three generations of farming and pressing oil
hillfarm is a true family business with three generations involved in farming and producing the oil.
The Fairs family have been farming in Suffolk since 1967. When Sam and Clare heard of a friend who’d been prescribed rapeseed oil tablets to reduce his cholesterol, they began to explore the idea of turning the rapeseed they grew on their farm into a premium culinary oil.
When they launched at the Suffolk Show in 2004 every bottle was hand-filled and sealed.
“We used to sit up late at night sticking on the labels ready to go out to local farmers’ markets and events!”
Now there is a small dedicated team to help but it’s still a family affair – Sam’s father Alan is still deeply involved with the farming. Clare’s background as a chef means she loves developing recipes to showcase the oil’s versatility and enjoys doing cookery demos at shows, events and local schools.
Other members of the team include, Heather from MENCAP (the charity that works with people with learning disabilities) in Halesworth, who has worked with us for over 6 years. As well as our placement student from Harper Adams University we have another student from the local Otley College helping out on the farm.
Children, Lottie and Harry get involved too helping to promote the oil at shows and food festivals and recently dragging their Dad to school to talk about the farm and business!