NFU welcomes deal with British Sugar on 2016-17 beet prices

William Martin, chairman of NFU Sugar.

William Martin, chairman of NFU Sugar. - Credit: Archant

The National Farmers’ Union says that a new agreement with British Sugar should ensure that sugar beet remains competitive in farm rotations.

Under a deal announced yesterday, following what the NFU termed “extensive and detailed”discussions, the contract beet price (CTE) and industrial beet price (ICE) for 2016-17 have both been fixed at £20.30 per tonne.

Growers will not be subject to any compulsory cut in CTE and ICE but instead they may offer to grow whatever proportion of their CTE and ICE they wish, from zero to 100%.

They will retain their right to grow in 2017-18 regardless of what they have chosen to grow in 2016-17.

Performance rules will be set at a two year average of 95% of contracted tonnage over the years 2015-16 and 2016-17.

However, no surplus beet price has been confirmed, with an announcement of this to be announced later in the year.

NFU sugar board chairman William Martin said: “Our industry continues to face significant challenges. Low world prices and the approaching end of quotas are resulting in difficult market conditions.

Most Read

“Both the NFU and British Sugar are confident that, despite these challenges, we will secure the long-term future of the industry by continuing to work together.”

Colm McKay, British Sugar’s agriculture director, said: “We believe our agreement sets a firm foundation for the future and demonstrates a commitment to work together to ensure our industry can compete in an increasingly competitive market place.”

The transport allowance will be calculated from the Industry Haulage Scheme costs, including cleaning and loading; there will not be an additional payment in 2016-17 for those in the Industry Haulage Scheme.

Mr Martin added: “The package we have negotiated should enable beet to compete in rotations on farm and builds for a successful future for both growers and the UK sugar beet industry.”

Beet growers can expect to receive their contract offers, online or by post, during the week commencing July 6.

If growers have any questions on the announcement they can contact the NFU Sugar Helpline on 0370 066 1974.