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Press release / Industry recognition for Somerset diversification farmer

THE RODE farmer known for his rapeseed oil food products has received industry recognition at a national farming ceremony

After being shortlisted for the Diversification Farmer category in the Farmers Weekly Awards, Andy Fussell competed with countrywide competition to come runner up in the annual event which celebrates innovation and excellence in UK agriculture.

“Just being recognised as a serious contender on a national level is quite satisfying” comment Andy.

“This kind of result helps to reinforce the decisions and choices which you are constantly faced with as a farmer.   I’m very pleased with this and just hope that next time, it’s an outright win!”

Andy was determined to find a way of keeping oilseed rape as an important break crop when its commercial price dropped.  He now bottles and markets it as a culinary oil and has engineered a recycling scheme for the used product collected from catering trade customers.

The 2010 ceremony paid recognition to 45 leading farmers, advisers and industry champions shortlisted across 15 categories.

The award judges reported that Andy Fussell had being shortlisted for several reasons; being committed to establishing an identifiable brand identity in a competitive market; enthusiastic and effective at increasing local awareness and understanding about wider farming issues; effective and original integration of several diverse enterprises; energetic marketing into supermarkets, retail outlets and farmers markets; and having a recycling scheme for used oil.

Andy Fussell has diversified the original arable Fussell Farms business into several operations which include haulage, grain storage, cold-pressed rapeseed oil and the Fussels Fine Foods range.  He has more diversification plans in store, including generating electricity from wind power.

“As long as they aren’t too big I think wind turbines can actually look quite majestic” he commented.

“Like the used oil recycling scheme which powers my delivery vehicles, I’d like to generate enough energy to power the farm and possibly the surrounding village.”

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