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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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British Sugar

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1777 news items


Tue, 21 Apr 2015 04:48:45 -0700

British Sugar edged its forecast for last season's beet crop to a new record of 1.45m tonnes of sugar as its parent group reported a financial loss for sugar due to low EU prices. The beet processor said it benefited from a large UK crop with good ...

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:56:44 -0700

Real Good Food, the Toxteth-based baking ingredients manufacturer, is in discussions to sell its sugar business Napier Brown. The subsidiary has been hit by a pricing war with British Sugar, owned by Primark group Associated British Foods. Last ...
Horticulture Week
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 08:33:45 -0700

The event, due to be held at at British Sugar's Wissington manufacturing plant in Norfolk, is free to attend but is strictly limited to 20 delegates and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to members of the SGD, Registered ...

Lincolnshire Echo

Lincolnshire Echo
Sat, 25 Apr 2015 23:33:45 -0700

A Yorkshire couple were so sweet on a former British Sugar building that they bought it 15 years ago – since then they have been continually renovating it.... Living in a museum may sound like the perfect hide away for inquisitive minds, but be warned ...


Tue, 07 Apr 2015 16:15:00 -0700

A Hindu servant serves tea to a European colonial woman in the early 20th century. The British habit of adding tea to sugar wasn't merely a matter of taste: It also helped steer the course of history. (Corbis/Underwood & Underwood). By Maria Godoy Apr ...


Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:15:00 -0700

UK wheat and OSR yields have, after years of relative stagnation, started to rise with records tumbling year on year and British Sugar has reported the fifth record crop of UK sugar beet in 10 years. While not all of this is necessarily due to climate ...

Jamaica Observer

Jamaica Observer
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:56:15 -0700

Maroons are the descendants of African slaves left behind by Spanish colonisers when the British captured Jamaica in the 1650s, as well as runaway slaves from British sugar plantations. Maroon communities in the Blue Mountains of eastern Jamaica and in ...
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 03:47:28 -0700

Drought, frost and lower sugar prices, compounded by euro weakness, prompted Illovo Sugar to warn on profits, raising the prospect of a downbeat finale to its chairman's 42-year career at the group. Don MacLeod - the outgoing Illovo Sugar chairman, and ...

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