All three of the independent land-based analytical testing businesses now grouped under Cawood Scientific Ltd - NRM Laboratories of Bracknell, Berkshire specialising in soils, plant tissue, fertilisers and environmental testing; Sciantec Analytical at Selby, Yorkshire majoring in feed and crop analysis and poultry specialist Sci-Tech Laboratories near Craven Arms in Shropshire – were first established in 1991, and so mark their 25th year of trading in 2016.
“Now brought together into the Cawood Scientific Group, NRM, Sciantec and Sci-Tech are still driven by the focus on quality and individual attention to customer service that was the foundation of all the businesses from the start,” notes Linda Radnor, Cawood operations director and one of the original six staff at NRM in 1991. “This has enabled us to further develop and expand the services that we provide.”
Each laboratory started with only a few staff, but over the last 25 years the Cawood Group has grown to employ almost 200 people, with many of the original staff still working in their respective laboratory. The Group now has over 4,000 clients on its books, some of whom have been with the business for the duration. Over the quarter century, it estimates that over 15 million samples have been processed and analysed, equating to over 87 million separate analytical tests.
“The industries to which the Cawood Group provide analytical services have changed significantly during the last 25 years - we are required to operate in a fast-moving and transforming market to accommodate the continuous improvements in knowledge and technology,” says Ms Radnor. “This is reflected in the way the Group has developed through the launch of new services, the use of state-of-the-art technology and the investment in staff.
“Today, the Group’s focus remains the same as it did all those years ago - to continue to provide a ‘complete agricultural analytical solution’ of high level testing that customers can trust and rely on. With the business going from strength to strength, we hope to continue on this path for many years to come.”
Cawood chairman Lord Don Curry adds: “The UK agricultural industry needs to move faster in the direction of utilising all information available and embracing the huge benefit of analytical data. We need to advance the concept of precision farming even further and need to be even more precise and more intelligent in the way we approach all of our farming enterprises. To this end my chairmanship of Cawood Scientific and my links to agriculture allow me to facilitate new partnerships and raise awareness of the value of the analytical data that Cawood Scientific can provide to its customers.
“I am delighted that after 25 years the laboratories within the Cawood Group are still developing services in line with customers’ expectations and are continuing to work on new innovative and unique services. Improving productivity is a national challenge and the data the Cawood Group can provide is critical to improving agricultural productivity.”