Sugar Beet

What is sugar beet?

Sugar Beet along with Sugar Cane is what we produce the bi-product Sugar from.

Collins Dictionary: a variety of the plant Beta vulgaris that is cultivated for its white roots from which sugar is obtained (see picture on the left)

Sugar Beet is a rotational crop grown 1 in 3 / 4 / 6 years depending on soil types and other crop rotations in the cycle.

It can only be grown in certain areas due to a specific soil type needed - see the map of the major UK growing areas for sugar beet.

A sugar beet has the following make up:  75% water, about 20% sugar, and 5% pulp. The exact sugar contents of a beet can vary between 12 and 21%. Sugar beet is grown & harvested in the Autumn / Winter months.


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Info on Sugar Beet Industry and British Sugar


Sugar Beet currently provides 20% of the sugar compared with 80% from Sugar Cane. From Sept 2017, there will be no limits on processors and growers to supply sugar to all international markets. This also includes the EU and there will be no WTO limits. This will dramatically increase competition, increase market volatility and result in price wars between companies. Currently, in the UK, British Sugar is the only producer of sugar in the country. They have 5 factories ideally located in the centre of the sugar beet region producing 8 million tonnes of sugar a year where Beet travels an average of 28 miles. In the UK, the NFU agree the price of sugar beet a year in advance with its 3,500 growers. It is currently £21.62 per tonne rising to £22 per tonne for 2017/18


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