Broighter Gold in Limavady has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to accelerate the growth of sales here and in the Republic of Ireland of its unique range of award-winning rapeseed oils.
The growth in sales has also led to the artisan business recruiting an additional employee with assistance from Invest NI’s Jobs Fund.
John Hood, Invest NI’s Director of Food and Tourism, praised the farm-based company’s focus on business outside Northern Ireland during a visit to its production operation at Myroe, near Limavady. The arable farm, which also produces crops of wheat, barley and potatoes, has been owned by the Kane family for over 100 years.
He was briefed about the company’s plans by Leona Kane, who founded the business in 2006 with husband Richard. Mr Kane farms over 900 acres including 200 devoted to oilseed rape which is used in the cold pressing of the rapeseed culinary oils for professional chefs and home cooking.
Mr Hood said: “This is an immensely enterprising small business that’s now established as a driving force in culinary oils in Northern Ireland and increasingly in the Republic of Ireland. In addition, the company has a developing international business by means of its website and effective use of social media. Indeed, Broighter Gold is an excellent example of how an artisan business can raise its profile and sales using both Facebook and Twitter very effectively.
“Invest NI has provided a range of support which the company has used to strengthen its competitiveness and overall business. Broighter Gold has followed up the advice and business leads from Invest NI assiduously and is now reaping the benefits of this professionalism.”
Mrs Kane, commenting on the company’s achievements, said: “Our sales have tripled over the past year as a result of intensive marketing, assisted by Invest NI, to increase awareness of the benefits from using rapeseed over other culinary oils.
“We’ve had to create the market, which was quite a challenge for a small business, by showing chefs and home cooks that rapeseed oil is a healthy alternative because it is a natural product that’s free from preservatives and artificial colourings and is cold pressed without any of the heat treatments, solvents or anti-frothing agents that may be used in the processing of refined oils. Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil is rich in Omega 3,6,9 and Vitamin E.
“The advice and practical support that we’ve received from Invest NI has been extremely beneficial. I’ve learned a great deal about business and in particular marketing and design and product development from my engagements with Invest NI.
“As a result of this advice and support, Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil is now sold by upmarket retailers in the Republic of Ireland including Brown Thomas, Donnybrook Fair and Fallon & Byrne, all based in Dublin. Top chefs such as Clodagh McKenna and Rozanne Stevens are also cooking with Broighter Gold.
“The support offered by Invest NI, especially in terms of business leads and ‘Meet the Buyer’ events, has helped me grow sales faster than would have been possible for a micro business like Broighter Gold without such readily available and encouraging assistance,” added Mrs Kane.