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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 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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929 news items

Bury Free Press

Bury Free Press
Wed, 29 Apr 2015 03:06:26 -0700

British Sugar, which produces a million tonnes of sugar in the UK and an additional 500,000 tonnes of animal feed from beet pulp, said: “British Sugar works with 3,500 growers and council tenant farmers to produce and process sugar beet in the UK.


Thu, 30 Apr 2015 07:48:45 -0700

A group representing small, sustainable farmers has staged a protest against British Sugar, demanding a “fair deal” for small producers. About 50 activists from the Landworkers Alliance (LWA) gathered outside British Sugar's factory in Bury St Edmunds ...

The Grocer

The Grocer
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 07:36:16 -0700

“The future of farming is in local, healthy, sustainable agriculture and not in the sort of monopoly that British Sugar represents,” Sheppard claimed. With 90% of fruit and 45% of vegetables consumed in the UK imported, small producers were “in a ...

Horticulture Week

Horticulture Week
Tue, 05 May 2015 01:52:51 -0700

Asked for their top three reasons for buying from British Sugar Topsoil, customers cited Landscape20's compliance with BS3882:2007, its independent analysis, and the company's reputation for working within given timescales to provide the quantity of ...

Liverpool Echo

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 02:22:30 -0700

... * Napier Brown's brands include Whitworths Sugar. * Puts Tereos in better position for opening of European market (Adds details throughout, Tereos statement). By David Brough and Sybille de La Hamaide. LONDON/PARIS, April 29 (Reuters) - French ...
Financial Times
Sun, 03 May 2015 06:49:25 -0700

Instead, the group's profits have been corroded by a five-year fall in sugar prices and a dispute with British Sugar, part of Associated British Foods and the UK's sole producer of beet sugar, from which RGF buys much of its supplies. Napier Brown made ...

The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times
Sat, 23 May 2015 13:15:00 -0700

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), which includes Coca-Cola, Mars and British Sugar among its members, has helped write the “core competencies” on diet and health for school lessons on nutrition. The seven-page document makes no reference to ...

Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo
Wed, 20 May 2015 00:47:29 -0700

The firm announced last month that it was in talks with several parties regarding the potential sale of its sugar arm which had been hit by a pricing row with British Sugar, owned by Primark group Associated British Foods. Last September it took its ...

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