Smart science to improve lives™

Our timeline

We have an amazing history. From the outset, we understood the central role science plays in our everyday lives. Today, that means using our Smart science to improve lives™, leveraging our sustainability leadership, innovation and partnerships with industry and customers to help develop solutions to some of the biggest challenges the world is facing.
Croda's factory in the early years

Croda founded at Rawcliffe Bridge

Founded by Mr Crowe and Mr Dawe at Rawcliffe Bridge, England to make lanolin, a unique wax obtained from refining sheep’s wool. ‘Croda’ comes from combining of the first few letters of our founders’ surnames.

New markets

New markets in engineering and the developing automotive industry open, thanks to a report from the National Physical Laboratory that shows lanolin to be an effective rust preventative. Croda Fluid No 3 is developed for the growing steel industry - its success sees the product range extended for many engineering products.
Ball mill producing hydraulic oils, camouflage creams and insect repellent during WW2

The Second World War

During wartime we produce a variety of new specialities including hydraulic oils, camouflage creams and insect repellent.

Rust prevention

Rust prevention is revolutionised through the development of Crocell, a unique product still sold today that protects metal in transit and storage, providing further protection by leaving a fine oil film when removed.
Edgar Lowe, Croda's first technical director

Croda's first Technical Director

Our Technical Director, Edgar Lower, suggests a change in focus: lanolin as a natural ingredient for personal care products.

HQ moves to Croda House

Growing sales mean that our headquarters moves to larger premises, named Croda House.

First non-ionic emulsifying wax

We develop the first non-ionic emulsifying wax for cosmetic creams and lotions, Polawax™, still a major product line.

The US market

Establishing an office in New York, Croda Inc marks our move into the North American market. Operations in North America and Canada have continued to expand ever since.

Acquisition of C M Keyworth of Leek

We acquire C M Keyworth of Leek. Today, this is our flagship Omega 3 manufacturing site, GMP compliant for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacture. Our founder Mr Crowe dies and is succeeded as chairman by his brother, Sir Edward.

First European manufacturing site

We establish our first European manufacturing site outside the UK in Italy. The growing designer wool markets make it the perfect location for expanding lanolin production.
Historic picture of Cowick Hall, Croda's Headquarters

HQ moves to Cowick

Continued expansion sees our global headquarters moving to Cowick Hall, the former country seat of Viscount Downe, a few miles from our first manufacturing site.
Cleaning vessels at one of Croda's manufacturing sites

Lanolin business

Continuing to lead the lanolin market in the US with new and expanding product lines, Croda Inc acquires the lanolin business of Hummel Chemical Company and transfers production to a newly constructed manufacturing site, the company’s first in North America.

First sales office

Our first sales office in Europe outside of the UK is established in Germany, enabling local teams to work more closely with customers – an approach that continues in the planning of our new offices today.

First pilot batches of Crodafos™

The first pilot batches of Crodafos™ phosphate esters are created at our manufacturing site in North America. This product range has continued to be developed and is now used in various Croda business areas including Crop Care, Home Care, Energy Technologies and Personal Care.

Becoming a public company

Croda becomes a public company, enabling our continued growth. Manufacturing expands into Asia with the establishment of Croda Nippon, Japan, initially a joint venture with Sansho Oil and Fat Trading.
Universal fatty acid specialists

Expansion by acquisition

Expansion continues and new skills are added to our portfolio by acquiring Hull-based United Premier Oil & Cake Company, which included Universal Oil Company.

British Glues and Chemicals acquired

New product lines are added with the acquisition of British Glues and Chemicals, one of the UK’s major producers of gelatine, and Bowmans Chemicals, a manufacturer of food acids and specialised chemicals for metal finishing. Access to high quality wool grease creates the perfect opportunity to establish Croda Australia by acquiring Lanoline products, El Nobel and Co and Federal Chemical Holdings.
Croda acquires companies with pain and ink technology

Croda buys L&H Holdings

We further expand our speciality product portfolio by acquiring John L Seaton and Co, specialists in high purity and quality natural oils. Croda becomes the first to commercialise a hydrolysed protein for the cosmetics industry.

Expansion in Africa

Expansion continues with sales offices in Africa established.

A truly international business

We establish sales teams in Latin America: Croda is now truly international.

Our 50th anniversary

Our 50th anniversary. Profits have risen from £12,000 per annum in 1950 to £9.3 million in 1975.

Launch of Crotein™ Q

We launch Crotein™ Q, the first quarternised protein, and the first in a long line of market-changing protein derivatives that revolutionise hair care.

First manufacturing site in Latin America

Our manufacturing continues to expand across the globe as we build our first manufacturing site in Latin America.

High purity excipients

A process for creating high purity excipients is developed at Croda Japan, paving the way for our first pharmaceutical standard excipients in 2014.

Refocused on naturally derived speciality chemicals

After successfully fighting a takeover bid by Burmah Oil, Croda refocuses on what we know best: naturally derived speciality chemicals. This is followed by a period of divestment, selling parts of the business such as honey, paint and bitumen manufacture that are not part of our core markets.

First cereal based protein

We develop the first cereal-based protein ingredient.

First sales office in Asia

We establish our first sales office in Asia, Singapore, which later becomes our regional hub.

Redevelopment and growth

We undertake a GBP £15 million redevelopment and expansion of our Rawcliffe Bridge manufacturing site to enable greater responsiveness to market needs and initiates further growth.
lorenzo oil

Lorenzos oil

Our UK scientists collaborate with doctors and the family of a boy with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) to create Lorenzo’s oil, a unique breakthrough treatment for this degenerative condition. We still produce Lorenzo’s oil, which continues to be used as treatment for ALD today. Croda Singapore becomes the first manufacturer of speciality esters in Southeast Asia.

Specialising in plant extracts

With the acquisition of Novarom, renamed Crodarom in 1998, we can now manufacture botanical and plant extracts through greener extraction techniques based on patented technologies.

Solvent-free Adinol™

We develop the only solvent-free version of AdinolTM, a product used in sensitive toothpaste worldwide.

New lipids plant

We open a new lipids plant at our Leek manufacturing site to meet rising demand for high purity Omega 3 fish oil, launching our Incromega™ range.
sederma labs

Ingredients for skin care

Acquiring other innovative organisations continues with Sederma, a world leader in active ingredients for skin care, which synthesised the first ceramides in 1995.
Womans face after using Medilan, a lanolin based product supplied by Croda, the worlds leading supplier of lanolin

World's largest lanolin manufacturer

We acquire Westbrook Lanolin, reinforcing Croda’s position as the world’s leading lanolin producer. We can now develop high purity lanolin for pharmaceutical and dermatological applications.

75th anniversary

Celebrating our 75th anniversary, we open a new $50 million speciality chemicals complex in Singapore, one of the world’s most advanced chemical manufacturing sites. We establish Croda Korea including a specialist laboratory, taking us closer to our customers in South Korea.

Matrixyl™ and Dermaxyl™

We launch Matrixyl™ and Dermaxyl™, changing the face of the personal care sector. These revolutionary ingredients are incorporated into leading brand formulations, creating high demand sell-out products.

Croda 1% Club created

We establish our award-winning volunteering programme, the 1% Club, enabling employees to donate 1% of their working time to community projects.
Martin Flower, former chairman of Croda International

Enterprise Technologies division

We form our Enterprise Technologies division to identify and commercialise new technologies. This global team expands our product portfolio through further acquisitions of innovative companies and via academic and commercial partnerships in areas such as green chemistry and biotechnology.

A year of transformation

Acquiring Uniqema from ICI creates a chemical company with sales of almost GBP £1 billion. This expands our capabilities and technologies in key areas including surfactants, sun care actives, crop care, polymeric surfactants, dimer acid chemistry and polymer additives. We also gain world leading expertise in manufacture, testing and application of esters for lubricants. Omega 3 production is further strengthened by the launch of PureMax™, enabling us to deliver some of the purest, safest and most potent Omega 3 concentrates available.

Launch of Blue Technology

Our Singapore team launches Blue Technology. These ingredients enhance the sustainability credentials of customer products by reducing processing energy requirements by up to 80% through cooler and shorter processing times.

Turnover reaches £1 billion

Turnover reaches GBP £1 billion as our unbroken run of growth during the previous decade continues. We open new laboratories in our Innovation Centre at our global headquarters, serving diverse business areas and providing a training centre for customer formulation and training academies. A new Innovation Centre is also built at our UK manufacturing site in Ditton, enabling a greater focus on our growing sun care and biotechnology portfolio.

Continued demand for innovation

We build a new plant at Ditton, UK, to meet rising demand for our biotechnology innovations.
Daisies in bright sunshine

Aquisition of Istituto di Ricerche Biotecnologiche (IRB)

Acquiring Istituto di Ricerche Biotecnologiche (IRB) takes Croda into plant cell culture biotechnology. Our focus on sustainability continues as we invest USD $6 million in a landfill gas-to-energy project at our Atlas Point site, followed in 2013 by a solar energy project. These provide more than 65% of the site energy required. We join the global MSCI stock index and lead the way in supplying Certified Sustainable Palm Oil as our manufacturing site in Singapore is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Acquisition of Arizona Chemical

We acquire the speciality products business of Arizona Chemical, adding a class leading range of oil gelling polymers to our portfolio.
Croda's manufacturing site at Sipo

Croda acquires 65% equity interest in Sichuan Sipo Chemical Co. Ltd

We acquire a 65% equity interest in Sichuan Sipo Chemical Co Ltd (Sipo), a natural speciality chemicals manufacturer based in Sichuan Province, China. Croda sites in Asia are awarded EFfCI (European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients) GMP certification for the first time. Our Campinas site is the first speciality chemical supplier site in Latin America to be EFfCI certified.
Croda celebrates 50 years of innovation

50 years as a public company

We mark 50 years as a public company: we are the only original chemical company left on the UK stock market from the 32 that were listed in 1964. This year we also acquire JD Horizons, adding the FlowSolve range to our portfolio of speciality additives for oilfield chemicals. We open state of the art laboratories and a test salon in Singapore - this new Collaboration and Training Centre means we can work even more closely with customers in the region.

Acquisition of Incotec

Acquiring Incotec extends our Crop Care expertise into seed enhancement. These products improve seed performance and help to increase farming yields.

Acquisition of Inventiva

We acquire the speciality technology portfolio of Inventiva Ltda, adding its encapsulation and delivery system technologies to our range of personal care ingredients.

New K68 plant

Our new K68 plant at Chocques in France increases production capacity for our most popular surfactants, including the Tween™, Brij™ and Myrj™ ranges. We acquire Enza Biotech, furthering our pipeline of next generation, renewable surfactants and Ionphase, an innovative supplier of static electricity protection.

Opening of Centre of Innovation for Formulation Science

We open our Centre of Innovation for Formulation Science at the University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory .

Most admired company in the UK chemicals sector

Croda is voted the Most Admired Company in the UK Chemicals sector in the Britain’s Most Admired Companies awards. Acquiring Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc adds innovative marine biotechnology actives to our portfolio.

Acquisition of Biosector

We acquire market-leading vaccine adjuvant specialist Brenntag Biosector, which later becomes Croda Denmark, further strengthening our pharmaceutical business.

Acquisition of Avanti Polar Lipids

We also strengthen our position in Life Sciences with the acquisition of Avanti Polar Lipids, a leader in lipid-based drug delivery technologies for next generation pharmaceuticals. This leads to an agreement with Pfizer Inc. to supply novel excipients for the first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Acquiring the leading fragrances and flavours company Iberchem expands our reach into the high growth fragrances market.

Verified 1.5°C SBT

We become the third major chemical company in the world to have a verified 1.5°C Science Based Target (SBT) and to have committed to becoming net zero by 2050.

Launch of R&D digital programme

We launch our R&D digital programme to enhance our ability to work collaboratively both internally and externally, delivering enhanced data science capabilities across our global R&D knowledge base. We are voted Britain’s Most Admired Chemicals Company for the fourth year running, and named Britain’s fifth Most Admired Company overall

Find out more about our company

Rob Pronk, Global Marketing Manager Incotec

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