A VALE company has proved it knows a thing or two about pies after staggering home under the weight of 11 awards at the 2015 British Pie Awards competition.

Outdoor Pig Company, based in Chapel Street, Evesham, clinched top spot to be crowned "champion" in the pork pie category for the third year running and was named runner-up for its orchard pasty in the pasty class.

The family-run business then went on to collect three silver and six bronze medals from the hotly contested competition.

The seventh annual British Pie Awards took place in Melton Mowbray in April and competition was fierce as no fewer than 830 pies were entered from 131 professional bakers and butchers.

One hundred and nine top pie perfectionists were involved in the judging process including TV chef Andy Bates, leading food critic Charles Champion and renowned food writer Xanthe Clay.

Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards, added: “What a year for the Awards. We’ve seen a truly varied and plentiful plethora of pies. The standard of entrants this year was higher than ever before, and The Outdoor Pig Company can be very proud of its awards. Well done.

“Each year we hold the Awards to encourage innovation in pies and I believe we have outdone ourselves this year. I’d like to give my sincere thanks to all involved, including our judges, sponsors, volunteers and of course, all our wonderful pie makers.”

Husband and wife team Rob and Sadie Downey, who have been running the Outdoor Pig Company with son Jack for the past five years added: “We are overwhelmed with this year's results. To have gained class champion status for the third year running for our pork pie is a huge achievement for a very small producer like ourselves. Also to have achieved as many awards across the other classes as we did, highlights the wholesomeness and quality of the products we produce.”

All the pies and pastries are handmade to their own recipe ensuring a unique taste with a popularity that is gaining momentum and which is being recognised by judges in the competitions they enter.

The company also specialises in pig roast catering for functions and occasions using free-range pork. It also makes sausages and dry cured bacon.

It does not have a retail shop but sells its pies, sausages and pasties to other retail outlets, butchers, farm shops and many garden centres throughout the district and into the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire. They also attend shows throughout the district with their pie trade stand and hot roast.