Mon 7th Jul 2014
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 oil.
Harnett’s Oils, based in Waringstown is the only producer of Hemp oil in Ireland and was able to achieve this milestone after it starting commercial production onsite in 2002.
The farm has been in existence since 1656 and its customers come from across the island of Ireland, as well as America, France and Spain due to its online shop. The company is even one of a range of local artisan food companies invited to showcase their products next month in 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 William 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 got customers through trade shows, word of mouth and local promotion, however, as consumers are now becoming more educated about the benefits of pure oil, and in particular Hemp and Rapeseed – we have been able to tap into this emerging market. Also, due to the size of our press, we are attracting attention from major supermarkets that need large volumes produced.”
Once grown, the 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; “Our Rapeseed and Hemp oils are what we are known best for and this is what our restaurants clients, as well as the general public regularly buy from us. We have also diversified our core product range to encompass vinaigrettes and flavour 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 range are Rapeseed oil and in the flavoured oils it is the Chilli and Garlic and the Raspberry vinaigrette in the dressings.