Lurgan farmer shortlisted for rural business award

editorial image

A farmer from Lurgan has been named on the shortlist for a prestigious 2018 Amazon Rural Business Award.

Falkiner Small’s Gaffer Staples has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Start-up category at the 2018 Amazon Rural Business Awards regional finals, taking place at the Kimnel Hotel in Abergele in October this year.

The regional final will see businesses compete for a place in the 2019 national finals. Gaffer Staples is the only regional finalist from Northern Ireland and will go up against rural businesses from Wales for the award.

Falkiner has been shortlisted for his Gaffer Staples invention; a hammer-less staple designed to make life easier for busy farmers and DIY enthusiasts.

The local man started the business in the summer of 2017 after spending a lifetime on his farm grappling with traditional staples. After thinking about a solution that would be easier to use and more effective at fencing fields or repairing existing fences, Falkiner did some experimenting, and Gaffer Staples was born.

The local farmer now sells the revolutionary staples to customers locally and across Europe, and it’s this success that has attracted the attention of the judges at the 2018 Amazon Rural Business Awards.

Speaking after learning of his nomination, Falkiner said: “It’s absolutely brilliant to be on the shortlist for a 2018 Amazon Rural Business Award and I’m really looking forward to the regional final in October. To be the only business in Northern Ireland that’s shortlisted is a huge honour for me and it’s great to have my work recognised by companies like Amazon and organisations like the Rural Business Awards.”

“Falkiner is a great example of how rural entrepreneurs are using invention and creativity to solve problems, sell products and create successful businesses,” said Doug Gurr, Amazon UK Country Manager.

“At Amazon, we want to shine a light on businesses like Gaffer Staples and we’re looking forward to celebrating rural companies of all shapes and sizes at the 2018 Rural Business Awards regional finals in October.”

Falkiner has developed two products – the Gaffer Staple and the Gaffer 8. They’re zinc plated staples, designed for use with a rechargeable drill and fitted with a magnetic holder to which a pozi-drive screw and the staple is attached.

They’re designed to replace traditional fencing staples and can be used and re-used without damaging wires. They can be attached by a farmer working alone. The Gaffer Staple is used for intermediate posts and the Gaffer 8 provides extra strength for use on an end post.

The staples can be easily attached to a hawthorn bush or a sapling where it is impossible to hammer in a traditional staple. The staples can also be used to attach weldmesh and expanded metal to wood and metal frames to make cages, pens and animal runs.