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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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