Family farm sells millionth bottle of oil
A County Down family farm, which is the only one on the island of Ireland able to grow and market its own range of oilseeds, has just sold its millionth bottle of its award-winning oils.
Harnett’s Oils, based in Waringstown is the only producer of Hemp oil in Ireland and was able to achieve this milestone after it started commercial production onsite in 2002.
The farm has been in owned by the Harnett family since 1656 and its customers come from across the island of Ireland, as well as America, France and Spain on account of its online shop, www.harnettsoils.com. The company was even one of a small range of local artisan food companies invited to showcase their products at a recent supplier event organised through Taste of Ulster at the House of Commons.
Young farmer, Jane Harnett who heads up the business, says it’s very much a family affair, with her parents Ann and Michael and also her brother Will heavily involved.
She said; “I feel it is our strong family network that has made producing and marketing the oil so successful. We started small and obtained customers through trade shows, word of mouth and local promotion, however, as consumers became more educated about the health benefits of pure oil, and in particular Hemp and Rapeseed, we have been able to tap into this rapidly expanding market. Also, due to the size of our press, we are attracting attention from major supermarkets that need large volumes produced.”
Once grown, the production, bottling and packaging also takes place onsite. Oilseeds are cold-pressed to produce virgin oil and then filtered producing extra-virgin oil, which is either bottled direct or flavoured or added to produce a range of dressings.
Miss Harnett added; “We are best known for our Rapeseed and Hemp oils and this is what our hospitality clients, as well as the general public regularly buy from us. We have also diversified our core product range to encompass vinaigrettes and flavoured infused oils, and we have seen a spike in sales, particular in St George’s Market –where we have a weekend stall. The future is very exciting for us as we have plans to aggressively target European and International markets.”
The most popular products in the standard range is the Rapeseed oil and in the flavoured oils it is the Chilli and Garlic and the Raspberry vinaigrette in the dressings.