Sunday, May 19, 2024

Late announcement of early delivery allowance is a bitter pill for sugar growers

Although welcomed, a new delivery allowance offered by British Sugar for growers to deliver beet in September has come too late for many growers.

British Sugar’s announcement of an Early Delivery Allowance for this year’s crop has come far too late to enable many growers to change their plans to benefit from it, says the NFU.

NFU Sugar welcomes the scheme which it has been calling on British Sugar to introduce for months. However, the organisation is disappointed that British Sugar waited until just  days before the campaign begins to announce it, given that an early start to the 2023 campaign was known about since January.

The NFU says that executed correctly and planned in advance, the EDA would have had the potential to solve British Sugar’s perennial challenge of slow beet deliveries early in the campaign. In addition, it could also have spread contactor workload more smoothly, helping growers wanting to lift early maintain beet in their rotation.

Michael Sly, NFU Sugar Board chair, said: “Many growers will have sprayed crops recently, many harvesters will be undergoing maintenance with staff potentially absent or working elsewhere in the business in September, and many hauliers will already be committed to other work. All of these will prevent growers from delivering beet early who could otherwise take advantage of the EDA to service British Sugar’s need.”

NFU Sugar was not given the opportunity to agree the details before British Sugar announced the EDA. As discussions for 2024 are ongoing, says the NFU, it is essential British Sugar executes the EDA in future contracts in a timely, planned and appropriate manner so that all parties can reap the benefits.

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