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Dugdale Nutrition remains ‘fiercely independent’

£1m blend shed opens for business.

matthew dugdale

Managing Director Matt Dugdale

In an era when feed companies, meat processors, milk buyers are consolidating into large national and, in some cases international, businesses Dugdale Nutrition remains fiercely independent as a family run and owned company, in touch with its roots and its customers, managing director Matt Dugdale told visitors to the company’s new £1m feed blend facility.

The sixth member of his family to lead the company in its 164 year history, Mr Dugdale said: “We remain passionate about farming and are committed to its future. We also have huge confidence in the future of milk, lamb and beef production in the UK. The new blend shed is part of the long term commitment by the company to supplying the ruminant sector.

“From an annual sales figure of 30,000 tonnes/year following the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, the business has grown to a current output of 140,000 tonnes per year.

“There has been a £5.5 million capital investment plan implanted over the last decade culminating the new blend plant opening in 2014. This is providing job security and a positive future to the workforce of around 70 people largely drawn from the local farming and rural community.”

Mr Dugdale said the new facility aimed to meet the current and future needs of ruminant livestock farmers while easing pressure on the existing mill. It would also enable the company to supply a full complement of feed products to customers all in one wagon.

Dugdale ruminant consultant, Adam Collantine said: “The blends produced in the new unit are completely customisable to suit each individual’s requirements and can be re-formulated as often as necessary as the on farm situation evolves. The customised blend can contain any amount, of any given raw material and the customer can also choose from a vast range of low inclusion materials such as minerals, yeasts, rumen buffers and protected fat and protein sources.

“All of the blends manufactured are extremely accurate and have full traceability. The computer software monitors how much of each raw material is added to the blend, against how much the formula requires. This ensures a very high level of accuracy. Samples of every raw material into the blend and every finished blend leaving the plant are also retained. Each raw material is sampled every two weeks, with around 50 finished products being sampled every month.”


When asked about the history of the company, present managing director, Matt Dugdale says:

“The business was founded by my great, great, great Grandfather in around 1850. We do not have an exact date but what is definite is that John Dugdale bought the premises at Waddington Post Office, 2 miles from Clitheroe in 1853 and having being tenant of the premises prior to purchase. The business developed throughout the latter half of the 19th century selling bags of grain to farmers alongside the original post office and grocery business. As farmers returned from taking their milk to the milk train they would purchase feed for their animals to take back to their Ribble and Hodder valley farms. In the 1880’s the family became agents for Bibby’s Feeds and the business developed via a warehouse facility near to the railway station in Clitheroe. Alongside the post office, grocery and animal feed concerns the family also ran a farming business, with three separate farms operating in the Ribble Valley.

“In the 1950’s the family took the step to commence manufacturing their own range of feeds and the Waterloo Corn Mill was constructed in Clitheroe. By the late 1970’s demand had outgrown the Mill’s capacity and its town centre location was becoming a problem. The 5th generation of Roger and Stephen Dugdale led the family in its decision to relocate to the current site and the new purpose built mill was opened in May 1981.”

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