British Sugar will cover 75% of farmers’ diversion costs

British Sugar has committed to covering 75% of farmers’ diversion costs following a difficult harvest. 

British Sugar has committed to covering 75% of farmers diversion costs following a difficult harvest. NFU Sugar welcomed the news.

Dan Green, agriculture director at British Sugar, said that following discussions with NFU Sugar, British Sugar is meeting 75% of the additional costs for those Bury and Wissington growers who are still to lift and deliver to divert their beet to Cantley or Newark.

In addition to this, they are also hiring an additional boiler at Cantley to increase throughput at that factory.

Mr Green said: “We are fully committed to helping growers bring in their crop to our factories and have recently announced additional support measures for Wissington and Bury growers to get their beet into
either Cantley or Newark, now that Bury and Wissington’s Campaigns have finished.

“This coupled with the actions we’ve taken to deliberately slow down throughput at our factories, extending Campaign by over 50 days, totals a multi-million-pound commitment by us in support of our growers.

“With Cantley and Newark due to finish their Campaigns in early April, we continue to work
together with our growers, harvesters and hauliers to bring the 2023/24 Campaign to a close.”

Warmly welcomed move

This move has been warmly welcomed by NFU Sugar. Furthermore, the union is also pleased with British Sugar’s significant investment in equipment at Cantley. 

It aims to increase slice, which will help achieve a timely end to the campaign. 

It has been a difficult harvest for all growers this year, with the beet campaign coinciding with one of the wettest autumn and winter periods on record. 

Recognising financial impact

An NFU spokesperson said: “With growers incurring additional costs in lifting beet in these conditions, we are pleased that British Sugar has recognised the financial impact it could have had on growers to have to also cover the additional haulage costs in delivering beet to an alternative site. 

“We recognise that the greater capacity that has been temporarily added at Cantley will also help reduce the risk of bottlenecks, allowing growers, contractors and hauliers to make the most of opportunities to lift.” 

New end dates for sugar beet campaign

At the beginning of March, British Sugar extended the beet campaign deadline for farmers whose beet was still in the ground. 

The company’s agriculture director, Dan Green, said that following the recent wet weather and feedback from growers, British Sugar’s expected campaign end dates for each site will be extended. 

The latest end dates announced are:  

  • Bury St Edmunds: 8th March  
  • Wissington: 15th March  
  • Cantley and Newark: w/c 1 April 

Read more sugar beet news

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