I grew up on my family farm in Northamptonshire where we grow a range of crops such as oilseed rape, wheat, barley and beans. As well as these, we also have a heard of cattle and a small flock of sheep. Currently I am at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, where I study Agri-food Marketing and Business. I have just completed my first year there and whilst home for summer I wanted to find a job that would be good experience but also doing something I am passionate about. Having always been interested in the farm to fork process, or in this case the field to bottle process, where better to apply than Farrington Oils.
What have I been doing?
On my first couple of days I was thrown in at the deep end as I was working on the stand at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, where I promoted and sold the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow range to the public. We were roasting potatoes in our cold pressed rapeseed oil in an oven on the stand for people to sample. This was to demonstrate how crispy the oil makes the potatoes thanks to its high smoke point. With over 220,000 people attending the show it meant our stand always had people around it, either tasting, asking questions, and the majority of the time, purchasing. Although they were 2 long days, leaving Bottom Farm at 6am and returning back at 9pm, it was a really enjoyable experience.
Another hands on task I was given was conducting a tasting at Morrisons in St Ives; here I had my own stand, positioned at the end of the salad aisle. The shoppers were able to taste any of the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow range by dipping freshly baked bread in the oils and dressings, and breadsticks in the mayonnaises. After tasting the products, many customers choose to purchase them, with some even buying 3 or 4 dressings at a time! Lots of people were interested in hearing about the locality of the oil and its health benefits.
In the office I started off by organising the store locator from the website, making sure they were all set out correctly, and all the information was up to date. I have also been working with food bloggers to encourage them to try our Farrington’s Mellow Yellow dressings. I had to make up and package the dressings, before sending them off to the bloggers who are going to review the products on their social media pages.
Another project that I was set was to research different packaging and postage options for the oils and dressings. This was an interesting task to do as I had to contact different companies to get more detailed information and quotes for products that I was looking at. I also had to work out the costing of different ideas and decide weather or not it would be viable and if so how would the business benefit from it. Whilst carrying out these tasks I have also been monitoring the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow social media pages, this includes liking, commenting, replying to or retweeting our followers. I also posted some pictures on Instagram of different meals that can be made using our rapeseed oil, adding in a link to our website so our followers could find the recipe. I have been trying to keep everything up to date by changing letter templates from the old logo to the new one and updating customer’s information. I have also helped to do a stock take and upload it onto the system, this is to check that there is the correct amount of the correct batch, and if there isn’t, then I had to work out why not and where the bottles may have gone.
Finally, I have also been working with the production team. In here I have been folding lots of different sized trays for the bottles to be packed into. I have also been folding swing tags for the rapeseed oil bottles, which advertise our range of dressings. Another task that I enjoyed was helping to pick and pack different orders to go out to customers, this is because of the importance of ensuring the correct type and amount of stock are going to the correct person.
Overall I have really enjoyed my time working at Farrington Oils; I have learnt so much that I will be able to take with me, not only back to university but also in future jobs. I have been involved in the whole process from watching the dressings being made along the whole production line to marketing and selling the finished bottles at shows. It has been great experience that has helped me to decide what path I would like to take in my future career.