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British Sugar
Industry Sugar beet processing
Founded 1936
Headquarters Peterborough, England, United Kingdom
Number of locations
Area served
United Kingdom
Products Sugar
Parent Associated British Foods
Website britishsugar.co.uk
The facility at Allscott, Shropshire, closed in early 2007.
British Sugar factory at Bury Saint Edmunds at the backdrop of the town's railway station.

British Sugar plc is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods and the sole British producer of sugar from sugar beet.

British Sugar processes all sugar beet grown in the United Kingdom, and produces about half of the United Kingdom's quota of sugar, with the remainder covered by Tate & Lyle and imports. British Sugar and the growers fix a contract called the "Inter Professional Agreement" determining price paid for beet grown and the allocation of growers' quotas. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is the negotiator for the growers.


The British Sugar Corporation was a company that was formed in 1936, when the British parliament nationalised the entire sugar beet crop processing industry, under the banner of British Sugar Corporation. At this time there were 13 separate companies with 18 factories across the country. In 1972 it began selling its sugar products under the name of Silver Spoon.

In 1977, an rights issue decreased the government holding from 36% to 24%. It was taken over by Berisford International in 1982, and in May of that year, the company name was shortened to British Sugar plc.

It was sold on 2 January 1991, to Associated British Foods (ABF) after a crash in property values affected Berisford. ABF had attempted to purchase in the late 1980s but the stockmarket downturn had stopped their move.


Due to need for continued efficiency in the face of changes to the European Sugar Regime, there has been significant reorganisation within the company. The most noticeable is that the number of factories has been reduced over the years. Closures at some sites have resulted in the expansion of active plant processing periods ("campaigns") at others. One of the cost effective measures is to increase the front end processing of sugar beet up to the "thick juice" stage (a syrup). This is stored in tanks and processed out of season spreading the load on the crystallisation stages which do not have to be uprated.


In 1981 the Ely, Felsted, Nottingham and Selby factories closed after a reduction in the allowed sugar quota. This was followed by the closure of a site at Spalding in 1989, Peterborough and Brigg in 1991, King's Lynn in 1994, Bardney and Ipswich in 2001, Kidderminster in 2002, and Allscott and York in 2007. The site at Allscott, which opened in 1927, near Telford, Shropshire, was closed because it "lacked scale" to be run economically, while the site at York, North Yorkshire (opened 1926) was closed due to the poor crop yields in northern England.[1]

Of the 18 factories which were owned by the British Sugar Corporation, only four still process beet - Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk) Cantley (in Norfolk, the first British sugar factory in 1912), Newark-on-Trent (Nottinghamshire) and Wissington (western Norfolk and the largest in Europe). The Bury site is also a major packaging plant for Silver Spoon. The 12 sites already closed have been sold and decommissioned to various degrees - many large concrete silos (for storing the major product, white granulated sugar) still remain even where the sites have been closed, including those at the Kidderminster factory which was closed in 2002 and was sold off in 2006, and Ipswich. Allscott has now been completely demolished. Spalding has been replaced by Spalding Power Station.

BP and DuPont are working with British Sugar to build a bioethanol plant at BP's Hull site, per an announcement made on June 2007.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Two sugar plants set to be closed". BBC News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Vivergo opens UK's largest biorefinery plant in Hull as biofuel debate heats up". 9 July 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Sugar — Please support Wikipedia.
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1328 news items

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:26:15 -0700

The British Sugar plant alongside the River Yare at Cantley fired up yesterday to complete the launch of this year's operation, following the earlier starts at Wissington, near King's Lynn, on Monday, and Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, and Newark, ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Tue, 22 Sep 2015 04:17:39 -0700

The mother-of-two has also had ten short-term arrangements and four longer relationships over the past several years. Nina regularly finds sugar daddies to finance her lifestyle and has had two long-term British sugar daddies despite living in the US ...

Market Rasen Mail

Market Rasen Mail
Sat, 03 Oct 2015 04:15:00 -0700

The former British Sugar factory site near Brigg is on the market at a guide price of £5m. The mixed-use development land extends to 104 acres, including 38 acres zoned for employment use. This could provide up to 478,000 sq ft of new industrial space ...
Horticulture Week
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 00:18:45 -0700

There is also an explanation of how British Sugar TOPSOIL's products Landscape20 and Sports10 are sourced and manufactured and advice on key considerations when purchasing topsoil, such as appropriate analysis and certification and the logistics of ...
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 17:24:44 -0700

There is also an explanation of how British Sugar TOPSOIL's products Landscape20 (winner of Housebuilder magazine's External Product of the Year 2015) and Sports10 are sourced and manufactured and advice on key considerations when purchasing ...
SHD Logistics
Mon, 21 Sep 2015 06:18:45 -0700

A 104-acre Humberside warehouse side could be developed by new owners. The former British Sugar site at close to the A18 and junction 4 of the M180 at Brigg, Lincolnshire, is being offered for sale for £5m. The site includes 38 acres zoned for ...

Justice News Flash

Justice News Flash
Thu, 17 Sep 2015 12:18:45 -0700

UK – British Sugar has withdrawn a controversial advertisement for its sugar substitute Truvia. The guardian reported that the company made the move following a complaint that the ad was misleading. The published advertisement described the product as ...

Bury Free Press

Bury Free Press
Sat, 12 Sep 2015 01:48:45 -0700

The AD plant being installed at British Sugar's Hollow Road factory is expected to generate up to five megawatts of electricity per annum which will be exported directly into the National Grid system. Factory manager Mike Blowers said the project ...

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