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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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65 news items

The Guardian
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 08:57:06 -0700

... one of the day's biggest fallers was Associated British Foods. The company is usually in the headlines for its fast growing fashion retail chain Primark, but it also owns British Sugar and sugar processing plants. The sugar division accounts for ...

Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Telegraph
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:00:00 -0700

The owner of Peterborough-based British Sugar has seen its profits rise by one per cent - despite being hit by a slump in sugar prices. Associated British Foods saw its adjusted profits for the first half of the financial year rise to £497 million.

Gourmet Retailer

Gourmet Retailer
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:18:45 -0700

Mar 28, 2014. British Sugar Brand Comes to the U.S.. PrintBritish Sugar Brand Comes to the U.S. · Tweet. Domino Foods Inc. is introducing the iconic British sugar brand Tate & Lyle to the U.S. market. Offerings include Fairtrade International certified ...
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:07:30 -0700

The UK business British Sugar produced 1.15m tonnes of sugar last year, 13% less than the previous year. The company estimates production will hit 1.32m tonnes this year, a record since European reform in 2006. See: British Sugar ups its estimate of ...

La Opinión de Zamora

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 04:26:15 -0700

La multinacional británica British Sugar tendrá que resarcir con un millón de euros a los remolacheros de Castilla y León que reclamaron el pago íntegro de la pulpa en cumplimiento del Acuerdo Marco suscrito el 10 de marzo de 2008 entre la Junta y las ...

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press

Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0700

On land near Southery, just a short drive from British Sugar's Wissington factory, Mr Legge reckoned that sugar beet has been grown there since the factory opened in 1925. Fortunately, the effect of BCN was less dramatic on the rich black fen soils ...
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:26:51 -0700

AB Foods -- which owns British Sugar and sugar processing plants -- has seen its stock hit recently after a profit warning from Suezucker. On Tuesday, the German sugar producer predicted that the group's annual operating profit would slump 70 percent.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:45:54 -0700

It will link the A451 Stourport Road and the A442 Worcester Road running through the 74-acre former British Sugar factory site, which is being redeveloped into a business park. But work on the project will be dependent on land being secured, although ...

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