Our Heritage

Our proud history and family values have led us to becoming the successful the group we are today, with over 1,500 employees in 4 businesses across food and agriculture

1858 | 1899

Our journey begins in 1858 with our founder Edward Billington, turning his hand to importing tea, coffee and sugar in to the UK. From that small business venture grew a legitimate trading company, enabling the business to take permanent headquarters in the famous Cunard Building where our registered head office remains today. Our business remains under family ownership which is core to our purpose and values.

1900 | 1950

Our business grew in the early 20th century opening it’s first mill producing cattle food called ‘Criddle Cake’ and establishing a tin packaging company.

1950 | 2000

After establishing a meat division and entry into the travel sector, the group began setting up elements of the business seen today by growing its sugar business, acquiring English Provender Company in 1997 and establishing Carr’s Billington Agriculture Ltd in 1998

2000 | 2010

Saw significant change within the group. Firstly the ‘Billington Food Group’ sugar business was sold to British Sugar followed by investment into English Provender Company’s facilities and acquisitions of Suffolk Foods, Pye Bibby Agriculture and Alembic products. The group also set up it’s US venture, Wholesome Sweeteners and established Billington Bioenergy.

2010 | 2020

The group grew it’s food division further through the acquisitions of Bar Foods in 2012, followed by TSC Foods in 2014 and Dunkleys in 2016 establishing it’s presence in the UK Foodservice sector. The group also opened it’s midlands office ‘The Billington Barn’ in 2016 and proudly founded it’s charity ‘The Billington Foundation’ in 2019.

2020 | Present

Following the COVID-19 pandemic the group saw restructuring of its food business, establishing ‘Billington Foods’ and closing its EPC Chester site. In 2022 the group sold its stake in Wholesome Sweeteners and latterly marked a significant step forward into UK agriculture by acquiring full ownership of Carr’s Billington Agriculture setting up this business for future growth in this area.