Sugar access improved for UK firms after record yield

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

It is the fourth time in seven years that the yield record has been surpassed
It is the fourth time in seven years that the yield record has been surpassed

Related tags: Agriculture, British sugar

UK food and drink manufacturers should find access to domestic sugar easier after British Sugar revealed another record harvest last year.

Growers in the UK have reported yields of 75.6 t/ha for 2011, topping the previous record of 71.7t/ha, set in 2009. It is the fourth time in seven years that the record has been surpassed.

Colm McKay, British Sugar's agriculture director said: "Achieving this new record yield is a fantastic achievement for our growers and again shows how by working in partnership British Sugar, the National Farmers Union and growers are able to deliver real and sustainable efficiency gains. 

“UK sugar beet yields have risen dramatically in recent years and the new BBRO 4x4 yield programme is very much focussed on continuing that trend, taking yield to new record levels.  The new record is a fitting start to the British beet industry's centenary year."

Helping growers

Each year the sugar beet industry jointly invests more than £1.8M in research, development and industry education with the aim of helping growers to increase their competitiveness and profitability, according to British Sugar.

Priorities for the industry's R&D programme this year, which is operated by the British Beet Research Organisation are to increase productivity, reduce inputs and to maximise the environmental benefits obtained by including sugar beet in the arable crop rotation. 

The programme is a key part of the industry's strategy as an advanced and sustainable manufacturer in a sector which provides jobs for 13,000 people across eastern England.

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