After nearly ten years, my monthly ramblings of life as a farmer, initially for a local village magazine and latterly for the Evening Telegraph; must come to an end as I need to spend more time helping our growing business.
Ten years ago, the economics of agriculture were not that inspiring and I was just starting out in a diversification project as Britain’s first person to grow, press and bottle rapeseed oil. In my mind this was going to be a small project to help supplement income from the farm, enabling Eli and me and, our young family to remain living and working on the farm. Little did I realise, that Farrington’s Mellow Yellow would become the success it has.
Within four years, Farrington Oils outgrew the farm in turnover. I had to start employing people and with it, learn very quickly how to find the right team to work with, as well as how to work with our increasing number of customers and meeting the many loyal consumers who buy our products that keep us all in business. I am very proud of the fact that in our little village of Hargrave, we now employ over 15 people. We have a fantastic team who are just as passionate about what we do here as I am.
There are many UK farmers now replicating what I started, of which there are three main brands, with us in the top two. However, while the success has been obvious, it is not the time to slow down resting on our laurels’. Competition is fierce keeping us all on our toes. As the market for cold pressed rapeseed oil matures, it is more important than ever to keep pushing forward, because if I don’t, others will and they could take our market. We are now looking for new customers both in the UK and abroad. I am delighted we are now; ‘exporting oil to the Arabs’ – its only small at the moment, but will hopefully grow, especially when Eli and I attend an international trade show in Dubai next February for example.
Closer to home as we need to travel the country visiting customers here, I have just invested in our first company car. To keep in line with our cool British credentials, it had to be a Mellow Yellow Mini from the local Mini dealer in Northampton and I love it. Mini is a successful British brand exporting 80% of what it produces, whilst this may be a tall order for Mellow Yellow, it is certainly something to aim for over the next few years. Look out for our soon to be branded Mellow Yellow Mini on the roads.
Thank-you to all of you who have read my diary over the last ten years, I can’t believe you could have put up with me complaining about the wrong type of weather on so many occasions. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my diary and meeting so many readers over the years. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016.