The 2017/18 sugar beet campaign came to a close just before Easter and the British beet sugar industry is celebrating record yields from the crop.
British Sugar’s four factories processed 8.9m tonnes of sugar beet with the final average yield an impressive 83.4 tonnes per hectare of beet. This compares to a previous record of 79.8t/ha.
The British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) – jointly funded by British Sugar and sugar beet growers – has played a key role in driving a focused, partnership approach to productivity improvement, according to British Sugar.
The result has been an increase in yields of 25 per cent in the last ten years and this year many growers have seen yields of more than 100 tonnes per hectare.
Paul Kenward, managing director of British Sugar says: “This has been a long and challenging campaign for our growers, our supply chain and our four factories. I am hugely proud of the record yields we’ve seen from our homegrown sugar beet and we continue to be one of the most efficient sugar industries in the world. However, we simply couldn’t do it without our 3,500 growers and the 9,500 people who work across our supply chain.
“We are processing the same amount of sugar beet today with four factories as we were 20 years ago with ten, as a result of investing in our factories to make them even more efficient. We’ll now focus on getting ready for the next campaign and making further improvements.”