE

The NFU has congratulated Michael Sly on receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to agriculture in East Anglia. - Credit: NFU

A Cambridgeshire farmer – and mustard and sugar beet champion – has been made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. 

Michael is the chairman of English Mustard Growers and played a pivotal role in saving English mustard production in the UK.  

He also serves as NFU Sugar board chairman, a role he has held since 2017.   

Mr Sly of Park Farm at Thorney was honoured for his leadership in the agricultural industry, and his conservation and public education work. 

The 53-year-old said he had always strived to "put something back and make a difference" - but he was "overwhelmed" by the MBE. 

"I could never have done the things I have done if it was not for the wonderful people who work for me at Park Farm," he added.  

"Without them, none of this could have happened.” 

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As chairman of English Mustard Growers, he played a key role in retaining Norfolk's historic links with the Colman's brand after manufacturer Unilever left its Carrow Works factory in Norwich. 

The group's mustard is now milled for Colman's at the Condimentum mill on the Food Enterprise Park at Easton. 

Mr Sly also chairs the National Farmers' Union's sugar board, driving growth in East Anglia's important sugar beet sector. 

And the honour also recognises his conservation and education efforts, with his annual Open Farm Sunday event attracting more than 75,000 visitors since 2006. 

NFU President Minette Batters said: “I am absolutely delighted that Michael has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to agriculture in East Anglia, where he has championed British farming for decades. 

“Not many people realise that they have Michael to thank every time they enjoy a taste of Colman’s English Mustard.  

“Without his passion for the crop, we would no longer be growing English mustard in this country.  

With other local growers, Michael has kept alive the centuries-old tradition of the Fens supplying this iconic crop to Colman’s English Mustard and I know he is resolute in keeping that tradition going for centuries to come.  

“It is a fantastic achievement.” 

Minette added: “Michael’s passion for farming is rivalled only by his enthusiasm to share it with the public and for more than 15 years he has hosted tens of thousands of people on his farm every year to learn about food, farming and its history in the Fens.”