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Scotland to look again at sugar beet potential

Almost 50 years on from the closure of the Scottish sugar beet factory in Cupar, a Rural Innovation Support Service (RISS) group is aiming to look into the feasibility and steps required to re-establish the crop and its processing in eastern Scotland.

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Scotland to look again at sugar beet potential

The 2020 driver is to contribute to climate change mitigation, rather than sugar for human consumption, and the decarbonisation of industry to meet Scotland’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, by producing bioethanol as a fuel additive and new plant-based biotech products.

 

Scottish Enterprise commissioned the UK bioeconomy consultancy, NNFCC, to produce a report, published in summer 2019, which identified that a refinery would need up to 20,000 hectares of sugar beet from arable land of class 3.1 or better, within a 30 to 60-mile radius of the refinery plant’s location.

 

Commenting on the news, Iain Riddell from SAC Consulting, who is facilitating the group, says: “The feasibility of re-establishing the growing and processing of the crop in Scotland has brought together stakeholders with the will, the knowledge and the capability to make the vision reality.”

 


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