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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 Newark and Bury sites are also major packaging plants 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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Liverpool Echo

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Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:33:45 -0700

Bakery ingredients supplier The Real Good Food Company (RGFC) reveals sales are still being impacted by 'anti-competitive' behaviour by British Sugar, part of Associated British Foods (ABF). Napier Brown's parent company, RGFC, said that the ongoing ...

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Tue, 08 Jul 2014 01:48:45 -0700

The event was organised by British Sugar after the company teamed up with other major UK employers to support Women in Science and Engineering Student Colloquium. The eight graduates visited British Sugar to take a close look at the processing ...
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:38:11 -0700

Northern Trust Company Ltd is working with the owner of the land, British Sugar, to regenerate it. The 38 hectare site would see 470 homes being built, 10 per cent of which would be affordable, ranging between three and five bedrooms, as well as a ...
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Tue, 08 Jul 2014 22:03:45 -0700

When British Sugar's head of reward, Henk Verhoek, joined the organisation in March 2013, he brought with him a mantra: reward is more than pay. He had already introduced this concept at two previous employers, expanding each reward function from a ...

East Anglian Daily Times

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Sugar beet growers face lower prices and reduced crop area as British Sugar contends with falling commodity markets and high sugar stocks. The processing giant has unveiled a sugar beet price of £24/t for the 2015-16 crop – some 24% lower than this ...
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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 04:26:15 -0700

British Sugar reported that the current UK sugar beet crop is performing well as the group warned it will be looking to cut overheads across its worldwide sugar operations. “The new crop for the 2014-15 season has made very good progress,” the beet ...
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Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:33:41 -0700

Women engineering graduates recently got the chance to learn about opportunities in the beet sugar industry at an event organised by British Sugar. This was part of an initiative which British Sugar embraced with UK employers to support Women in ...

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