TSS Business of the Month – May 2015 is Fussell Farms/Fussels’ Fine Foods

It’s that time of year again when we see the farmers’ fields full of the yellow rapeseed flowers making the checkerboard patterns interspersing with the greenery across the wider landscape, and so choosing Fussell Farms as our Business of the Month for May is significant.

This now hugely popular (break) crop may be just past its full flowering stage, but we can report that down in Frome, Somerset, where the Fussell owned fields are worked, that the winter wheat and barley is a rich green and the spring barley is also growing well. As for the oilseed rape it will be ready for harvesting in July.

oilseed rape crop - image source UK Agriculture online
oilseed rape crop –
image source UK Agriculture online

Managing Director of Fussell Farms and Fussels’ Fine Foods is Andrew (Andy) Fussell. Andy farms 142ha of arable land on the A36 near Frome , village of Rode  and also has a shared farm of a further 70ha, namely Whitechapel Farm at Oldford. Andy has also owned and managed a haulage company.

After investing in an Alvan Blanch rapeseed crushing machine, farmer, Andy, began producing high quality rapeseed cooking oil when he first set up the Fussels’ Fine Foods business. Originally Andy had considered solely producing bio-diesel, but chose instead to adopt a practice where he uses his rapeseed to produce culinary food stuffs, choosing to preserve the oil better by not adding heat to extract it, but giving the seeds a one time cold pressing. Therefore, producing a fresh, extra-virgin oil that has ten times the Omega 3 than olive oil with less than two calories per portion

Andy has become well known as a rapeseed grower and a cold-pressed oil producer and he has acquired numerous industry related awards. He is certainly an ambassador (of sorts) for British Farming and is a regular blogger and vlogger passing on his expertise as a third generation farmer and of oilseed related facts. Seems like one or more of the TV Dragon’s should have had more confidence in Andy when he made his pitch in the Den back in 2011, because there’s not many people doing what Andy does in cold pressing oilseed to make an extra virgin Rapeseed oil in Britain.

Andy Fussell
Andy Fussell

The much favoured hot pressing processes means that the finished product is more on a par with a normal vegetable oil product, which is fine for frying but not much cop for anything else food wise, and as for frying with an extra virgin olive oil  that is not recommended as this should only be used for dressings and drizzling only. Nevertheless, frying foods using the extra virgin Rapeseed oil that this company makes is absolutely fine, as it does not spoil, because it can reach a much higher temperature than extra virgin olive oil without smoking. It can be used in baking too,  for making muffins and flapjacks in particular.

Quince and Cider Vinegar Dressing

TSS says:
The products, produced on Andy’s own farm from start to finish is oil in 500ml bottles, 5 litre cans and plastics ( for consumers and trade respectively). The first rapeseed oil spray they did with TV chef Lesley Waters, to allow people to have more control over the use of the oil in their cooking. The Rapeseed spray oils have nothing added; while other oils, sauces and mayonnaise are fused with ingredients that Andy has locally sourced. Quince, for instance, was once the most widely used food in Britain but we seem to have forgotten about it over time. Fussels’produce a Quince and Cider Vinegar Dressing (pictured above) and there’s other salad dressings available too. Fussels’ Fine Foods are selling at farmers’ markets and supermarkets (including Asda and Waitrose Stores), and are distributed to local restaurants and hotels in the South West of the UK

Recent news is that the business is currently in the middle of creating a new, bigger production unit, complete with a demonstration theatre and visitor facilities, to open by the end of the year (2015).

For details of how to order visit the website

Fussels Fine Foods

Fussels Fine Foods
Church Farm
Rode
Nr Frome
Somerset
BA11 6PW
email: andy@fusselsfinefoods.co.uk
phone: 01373 831286

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