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British Sugar
Type Subsidiary
Industry Sugar beet processing
Founded 1936
Headquarters Peterborough, England, UK
Number of locations 5
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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175 news items

The Guardian
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Associated British Foods, owner of British Sugar and Primark, was the day's biggest faller, down 56p to £26.21. Following Monday's results, where a positive Primark performance made up for a difficult sugar market, Berenberg analysts cut their target ...

Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Telegraph
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:52:30 -0700

The owner of Peterborough-based British Sugar and Primark has announced it is expecting to see profits rise this year. Associated British Foods has forecast that strong performances by its grocery and ingredients division will help offset lower sugar ...
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 03:41:15 -0700

British Sugar expects this season's beet crop to be well ahead of last year and is upbeat about its ability to process the higher volumes. Four of the processor's UK beet factories are set to start opening later this week taking about 7.5m tonnes of ...


Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:41:15 -0700

Mary Berry blamed for increase in great British sugar craving. IT HAS inspired droves of amateur cooks to tie on aprons and have a bash at cake, biscuit and bread-making. By: Elisa Roche. Published: Mon, September 8, 2014. mary berry, great british ...

Employee Benefits

Employee Benefits
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:23:52 -0700

“The sugar industry is changing and British Sugar has to adapt to that changing environment. “Total reward is used as a key tool to attract, develop and retain those individuals who add value to the business.” Employee Benefits Live will take place at ...
Farmers Guardian
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:56:15 -0700

The possibility of a tonnage cut was also originally mentioned in the July price announcement, as British Sugar outlined the need to cut cropping areas. NFU sugar adviser Ruth Rigby said: “In the original email they said they needed to cut cropping ...
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:50:43 -0700

British Sugar is gearing up for what could be a record sugar beet harvest, with processing due to begin at the company's four factories in little more than a week. The campaign starts at Newark, Nottinghamshire, and Wissington, Norfolk, on Friday, ...

East Anglian Daily Times

East Anglian Daily Times
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:56:15 -0700

Colm McKay, agriculture director at British Sugar, said: “The current crop for the 2014/15 campaign has made very good progress with early estimates suggesting that it could be well ahead of that produced last campaign. However, the final outturn will ...

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