Rising Star: Duncan Farrington

Duncan Farrington diversified his family farm and started Farrington Oils in 2005.

His rapeseed oil product Mellow Yellow is now stocked in hundreds of retail outlets.

Q: What gave you the idea?
I realised the health benefits of rapeseed oil when I was at university studying agriculture. Although it can help reduce saturated fat intake significantly, people weren’t selling it because of the name.

Q: Where did you get funding?
I got half through an EU grant and half from a bank loan. So the total set-up costs came to £90,000. The bank thought it was risky initially, but eventually agreed. I think we would have had problems getting funding in this climate.

Q: How did you market it?
We sat around the kitchen table with friends and decided the problem was that ‘rapeseed’ isn’t a very nice word, so we gave it the brand name of Mellow Yellow. We were also the first to produce it and I think that helped in terms of giving it a story.

Q: When did it take off?
We started selling it in local shops and now we’ve got it in Sainsbury’s nationwide stores. It seems farming and rapeseed have become a lot more trendy over the last few years. Nigella Lawson and James Martin even use it now.

Q: What next?
We’ve introduced two new salad dressings that will be going into Waitrose later this year and we’re also working on a mayonnaise. I’m not looking to get into every supermarket though, as I don’t want a price war.

Related Topics

Food Businesses

Leave a comment