The Bristol Corn and Feed Trade Association was originally known as the Bristol Channel and West of England Corn Trade Association Inc. It was founded in 1889 to - "Establish measures calculated to benefit the Corn, Flour and Feeding Stuffs Trades in the Bristol Channel and West of England area, and to promote joint action on matters of Contracts of Sale and other documents used in the Trade".

Corn Trade Associations were formed towards the latter part of the nineteenth century at all the large Receiving Ports in the United Kingdom, to assist Members in their business with one another by establishing uniformity in methods, and to provide an authority to which Members could refer disputes for Arbitration.

In 1918 the National Federation of Corn Trade Associations was formed to represent the whole Trade of the U.K. in matters of a national character, and in negotiations with the Government and Authorities in foreign countries. The activities of the Federation and the Corn Trade Associations were mainly concerned with Cereals, but in 1971 the London Corn Trade Association and the London Cattle Food Association merged to form the Grain and Feed Trade Association Limited, which replaced the Federation and now watches over the interests of the Grain and Animal Feeding Stuffs' industries in national and international affairs.

Bristol, to some extent, had already led the way towards this co-ordination as in 1954, following the de-control of the Trade by the Ministry, the Association's sphere was extended by the addition to membership of most of the national Compounders of Animal Feeding Stuffs.

Bristol has always been an important centre for the distribution of Grain and Animal Feeding Stuffs by reason of its large agricultural hinterland. In 1968 Avonmouth alone saw the import of 900,000 tons of feeding stuffs for livestock and 850,000 tons of grain. The Bristol Association's interests over the years extended beyond the Port of Bristol, Avonmouth and South Wales to include Sharpness and the South Coast ports.

In 1974 the Association was restructured and became the Bristol Corn and Feed Trade Association Limited.

Imports of grain and animal feeding stuffs declined when the U.K. joined the European Union, but nevertheless the tonnage of such materials brought in through Portbury, Avonmouth and other West and South-West ports still accounts for a large percentage of the total imports into the region and, since the formation of the new Bristol Port Company in 1991, activity at the Royal Portbury and Avonmouth Docks has increased. The Royal Portbury Dock can handle Panamax and Cape Shipping. In 1999 the annual tonnage of imported feeding stuffs through the Bristol Docks was 850,000 tonnes and the Newport dock has been modernised to handle a higher throughput.