UKAS 4352 accredited laboratory, GAFTA and FOSFA analysts: your world-class analysis partner

Alex Stewart Agriculture’s GAFTA and FOSFA-approved laboratories are strategically located in the UK, China, Brazil, Chile, India, Peru and Ukraine. Our UKAS 4352-accredited laboratory provides analytical testing for animal feed, oilseeds and food at test laboratories located in Liverpool, England.

Our test laboratories are purpose-built and equipped with traditional and modern instrumentation, to provide fast, reliable and accurate determinations for GAFTA and FOSFA contracts, nutritional values, calorific values, trace metals and spoilage organisms for animal feeds, regardless of whether your sample is for standard reference or part of a shipment.


Our food test lab is an independent microbiological, chemical and nutritional food testing laboratory. Our food testing services provide reliable microbiological, chemistry and nutritional analysis services for foodstuffs, which provides detailed nutritional information for food labelling. Our analytical services enable you to meet food labelling and safety regulations, achieve best practice and satisfy your consumers.

Our highly professional, dedicated team of expert microbiologists and chemists uses the latest technologies and works with recognised international testing standards to provide fast turnaround times, typically, for laboratory tests for salmonella, calorific values and nutritional values (Group I and Group II) in groceries, cooked or raw meats, dairy products, processed foods and exports (meat, fish, honey, milk, coffee, cocoa and beverages).

Our purpose-built test laboratory has been designed to handle thousands of micro samples per day and results are delivered on time according to time-bound specific service scopes for:

A Norman Tate & Co Ltd has built up an enviable pedigree and cutting edge analytical know-how over more than 140 years.

In 1867, after making a name for himself in the UK chemicals and refining sectors, pharmacist, chemical engineer, scholar and analyst A Norman Tate opened his own laboratories in Liverpool. Soon, he was managing one of the country’s most extensive chemical practices, specialising in waters, alkalis, petroleum, mineral oils, oils and fats.

The company continued to expand into the 20th century, entering new markets such as oilseeds, soaps and associated industries, developing new infrastructure and dockside offices. Tens of thousands of samples passed through the laboratories every year in the 1920s. Decline in the 1930s and WWII temporarily depressed the market, but by the 1950s the business was flourishing again.

The company’s product analysis portfolio continued to grow. From a focus on West African palm kernels, palm kernel oil, palm oil and sheanuts in the 1950s, the company diversified into soya beans, sunflower and sesame seeds, and more recently, linseed and rapeseed. Client numbers and requirements increased so much that the company had to relocate to larger premises in Bootle, north of Liverpool.

A Norman Tate & Co Ltd joined the Alex Stewart Agriculture Group in 2004. It continues to provide sector-leading FOSFA accredited inspection, analytical and laboratory services to clients around the world from its laboratory in Aintree near Liverpool.

Few analytical or laboratory specialists can claim such an impressive pedigree. As a fully integrated partner of Alex Stewart Agriculture, fewer still can match Huson and Hardwick’s  modern agricultural and soft commodity analysis portfolio.

Thomas and Charles Huson set up Huson Brothers in 1846 to serve manufacturers of industrial and agricultural chemicals in and around Liverpool. Business flourished as the Port of Liverpool became one of the world’s largest import/export operations. Traders and others relied on the company’s expertise to assess product quality and settle disputes. Chemistry graduate William Hardwick became a partner in the early 1900s and Huson and Hardwick was born. The company soon had long-term analysis and consultancy contracts with the Liverpool Tate & Lyle factory, Unilever and several other high-profile brands in the cane sugar, molasses, groundnut and palm kernel sectors.

Huson and Hardwick expanded into animal feeds, oils and fats, oilseeds, pet food and human foods in the late 1960s, and by the mid-80s it had also established a leading position in the analysis of sheabutter and rapeseed. In 2000, Huson and Hardwick joined the Alex Stewart Group’s new agricultural section. Lines of analysis perfected over decades have been updated for the 21st century.

Today, the laboratory offers a comprehensive range of GAFTA/FOSFA analysis and UKAS 4352-certified testing services. More than 150 years after its formation, Huson and Hardwick continues to innovate, leading the way in providing cutting-edge analytical and certification services. Both A Norman Tate and Huson and Hardwick laboratories are independent and wholly owned subsidiaries of Alex Stewart Agriculture Limited.

As part of a quality-management system for oils and fats, oilseed rape, feeds and molasses, all of Alex Stewart Agriculture participate in industry recognised official ringtests and all analysis meets GAFTA/FOSFA or SAL contractual standards. For fast, accurate analysis, Alex Stewart’s laboratories combine traditional wet chemistry methods with modern state of the art laboratory instrumentation:

  • Mercury (AFS).
  • Gas Chromatography.
  • Kjeldahl.
  • Atomic Absorption.
  • ICP (Trace metal detection).
  • GC Mass Spectrometry.
  • IC.
  • Viscometry.
  • Flame Photometry.
  • Karl Fischer.
  • Isoperibol Calorimeter (Calorific value determination).
  • DUMAS.

Alex Stewart Agriculture provides professional and friendly customer service for all chemical and microbiological analytical services. We regularly participate in FOSFA and GAFTA ringtests and all analysis is carried out to high technical standards. Upon receipt of your samples, our  laboratories will provide:

  • Sample tracking.
  • Confirmation of the date your sample(s) was received.
  • Advice date you can expect your final results and certificates.
  • Fast turnaround and accurate results.
  • A status report and provisional result updates.
  • Additional tests and rechecks (as required).
  • Technical advice and result interpretation.
  • Professional and friendly customer service.
  • Complete client confidentiality.
  • Email e-certificate.

If you have a pressing commercial deadline, we can fast track your samples through the laboratory and email your GAFTA or FOSFA-approved certificate of quality.

To find out more about our complete range of laboratory analytical services click here. For answers to more specific questions please call: +44 (0) 151 525 1488.

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Analysis - GAFTA & FOSFA Analysts

Food Testing Services


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For further information, call 44 (0) 151 525 1488 or Email Us.

All inspection business is subject to standard terms and conditions which are available upon request.

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