Among his major innovations was feeding the pig herd on leftover whey from the dairy industry. In the mid-fifties he introduced one of the first commercial broiler chicken units as well.
Henry’s son, Robin, was key to the business’s continued success. He was the perfect project manager, fielding and implementing Henry’s numerous ideas and managing a workforce of over 50 people.
While the business was successful, it was ill-equipped to withstand the turmoil of the 1990s, when the milk market was de-regulated, the pork and poultry markets crashed, and the EU started to decouple farm support.
While the business rode out the storm, Dourie was in serious need of reinvestment; any savings had to be ploughed back into the business and debt was taken on. The business hung on by the skin of its teeth. Robin’s masterstroke was to give Gregor and Rory the confidence and support to achieve the reinvestment and turnaround so needed.
Over the last 10 years Rory and Gregor have continued the reinvigoration of Dourie, making the bold decision to buy out the remaining original shareholders, completing a comprehensive succession plan while investing in a new pig unit and new dairy in order to lift productivity. They own and run the business on a 50-50 basis.