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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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2937 news items

East Anglian Daily Times

East Anglian Daily Times
Tue, 04 Nov 2014 01:49:55 -0800

Associated British Foods, which owns Primark alongside a string of food businesses including UK beet processor British Sugar, said the retailer's sales rose 16% to £4.95bn after it opened new stores across Europe and lifted sales at stores open for ...
Farmers Guardian
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 01:20:49 -0800

ABF is parent company of British Sugar and, with the group pointing to declining sugar prices around Europe as the prime reason for the falling turnover, industry chiefs said lower prices were likely to hit the UK sector. George Weston, chief executive ...
Kidderminster Shuttle
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 05:30:00 -0800

Places for People, the new name for DC Leisure which runs Wyre Forest Glades, Stourport Sports Centre, and Bewdley Leisure Centre, will take charge of the development at the former British Sugar Site at Silverwoods. The terms of the 25-year contract ...
Industry Today (press release)
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:07:30 -0800

Speakers on the day will include Martin Lamb, health and safety manager at sugar supplier British Sugar, who will discuss the company's tragic fatality case. A 40-year-old employee was run-over by a shovelling vehicle at the firm's factory in Bury St ...

The Grocer

The Grocer
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:49:03 -0700

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority will not take forward Napier Brown's complaint against British Sugar that the Associated British Foods-owned company was abusing its dominant market position. The CMA informed Napier Brown owner Real Good ...
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 03:50:39 -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 ...

Horticulture Week

Horticulture Week
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 04:26:15 -0700

By recovering, screening and blending the rich arable soils that adhere to the 7.5 million tonnes of sugar beet, delivered by farmers to British Sugar's UK factories, we are providing our landscaping, construction and amenity customers with a natural ...

Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Telegraph
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:02:38 -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 ...

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