10:52 am May 24, 2022
10:57 24 May 2022
British Sugar has offered to pay farmers in East Anglia a 25% cash advance on their sugar beet crops to help them cope with crippling cost pressures.
Arable farmers in the region have been hit by soaring fuel prices and quadrupling fertilizer prices after war in Ukraine hit global commodity markets.
So British Sugar has agreed to pay loyal sugar beet growers a quarter of the agreed price ahead of the 2022/23 harvest campaign, interest-free, to help ease their cash flow problems.
The offer is open to all growers who have held contracts with British Sugar in each of the last three years.
Producers will be able to join the program, with the money paid into their banks during the third full week of June.
Dan Green, Agriculture Director at British Sugar, said: “With recent levels of inflation driving up input prices, sugar beet growers are facing unexpected and increased pressures. We have worked with NFU Sugar to provide practical assistance in these extraordinary circumstances.
“We recognize, more than ever, that growing sugar beets is a partnership between growers, industry partners and us as a processor.
“We hope this cash advance, along with the work of the Field-to-Factory Partnership, will give growers the confidence to invest in sugar beets for the long term. »
Fenland producer Michael Sly is Chairman of the National Farmers Union (NFU Sugar) Sugar Council. He said: “With growers across the country facing extreme inflationary pressures, I am delighted that we have been able to work with British Sugar to offer growers a cash advance on their 2022 crop.
“Cash flow is hugely important to a farming business and when prices for key inputs have risen so sharply, this early injection of cash will bring some relief to UK sugar beet growers.”
North Norfolk grower Kit Papworth, also representing NFU Sugar, said: “It’s hugely positive for growers who have to commit to unusually expensive inputs at this stage of the season.
“The implications for agricultural businesses are truly dramatic. The money needed to get from this time of year to when you sell these crops is an overwhelming amount of money, so any help British Sugar can give us is the welcome.”
British Sugar processes the region’s beet crops at its four factories at Cantley and Wissington in Norfolk, Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and Newark in Nottinghamshire.
The company’s announcement follows a similar decision by Defra earlier this month to bring half of this year’s Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) grant payments up front, from the end of July, to help farm cash flow.