The origins of the business go as far back as 1850, when Mr John Dugdale was a tenant at Waddington Post Office. The property was purchased in 1854. John’s son Benjamin joined the business and in 1880, the grocery and Post Office was expanded, retailing grains, oil cakes and by-products. These were delivered by train to Clitheroe and collected by the horse and cart. In 1892, the family became agents of Messrs J. Bibby & Sons, retailing their manufactured feeds.
In the early 1900’s, the business then made the move to an open warehouse and yard next to the station, allowing customers to collect feed on their way home from the milk train. By 1916, Benjamin had retired due to ill health and his son William took over, aged just 20. In 1928, a fire totally destroyed the warehouse and a new site was purchased – Waterloo Corn Mills at Well Terrace, Clitheroe.
The feed business continued to expand and William’s three sons John, George and Billy gradually joined the firm in the years leading up to World War II. Benjamin Dugdale died in 1934. In 1936, W. W. Dugdale & Sons Ltd started the family’s farming enterprise at Cheethall Farm, Edisford. The mixed farming venture gave the family a unique insight into the needs of their customers.
Following the return of George from the army, the family continued to act as agents for J. Bibby & Sons until 1957. During the early 60’s, Roger and Stephen Dugdale joined their fathers and Uncle Billy in the business. The production facility at Waterloo was then expanded and improved. In 1965 the company began to produce complete dog food.
Towards the end of the 70’s, it became obvious that the production facility needed modernising. Operating with HGV’s and manufacturing processes did not fit in well in a housing area and in 1978, land was purchased at Salthill Quarry. In 1980, the farming enterprise was sold in order to pay for the building of Bellman Mill.
The new mill was opened in 1981 and several hundred people came to a series of open days between the 13th and 15th May. Sweet n’ Dry and Home n’ Dry were developed as forage additives throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. In 2001, the business was producing 35,000 tonnes of feed per year, by 2009 this had grown to 100,000 tonnes.
Over £6million has been invested in the business in the past decade. The Blend Facility was opened in summer 2014, enabling us to produce over 50,000 tonnes of blends per year.
We have recently installed a new system called DSL in the mill, which enables us to produce more tonnes per hour. Dugdale Nutrition’s current output is over 160,000 tonnes of feed. As of autumn 2016 we will be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The business remains 100% family owned and independent and our continued investment in both the people and the plant will enable Dugdale Nutrition to meet all customers’ future needs. Under the leadership of the sixth generation, we are wholly committed to leading the British Livestock Industry.