Witham Group: 100 years of working with Agriculture 14 Jun
Witham Group, with its Head Office based in Lincoln, is celebrating its impressive centenary year throughout 2021. As long-term supporters of both the agricultural industry and our Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, we take a look back at their 100-year history and their agricultural expertise.
The story of Witham Group
Starting with humble beginnings, the company was originally based on the Brayford Wharf and named after the River Witham which runs through the city. They started manufacturing basic oils for the local foundries, as well as wax candles for the factories and bike oils for early transportation. However, they soon diversified into meeting the needs of the new industrial and agricultural age, manufacturing lubricants and greases that would power the steam engines and vehicles of the day – including the first tractors and mechanical machinery being introduced into farming.
Since then, Witham Group has grown to manufacture a huge range of products, with two additional sites now based in Soham, Cambridgeshire and Lowestoft, Suffolk. Still a family-run business to this day, holding strong values of excellent customer service and the highest quality products are the backbone of Witham Group. In 1991 they were rewarded for this ethos and were awarded the prestigious Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen, for products and services supplied.
Supporting farmers for 100 years
Working with farmers and other directly related agricultural industries has been at the forefront of the business for many years. Witham’s heartland of East Midlands and East Anglia is known for its high food-producing land and in turn, a wide variety of machinery and vehicles are used to work and harvest the crops, all needing lubricants to keep them turning. However, it is not just in the East of England that Witham’s agricultural expertise is prevalent. The Group is now the preferred supplier to many major agricultural buying groups throughout the UK, plus large individual privately owned Estates, and many agricultural (250+) dealerships throughout the UK and Ireland.
Heavily involved in the agricultural community, Geoff Bottom, Executive Chairman of Witham Group, was intrinsicality involved in helping set up the first LAMMA show back in 1982. Since then, the show has grown to over 900 exhibitors, in excess of 40,000 attendees and is a show that Witham still support almost 40 years later. Geoff is a past President of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and has only missed one Lincolnshire Show (when it has been on!) since his 5th birthday… 70+ years ago!
Nigel R Bottom, Group Managing Director, is a current Trustee on the Board of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, a Director of the Lincolnshire Showground Limited and also works closely with other agricultural Shows, such as the new Midlands Machinery Show. Nigel currently supports many local, national and international agricultural business, plus industry associations both in the UK and Europe, and a large selection of charities in many formats.
It is the relationships that the Witham Group has built over these decades of business that count for the most. Nigel says, “There have been many occasions over the past century where we have gone to a farmer in the middle of the night to help with an oil leak or other issue, as we know the pressure, they are under at certain times of the year. Many of our farming customers have relationships with our business spanning over many generations and we look forward to looking, after all, our agricultural partners and their families over the next 100 years.”
Educating the farmers and agricultural industry of tomorrow
From helping with the Bishop Burton Agricultural college and their agricultural engineering lubricant syllabus, to carrying out factory tours and visits for Young Farmers Groups and the LAS’ very own Impact Group, Witham continually support the agricultural industry in their quest for education. The events promote lubricant efficiency, protection of machinery and the environment, plus getting the best performance from all machinery and supporting them to understand the importance of how lubricants work and their role in the longevity of the moving parts.
Planning for the next 100 years
With a focus on the latest product developments of environmentally sensitive and biodegradable products, Witham are constantly keeping up to date with the latest farm vehicles and machinery to offer the best oils and greases to match or exceed the OEM requirements.
Always innovating outside the box, using alternative food safe and water safe lubricants, Witham are keen to work with their customers to help them become more sustainable and improve their own environmental credentials. One example of this is the bestselling Witham Prolan range of lubricants, made from the lanolin found in sheep’s wool.
It is not just oils and greases that Witham offer. With a huge variety of useful, reliable and specialist paints and coatings for farm buildings, fencing, workshops, vehicles and equestrian stables and equipment, the business helps trade and retail keep their assets in tip top condition. In addition, Witham supplies a wide range of popular cleaning and rust prevention products, all available with a trade account or from their online shop, with next day delivery throughout the UK.
Witham Group are also incredibly proud to be the first global lubricant manufacturer to make lubricants in a carbon neutral blending procedure, a process called Blendtek. Using ultrasound instead of conventional fossil fuels to heat and blend products, Witham Group are paving the way to a cleaner, greener and more sustainable industry which has traditionally been full of energy use. This new technology, as well as using recycled packaging and bulk storage innovations, is helping the agricultural industry, as well as many other business owners, to work with a supplier who has the environment at the forefront of their business.
The Witham Group are proud that its partnership with agriculture continues to develop. From the single-family farmer to large estates and buying groups, agricultural suppliers and online distributors, Witham will always put people and the agricultural industry first.
For more information on Witham Group’s range of agricultural products, visit https://www.withamgroup.co.uk/agricultural.