Oil brand has sown seeds of success in the food market

Farmers and shareholders Tim Bradshaw, Jon Hammond and Colin Bower.
Farmers and shareholders Tim Bradshaw, Jon Hammond and Colin Bower.

A Northumberland-based company has sown the seeds of success as it sees its sales soar.

Rapeseed oil brand Borderfields, and parent company Hammond Food Oils, are celebrating a month of record-breaking sales.

December saw sales figures for Borderfields up 178 per cent compared to the previous year, while Hammond Food Oils achieved record sales of £378,000 for December 2014, compared to £136,000 the previous year.

Market-leading brand Borderfields was established in 2005 by a group of like-minded farmers in Northumberland and Berwickshire who decided to introduce rapeseed oil to the food market for the first time. Now it’s championed by some of the country’s top chefs, including the North East’s Kenny Atkinson.

Almost 10 years later, British cold-pressed rapeseed oil has reached the masses. It has become a kitchen essential for many households up and down the country and the Borderfields variety of oil seed rape continues to be grown locally on farmland at Belford and Coldstream.

The oil is also stocked in 2,400 outlets nationwide – a number which is continually growing. Store numbers are up by 40 per cent compared to the previous year. Most recently Booths has joined the list of retailers, which includes Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda.

This year also saw Borderfields introduce a new range of infusion oils in Tesco, Aldi and Asda stores.

The UK’s first cold pressed rapeseed stir-fry oil, created by Borderfields, was also unveiled by Asda.

Ben Guy, managing director at Borderfields, said: “2014 was a big year for us; we doubled production and are feeling proud that cold-pressed rapeseed oil has moved away from being a niche oil, to becoming a mainstream, everyday choice.

“It’s not just a huge success for Borderfields, but the entire rapeseed industry and the British farmers that are meeting the increased demand.

“With half the saturated fat of olive oil, its Britishness, great taste and versatility, Borderfields has a wide appeal.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate a similar growth curve for 2015. This is something we are preparing for and we have a few new surprises up our sleeve too.”

The latest oil category report from The Grocer revealed that the rapeseed oil industry is now worth £14.3million.