British Sugar agrees improved beet deal

BRITISH Sugar and the National Farmers’ Union have agreed an enhancement to the 2011 sugar beet contract which offers an improved price for growers’ production of non-quota beet.

In a deal similar to agreements in some European markets for beet production in excess of quota, the first 20% of deliveries above contracted levels will next year receive a price of �21 per tonne (plus freight and late delivery allowance). This compares with an equivalent price of �13/tonne for the current season.

The improved offer reflects increased exports for non-quota sugar during 2009/10, an improved biofuel market, and revised crop yield forecasts.

An NUF spokesman said the improved deal represented “an excellent opportunity” for growers to expand their production during 2011. “This opportunity is only available to growers who have a contract for 2011, but anyone without a contract can still lease or purchase tonnage via the normal leasing and transfer schemes, deadline for which is October 31, 2010,” he added.

“Growers wishing to plant additional area to take full advantage of this new arrangement need to increase their seed orders immediately, as there will be no guarantee of extra seed availability beyond November.”

n British Sugar yesterday confirmed that the 2010-11 processing campaign at its Bury St Edmunds factory will start on October 7. The Wissington campaign will start on September 20 and that at Cantley on October 12.