About Me

I grew up on my family farm in Northamptonshire where we grow a range of crops such as oilseed rape, wheat, barley and beans. As well as these, we also have a heard of cattle and a small flock of sheep. Currently I am at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, where I study Agri-food Marketing and Business. I have just completed my first year there and whilst home for summer I wanted to find a job that would be good experience but also doing something I am passionate about. Having always been interested in the farm to fork process, or in this case the field to bottle process, where better to apply than Farrington Oils.


What have I been doing?

On my first couple of days I was thrown in at the deep end as I was working on the stand at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, where I promoted and sold the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow range to the public. We were roasting potatoes in our cold pressed rapeseed oil in an oven on the stand for people to sample. This was to demonstrate how crispy the oil makes the potatoes thanks to its high smoke point. With over 220,000 people attending the show it meant our stand always had people around it, either tasting, asking questions, and the majority of the time, purchasing. Although they were 2 long days, leaving Bottom Farm at 6am and returning back at 9pm, it was a really enjoyable experience.

good food show picture 1

Another hands on task I was given was conducting a tasting at Morrisons in St Ives; here I had my own stand, positioned at the end of the salad aisle. The shoppers were able to taste any of the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow range by dipping freshly baked bread in the oils and dressings, and breadsticks in the mayonnaises. After tasting the products, many customers choose to purchase them, with some even buying 3 or 4 dressings at a time! Lots of people were interested in hearing about the locality of the oil and its health benefits.

morrisons tasting photo 1

In the office I started off by organising the store locator from the website, making sure they were all set out correctly, and all the information was up to date. I have also been working with food bloggers to encourage them to try our Farrington’s Mellow Yellow dressings. I had to make up and package the dressings, before sending them off to the bloggers who are going to review the products on their social media pages.

Another project that I was set was to research different packaging and postage options for the oils and dressings. This was an interesting task to do as I had to contact different companies to get more detailed information and quotes for products that I was looking at. I also had to work out the costing of different ideas and decide weather or not it would be viable and if so how would the business benefit from it. Whilst carrying out these tasks I have also been monitoring the Farrington’s Mellow Yellow social media pages, this includes liking, commenting, replying to or retweeting our followers. I also posted some pictures on Instagram of different meals that can be made using our rapeseed oil, adding in a link to our website so our followers could find the recipe. I have been trying to keep everything up to date by changing letter templates from the old logo to the new one and updating customer’s information. I have also helped to do a stock take and upload it onto the system, this is to check that there is the correct amount of the correct batch, and if there isn’t, then I had to work out why not and where the bottles may have gone.

Finally, I have also been working with the production team. In here I have been folding lots of different sized trays for the bottles to be packed into. I have also been folding swing tags for the rapeseed oil bottles, which advertise our range of dressings. Another task that I enjoyed was helping to pick and pack different orders to go out to customers, this is because of the importance of ensuring the correct type and amount of stock are going to the correct person.

Overall I have really enjoyed my time working at Farrington Oils; I have learnt so much that I will be able to take with me, not only back to university but also in future jobs. I have been involved in the whole process from watching the dressings being made along the whole production line to marketing and selling the finished bottles at shows. It has been great experience that has helped me to decide what path I would like to take in my future career.

We spoke to chef Gavin Austin about how and why he uses Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil…


1. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do at Northampton Saints?

I’m originally from North Norfolk. I’ve been cooking for over twenty years and am currently the team performance chef at the Northampton Saints.


2. How did you first hear of Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil?

It was a good while ago now! When I moved down to Northamptonshire to work at Oundle Mill, I heard about Mellow Yellow at the Northamptonshire Food Awards. This must have been about 6 years ago and I have been using it ever since.


3. What were your reasons for switching to Mellow Yellow?

Well it’s the ultimate oil. I don’t think anything else is as good. It’s really versatile for my uses and really good for you.


4. What do you use Mellow Yellow for now?

I use it for everything! Dressings, cooking breakfast, lunch, I even add it into desserts.  The flavour works brilliantly with dark chocolate, orange and sea salt.


5. What would you say is the biggest benefit to using Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil?

It’s healthy and not full of rubbish. Plus it’s local! I like to support independent local businesses so Farrington’s is perfect.


6. What is your favourite recipe to use Mellow Yellow in?

That’s a really hard question as I pretty much use it in everything. It goes into probably 95% of my cooking. Vegetables, chicken, scrambled eggs, caponata, etc, all use it. It’s just so versatile so I couldn’t pick a favourite.


7. We know you try to encourage the players to cook at home themselves, who is the best or most creative home-cook?

The names that spring to mind are Christian Day and Jamie Gibson, they stand out as two of the most foodie players.


8. As the weather is pretty cold at the moment, what’s your go-to winter warming comfort food dish?

Anything slow cooked!


If you enjoyed this interview with chef Gavin Austin, why not watch our video with him at the Saints last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPcDwXTvrgg

We are very proud of our Northamptonshire heritage and it’s always wonderful when retailers and other suppliers give their support to local food produce and fly the ‘Made In Northamptonshire’ flag. www.underfinewraps.co.uk is a well-known hand-made hamper and gift company, based overlooking the stunning Rutland Water, and we asked founder Clare Underwood to write a guest blog for us, explaining why she chooses Farrington’s products for her innovative hamper lines. Here’s what she said:

“Our relationship with Farrington’s goes back to the very start, when I launched Under Fine Wraps with a small but carefully selected line of county themed hampers, beginning with our Northamptonshire Hamper.

It is our intention to always create hampers packed only with food, treats, snacks, and cooking produce that we ourselves are happy to eat at home. And our county hampers carry the added dimension of containing produce made in those counties, so when we wanted oils and mayonnaises from Northamptonshire, it simply had to be Farrington’s.

Our Northamptonshire Hamper features Farrington’s Mellow Yellow Rapeseed Oil, Mellow Yellow Balsamic Vinegar Dressing, and Mellow Yellow Mayonnaise – all of which are simply delicious. I cook with the rapeseed oil all the time, whether frying, roasting or baking and it’s exceptional as well as healthy.

And when Summer comes around, there’s barely a salad made in our house that isn’t splashed with the gorgeous Balsamic Vinegar Dressing. Personally, I think the combination of the cold pressed rapeseed oil with Aspall Apple Balsamic vinegar is genius and the added punch of garlic and basil is inspired.

When we started to expand our hamper range with the introduction of the Northamptonshire Food, Beer, and Wine Crate, we included the rapeseed oil and Mellow Yellow Honey and Mustard Dressing and now several of our seasonal Christmas hampers also feature Farrington’s.

Last year we launched our new ‘Manper’ range (hampers unashamedly designed primarily for men and packed with savoury goodies, top quality beers and wines) and I’m certain the Mellow Yellow Chilli Oil will be finding its way into a few of those.

We have a very simple rule at Under Fine Wraps: never put anything into a hamper that we ourselves wouldn’t eat and enjoy and we often put this to the test at food fairs and festivals, where we always offer samples of the produce from our hampers. Farrington’s oils and mayos are always very well received, particularly among keen amateur cooks, who really appreciate the high quality of the cold pressed rapeseed oil.

If you’re reading this and you live or work in Northamptonshire, or you’re originally from the county, then I’d really suggest you try out our Northamptonshire Hamper. It’s a wonderful selection of Northamptonshire-sourced foods from passionate and artisan producers including, the county’s very own wine! Beautifully packed in a quality, hand woven wicker hamper with leather straps and hinges, it makes a lovely gift.

In fact, it’s very popular as a corporate gift and one of our lovely customers uses them in their employee rewards scheme and as staff birthday and wedding gifts. Lucky them, I say!”

To try Farrington’s oils and mayonnaises alongside carefully matched fine wines, whiskies, beers, and ales, why not visit www.UnderFineWraps.co.uk

Describes himself as a professional writer and amateur chef. Alex’s blog “Just Cook It” is a host of recipe ideas, album reviews and much more. www.justcookit.blogspot.com