FARMERS who launched a venture based on the heart-healthy benefits of their rapeseed crop have ambitions for success in the Family Business and Small Business of the Year categories at The Press Business Awards 2016.
The Kilbys – Sallyann, Geoff, Amanda and Stephen – from Collingham near Wetherby, started Wharfe Valley Oils ten years ago.
Rich in vitamins and Omega 3, 6 and 9, Wharfe Valley Oils promotes its brands on their low saturated fat content compared to other culinary cooking, dipping or drizzling oils on the market.
From the plain rapeseed oil launched in 2006 the company has diversified to include a range of infused oils, salad dressings and mayonnaises sold through independent health food and farm shops, as well as at farmers’ markets and summer shows. They have also diversified to ensure waste is kept to a minimum and spare capacity is filled in quieter months.
Wharfe Valley created the Yors range specifically for supermarkets and has listings across the UK in Tesco, Booths, Waitrose and Morrisons.
Financial director Sallyann hosts regular events at the farm for school and Scout groups to learn about farming, rapeseed oil harvesting and manufacturing and the health benefits of the finished product.
She said: “Running a family business can be very hard. You are investing your whole life into it and often work 60 or 70 hours a week with few breaks. You have to be prepared for total commitment and to put your family life on the shelf.”