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British Sugar
Industry Sugar beet processing
Founded 1936
Headquarters Peterborough, England, UK
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 UK and produces about half of the UK'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 a 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 a gas-fired 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Two sugar plants set to be closed". BBC News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Sugar — Please support Wikipedia.
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1381 news items


Mon, 23 Feb 2015 03:37:30 -0800

British Sugar pushed up its estimate for last season's beet crop to a new record due a large UK crop and good sugar extraction rates. The beet processor expects UK sugar production from the crop largely harvested in autumn 2014 to be 9% higher at 1.44m ...

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:26:15 -0800

The owner of British Sugar – which has processing plants in Wissington, Cantley and Bury St Edmunds – said revenues would be substantially lower and profits close to breaking even. It comes despite a large UK sugar beet crop which helped the firm mount ...


Tue, 17 Feb 2015 03:15:00 -0800

Sugar beet growers are urged to drive yields hard off the smallest possible area to meet quota and help overcome a 24% price cut for the 2015-16 campaign. Processor British Sugar has had its hands tied by the global and domestic sugar surplus, forcing ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 07:22:30 -0800

... or ammonia. Paul Crewe, head of sustainability for Sainsbury's said he was interested in eCO2 when he found out that British Sugar, Sainsbury's main sugar supplier, derives the CO2 for the refrigerant from waste sugar beet in its refinery in Norfolk.
Thu, 19 Feb 2015 06:10:49 -0800

19-02-2015 • Vanwege de hoge hectareopbrengsten afgelopen jaar en de enorme mondiale suikervoorraad neemt British Sugar snoeiharde maatregelen voor het nieuwe seizoen. Zo gaat het gecontracteerde volume omlaag, zakt de bietenprijs fors en ...

Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Telegraph
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 03:26:15 -0800

The owners of Peterborough-based British Sugar have reaffirmed their commitment to the city despite the difficulties facing the industry. The reassurance comes after parent company Associated British Foods (ABF) revealed it is to close two sugar ...


Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:35:55 -0800

Related news: Coconut sugar: The latest sugar alternative · Sugar not the sole cause of obesity: AB Sugar · 'Misleading' to single out sugar as a lead cause of obesity, says AB Sugar · British Sugar welcomes WHO added sugar guidance – with a caveat ...

Lynn News

Lynn News
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:09:25 -0800

Simon Prior is unhappy that the outline application to construct a restaurant at the Bexwell Roundabout has been given the green light. West Norfolk Council approved British Sugar's application earlier this month although this application generated a ...

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