Heveningham: TV chef Jamie Oliver urges consumers to try cold-pressed rapeseed oil

Lawrence Frohn at Hillfarm Oils near Halesworth

Lawrence Frohn at Hillfarm Oils near Halesworth - Credit: Archant

A rapeseed oil producer has praised celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver for urging consumers to try Britain’s “own great equivalent to olive oil”.

Sam Fairs' range of products

Sam Fairs' range of products - Credit: Archant

Mr Oliver, on his website blog, has encouraged cooks a switch to rapeseed oil in cooking.

Harvest time for Sam Fairs of Hill Farm Oils

Harvest time for Sam Fairs of Hill Farm Oils Heveningham

“If you want a healthier cooking oil that tastes great and is really versatile, then make the switch to rapeseed oil. Many people are doing just that, and chefs and foodies are enjoying the culinary and health benefits it offers,” he said.

Hillfarm Oils, at Heveningham near Halesworth, has been making cold-pressed rapeseed oil since March 2004, when the business was created by oilseed rape farmer Sam Fairs.

The company said it was pleased the chef is throwing his weight behind the product, which has been showing a marked increase in popularity over the last 12 months.

“Any publicity from someone such as Jamie is great for the whole industry, but most importantly I am really pleased that he has suddenly realised that Britain has its own great equivalent to olive oil and that in fact cold pressed rapeseed oil is so much better than olive oil,” said Hillfarm Oils business manager Lawrence Frohn.

“Sometimes it is very easy to get carried away with exiting ‘new’ foreign foods and we forget what fantastic foods we have on our own doorstep. I am sure that Jamie Oliver’s endorsement of cold pressed rapeseed oil will do British producers a lot of good.”

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Hillfarm Oils grows, presses and bottles on site, with the oil produced from specially selected varieties that have been tested for their nutritional composition, colour and taste.

Bottle sales through the retail trade are growing, and are nearly 50% up on last year, said Mr Frohn.

“We talk to a lot of customers who buy our oil and they all come back for more. They like the fact that it is British and is a completely natural product – in fact, this is probably the main reason behind consumers purchasing our oil, which must be a good and encouraging sign for local food producers.

“Consumers are also very aware of the health benefits of rapeseed oil and like the fact you can cook with it as well as use it as a dressing.”

Eastern regional director of the Country Land and Business Association Nicola Currie said: “Jamie Oliver’s blog and recommendation is a great boost for local rapeseed growers and oil producers.

“By advocating the use of British rapeseed oil in cooking, he encourages people to buy the best regional produce – by doing so you will be helping to support the local economy.”