UK beet sugar production
UK beet sugar production is highly efficient1, and is grown by 3,500 growers supplying about 8 million tonnes of crop annually. Sugar beet yields have been increased by 25% over the past ten years2 driven by joint industry targeted initiatives, and are continuing to increase at over 2% annually – higher than for most arable crops3. Britain’s sugar yields are comparable with the best performing global cane or beet industries and are higher than Brazil’s4.
Domestically grown sugar beet is supplied to British Sugar, which extracts the sugar and converts it into a wide range of products5. British Sugar has a current installed sugar production capacity of about 1.5 million tonnes annually. It operates four advanced manufacturing plants in East Anglia and East Midlands.
the UK's single beet sugar processor
British Sugar has consistently invested in its operations to drive efficiency improvements, reduce energy costs and emissions, and improve operational flexibility - around £250 million has been invested over the past five years6.
Today it has some of the most advanced production facilities, one of the most cost efficient processors in the EU7 and is internationally competitive. In addition to sugar, it produces a wide range of co-products including: high performance combined heat and power electricity, renewable transport fuel, renewable energy from anaerobic digestion, animal feed, horticulture, liming products and topsoil.
About 9,500 jobs are supported throughout the economy by the UK beet sugar industry8, mostly in rural areas of East Anglia and the East Midlands, and over £200 million of corporation tax has been paid by British Sugar to the UK exchequer over the past five years9.
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