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Six Questions from Greencity with Summer Harvest

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Each week on the Greencity blog, we'll be profiling one of the fantastic small producers who's products we're proud to distribute. This week, we hear from Summer Harvest, longstanding producers of great quality rapeseed oils and dressings, all grown, ground and pressed in the green hills of Perthshire's Strathearn Valley. This family farm has been going for 130 years now, and for the past 50 of them they've been based at Ferneyfold Farm, just ten miles north of Gleneagles, between Perth and Crieff. Every bottle of Summer Harvest contains a little bit of Perthshire and a great deal of Ferneyfold love and attention.

How/why and when did you start your business?

Many years ago I was an IT consultant (air traffic control, army and trading floor of an investment bank), but it never really excited me (food & drink excited me), so in 2007 I quit my job and with my wife we moved from London to Scotland. I started to work on my father-in-law's farm and my first business venture was selling potatoes to farm shops, delis and restaurants, plus attending Perth Farmers’ Market. This excited me as I could see peoples desire for such produce coming directly from the farm. So, we looked at what other crops we could take from our farm and sell to the public. The farm had been growing oil-seed rape for around 25 years; in 2008 there were no producers solely based in Scotland selling ‘cold pressed rapeseed oil’, so we decided that gap needed to be filled! 10 years on and we are still going strong.

2. What advice would you give to someone starting a new business in the sector?

Time management, time management, time management!!!!!

3. What motivates you?

Seeing and hearing that people enjoy our products and knowing we are doing the very best to help maintain a very healthy farm with our zero waste system in place. Grow the oilseed, press for oil, by-product feed to cattle, cattle produce dung, dung used to fertilise the fields.

4. How do you think the food & drinks industry could improve?

Look at home for your produce, don’t follow trends, the countryside and climate dictate what your body needs and also what the land can grow, a perfect marriage. Ditch the Mediterranean diet and opt for a local diet.

5. Is there an individual or organisation, current or in the past, who inspires you?

It must be Shirley Spear (https://www.threechimneys.co.uk/) building this business has been a life-long process of educating, inspiring and using local producers.

6. Apart from Greencity, which other three or more people, living or deceased, would you invite to make a dinner party entertaining?

  • Shirley Spear – Let’s talk food
  • Steve Jobs – Let’s talk innovation
  • Eddie Izzard – Where do I start, comedy, politics, endurance challenges, pushing boundaries.
  • My late dad – Lets catch-up

Don't need any more, plenty of conversation here.

If you’d like any more information about Summer Harvest’s products, you can check out their website at http://www.summerharvestoils.co.uk or contact the Greencity Sales Team who are always happy to help.

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