During October 2013 British Sugar gave engineering students from Cambridge University a detailed insight into the beet sugar industry in a bid to transform perceptions of food and drink manufacturing in the UK.
Students from the university’s MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management course visited British Sugar’s Bury St Edmunds factory as part of this year’s See Inside Manufacturing (SIM) programme. The programme, devised by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in conjunction with manufacturing organisations such as the Food and Drink Federation, aims to get more young people to “see inside manufacturing” and get them interested in a career in manufacturing.
Andrew Beresford, Head of Operations HR at British Sugar said: “The SIM programme is a great opportunity for British Sugar to build on its six-year partnership with Cambridge University, which has resulted in a number of engineering and business graduates joining our company.
“The visit to our Bury St Edmunds factory gave these students a comprehensive overview of modern food processing and manufacturing, and showed them that it is very much a 21st Century industry.”
Melanie Leech, Director General at the Food and Drink Federation, added: “We’re delighted to have British Sugar’s support for this programme. Their involvement will certainly help us to inspire the next generation of leaders in our industry and show them what it’s like to work in this dynamic and innovative sector.”
Today (8 July), the £350 million Vivergo Bioethanol plant in Hull was officially opened by the Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The new plant is the UK’s biggest Bioethanol producer and largest single-source supplier of animal feed providing valuable commodities that the UK would usually import.
The Vivergo plant, a joint venture between AB Sugar, BP and DuPont, will produce 420 million litres of Bioethanol a year at full capacity, equivalent to a third of the UK’s current demand. Bioethanol is a renewable transport fuel which is added to petrol.
Vivergo will also produce 500,000 tonnes a year of protein-rich animal feed for the UK market, which is sufficient to feed around a fifth of the UK’s dairy herd. Using animal feed grade wheat, which previously would have been exported, Vivergo will become the UK’s biggest wheat buyer, taking 1.1 million tonnes a year. The company’s aspiration is to source its wheat primarily from farms in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Vivergo’s Bioethanol will offer greenhouse gas savings in excess of 50% over standard petrol; this is equivalent to the current emissions of more than 180,000 UK cars a year.
Rt. Hon Vince Cable MP said "Energy is critical for the UK's growth prospects. As part of the Government's industrial strategy we are working closely with industry, including the energy sector, on long term plans to develop stronger supply chains, encourage future billions of investment, secure thousands of jobs, support skills and research and development.
Vivergo is a good example of how joint ventures, using the financial support and expertise of big companies, can not only create local jobs but also help meet the energy security and fuel demands of our country and support local farmers."
Dr Mark Carr, Group Chief Executive, AB Sugar, said “We are proud to be supporting this world-scale Bioethanol facility in Hull. This highly efficient plant will significantly contribute to the production of food and fuel in a sustainable way, the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets and the UK economy and growth, particularly in the Humber area.”
For further information, please visit www.vivergofuels.com
Today (4th April), British Sugar welcomed the Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, as part of his tour of Norfolk companies which are emblematic of the Government’s industrial and upcoming Agri-Technology strategy.
The visit provided an ideal opportunity to demonstrate British Sugar’s approach to advanced and sustainable manufacturing and Business Secretary Vince Cable said “Our Agricultural-technology sector is a vital part of the UK’s economy and British Sugar is a prime example of the innovative work this sector does. Later this year, we will be publishing our agri-tech industrial strategy which will highlight how Government can work in a long-term partnership with industry to support emerging technologies, develop the skills businesses need and improve business confidence for investment and growth.”
The tour not only included an overview of the sugar processing operation, but also examples of how British Sugar has moved beyond sugar by expanding the range of co-products produced by focusing on driving efficiencies and using raw materials as effectively as possible to minimise waste, including; the power generation system that produces both steam and electricity, called a Combined Heat & Power Plant (CHP) and recognised as one of the most fuel-efficient processes available; the UK’s first renewable Bioethanol Refinery; the award-winning horticulture business, Cornerways, benefiting from its close location to the factory by utilising hot water from the CHP and waste carbon dioxide during photosynthesis of the tomatoes.
But at the heart of any industry, it is people that make the difference. British Sugar continues to support a multi-skilled workforce with specialists in engineering, business, finance and agriculture, and over the past ten years recruited and trained over 100 graduates and 90 apprentices. During the tour, apprentices from the Wissington operation shared their experiences and why they had chosen a modern Apprenticeship Scheme.
Dr Mark Carr, Group Chief Executive of AB Sugar, said “I am extremely proud to be able to share how the production of the home-grown sugar industry contributes to the UK’s rural and agricultural economy, whilst demonstrating how utilising all our raw materials, new technologies and skills and capabilities of our people can achieve sustainable growth. Looking to the future, maintaining quotas to at least 2020 will provide our industry with the opportunity to continue to invest in further advanced manufacturing in pursuit of achieving a globally competitive and sustainable operation”.
To view the British Sugar press release, please click here
Launch of the ultimate graduate scheme – a truly international experience
To support our vision of becoming the world’s leading sugar business, today (March 11th) we have launched our international graduate scheme offering talented and passionate individuals the opportunity to make a real contribution to the overall success of the group.
Working within environments across our businesses that are both stimulating and challenging, from our factories in the UK and Spain, to our fields in Africa and operations in China, individuals will be able to accelerate their development and training, whilst gaining the valuable experience and skills that comes with immersing themselves in each of the different businesses and working with colleagues from different cultures.
Our scheme begins with a comprehensive induction programme and cultural skills training, before commencing overseas placements. Through the scheme, individuals will have an opportunity to take responsibility for real improvement, development and investment projects, whilst learning what it takes to keep an operation running in widely different cultures, experiencing both sugar beet and sugar cane production process in our four distinct geographies of Africa, China, Spain and the UK.
For further information on our scheme, please visit: