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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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144 news items

Insider Media
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 00:07:30 -0700

Its results have been "dominated" by its dispute with British Sugar. Napier Brown fell to a loss and there has also been a profit fall at Garrett Ingredients after the trading in these two businesses was directly affected. Real Good Food lodged a ...
Fenland Citizen
Sat, 23 Aug 2014 06:07:30 -0700

“Members are concerned about the future profitability of this essential break crop, due to changes in the quota system for supplying British Sugar imposed by the European Union and coming into force in 2017. “Fengrain has held an open meeting with many ...
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:13:02 -0700

He says that while British Sugar is pushing for microtopping, which results in less damage to the root crown during the harvesting process, they also want less green material delivered to the factory. “That is virtually impossible if you have dead ...
tce today
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:45:00 -0700

IChemE joins several other organisations in the chemical and process industries that already support the campaign including Fluor, British Sugar, and Atkins. Collis says it has made good progress in recent years to improve the gender balance of people ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:52:07 -0700

british-sugar-logo “These excellent finalists all demonstrate that attention to detail is key in delivering a profitable arable enterprise, with the drive and determination to achieve high yields in all crops. They all possess the passion to succeed ...

Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough Telegraph
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 23:56:15 -0700

Through the use of interactive exhibitions from industry suppliers such as British Sugar, Albert Bartlett, Suffolk Mushrooms and Arla, children were able to experience the journey of food from seed to table. They also discovered how flour is produced ...
New York Times
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:47:31 -0700

... from the nearby British Sugar factory, and he hands me the book. . . . What a book! The blurbs alone were radically stirring, a unanimity of blown-away-ness, a massed aesthetic call to arms. “This is what literature is meant to be,” trumpeted ...
South West Business
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:30:00 -0700

The Jordans & Ryvita Company is part of London-based corporation Associated British Foods plc, which also owns budget retail giant Primark and British Sugar. At the time, it was reported the business was competing with Kellogg's and Weetabix to acquire ...

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