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Farmers make Good with their brand of oil

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: February 26, 2009

FEELING GOOD: Henry Braham and Glynis Murray who produce their Good Oil from Collabear farm, Tawstock, pictured here in a field of hemp.

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A PAIR of filmmaking farmers from Tawstock have produced such a "Good" oil that it is now stocked in supermarkets across the country.

It has even been used by celebrity chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver.

Henry Braham and his wife Glynis Murray both work in the film industry — Henry is a cinematographer while Glynis is a producer.

However, after meeting on the set of a movie 15 years ago, the pair also discovered that they both came from farming backgrounds.

The couple bought Collabear Farm in Tawstock, near Barnstaple, back in 1996 and decided to grow hemp as it was a sustainable crop. But it was only when Henry tasted hemp seed that he realised it was delicious.

Henry said: "I researched it and discovered that it was one of the most famous healthy oils available.

"I went to a health store and found a bottle of hemp oil and it was packaged in a way that you wouldn't know what it was.

"It was also expensive and tasted disgusting. I thought, what's happened? The seed tastes delicious but the oil is horrible."

The couple researched the process and, over an eight year period, finally developed the perfect method of harvesting and cold-pressing the seeds to produce an oil that could be used for cooking or drizzling over salads — they named the product Good Oil.

In 2004 the couple packaged the oil and approached the head office of supermarket chain, Waitrose.

Henry said: "We knew nothing about retail but because we knew about the subject of oil they said they could help with it.

"Nobody else has developed hemp seed or oil as a food ingredient."

Good Oil is now sold at major retailers across the country, including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and The Co-op.

When the business started, the couple tended 1,200 acres in Devon, including 200 acres at Collabear Farm, and more at rented farms throughout the county.

They also did the pressing and packaging themselves with a little help from their neighbours.

Henry said: "In Devon we have farming neighbours who have always been interested and given us massive moral support.

"It makes a huge difference when you have the backing of those around you."

Every year the business grows 800 tonnes of seed and produces 200 tonnes of oil at a 22,000sq ft purpose-built barn at Collabear Farm.

The couple have also had some celebrity endorsement with both Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver using the oil in their recipes.

Henry said: "Hugh calls it the English olive oil. The first thing he did was roast potatoes with it.

"He also pours it on toast — he's incredibly imaginative.

"Jamie Oliver pours it on ice-cream and he's right — it is delicious."

The couple's Good range has now branched out into salad dressings and mayonnaise as well as mild and light versions of the hemp oil.

Henry added: "It's really satisfying seeing it on the supermarket shelf and great seeing someone put it in their trolley."

For more information visit www.goodwebsite.co.uk.

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