The 2019/20 Beet Delivery Service Report, including results from a survey on the BDS has been published by British Sugar and NFU Sugar.
While 95 per cent of respondents said they were happy to work with the same contractor again, there are some areas that it was deemed could be improved.
The 2019/20 season saw the 10th anniversary of the BDS, which is managed by British Sugar and supported by NFU Sugar. It involves British Sugar allocating contractors to clean, load and deliver growers’ sugar beet and also offers co-ordinated harvesting services.
Eighteen per cent of contracts were on the BDS in 2019/20, accounting for 23 per cent of the total tonnage, according to NFU Sugar.
In the report it says 55 per cent felt attention to crop recovery at the loading site supported recovery of yield potential. Of the remaining 45 per cent, 25 per cent answered either ‘a moderate amount’ or ‘not applicable’, while 20 per cent answered ‘a little’ or ‘not at all’. NFU Sugar commercial analyst Arthur Marshall says: “This shows that the contractors used on the service are mostly providing a good level of service, but clearly there are some that could improve.”
For the 2020/21 campaign a number of changes have been made to encourage best practice, particularly concerning telecoms cables. See panel.
NFU Sugar vice chairman Simon Smith adds: “Together with British Sugar, we have implemented a new programme of haulier assessments. These should continue to drive best practice and allows all parties involved in the service to improve and understand issues from all angles.
“We look forward to being able to benchmark performance in these assessments next year against this year’s standard, and to seeing the learnings from the programme this year being implemented to provide an even greater level of service.”
If a loading site is agreed that is encroached on by telecom cables, the grower and loading contractor are each liable for half of the cost incurred to repair the cables, should they be damaged. This is to provide both parties with an incentive to find an alternative site and to operate with care.
For more information on the changes visit: nfuonline.com/sectors/nfu-sugar/nfu-sugar-news/beet-delivery-service-annual-report-2019-20/