Campaign begins

Colm McKay, agricultural director at British Sugar, holds a sugar beet and a pack of Silver Spoon su

Colm McKay, agricultural director at British Sugar, holds a sugar beet and a pack of Silver Spoon sugar. PICTURE: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

Sugar makers say they are “positive” about this year’s beet crop as the campaign got under across East Anglia.

The sugar beet campaign at Bury St Edmunds sugar factory has begun. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The sugar beet campaign at Bury St Edmunds sugar factory has begun. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

British Sugar’s Bury St Edmunds plant began processing locally-grown sugar on Monday, September 18. Newark began on Thursday, September 14, Wissington on Thursday, September 21, and Cantley is due to begin on Monday, September 25.

The firm’s agriculture director, Colm McKay, said: “We’re positive about this coming year’s crop and, as stated, the latest sugar production estimate for 2017/18 is in excess of 1.4 million tonnes.”

British Sugar reverted back to a more usual mid-September start date for processing following a later start to last year’s campaign. Revenue and profits at AB Sugar, part of Associated British Foods, are expected to be well ahead of last year. With the lifting of quota and export restrictions from October, this season’s crop area has increased by a third.