FARMING MATTERS: Sweet future for sugar beet growers

Sugar beet
Sugar beet

Sugar is not the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about farming. More usually we think of cattle and sheep and if considering arable crops, wheat and barley.

But sugar beet is an important crop in our country and plays a valuable part in driving the rural economy.

British Sugar is the leading supplier to the British and Irish food and beverage markets and operates four advanced manufacturing factories across the middle of the country. Almost 3,500 growers supply sugar beet to the factories and between September and March this sugar beet is delivered to the factories to be processed into 7.5 million tonnes of sugar.

Recently, the Sugar Industry Programme, jointly supported by British Sugar and NFU Sugar, held a reception for MPs in the House of Commons and met Farming Minister George Eustice to discuss the future of the UK sugar beet industry.

Paul Kenward, MD of British Sugar, said: “It was great to meet with many of the young people who represent the future of the sugar beet sector, and to talk to parliamentarians about how Brexit could allow us to create an even more successful beet sugar industry. The UK sugar industry is already globally competitive, and yields from British beet farms and British Sugar factories are higher than just about anywhere.”