What is the story behind setting up broighter gold rapeseed oil?
When we renovated the farm house, we accidentally discovered our very own cold pressed rapeseed oil. We had been pressing our own oilseed, which was being used as renewable fuel for the local council. One day my husband and I were cooking steaks and had run out of olive oil so Richard went out and brought me some of the unfiltered cold pressed rapeseed oil, and, when I used it in the cooking, I was astounded by the distinctive taste and how it reacted to the cooking temperatures. We joked that it was our very own Broighter Gold. I decided to use my spare time, as a new mother, to try to create a brand and now, 10 years later, we have built an amazing team and brand. It’s been a challenge but we are very proud of what we have achieved.
Who buys your rapeseed oil?
Our customer base is varied. We stock shops and delis all over Northern Ireland, as well as our oils being used in hotels and restaurants. There is a diverse range of people who buy our products; some love to cook, some are health conscious, and some have specific diets. We also have a lot of BBQ enthusiasts, as the infused oils add interesting flavours to their food. People choose our rapeseed oil because of the health benefits. Due to the PUFA content it can be especially beneficial for those with heart conditions or those who are at higher risk of such conditions. It has half the saturated fat of olive oil and 10 times more omega 3.
Have you seen an increased interest in sustainable food since the pandemic?
Overall, I’ve seen an increased interest in sustainability over the last 5 years. More people want to know what’s in their food, where it comes from, and the story behind it. We use social media to show people what we are doing for the environment by sharing pictures, videos, and recipes. We are very transparent in our business.
Why do you think it’s important to follow positive farming practices when producing Broighter Gold oil?
As a family, working and living on a farm that has been in the family for 7 generations and over 100 years, working sustainably means having something to pass on to our children. And not just our local environment, farming in a conscious way also means we are letting our customers know we care about their local environment too.
Personally, I keep bees and enjoy bird watching. My husband agrees with me when we say that on the farm we work with nature, not against it. For example, we use minimum till techniques and all our fertilisers and sprays (although we prefer liquid fertilisers) are certified as non-harmful against the wildlife living on the farm - including my bees!