British Sugar has written to growers in an attempt to secure additional tonnage next year in order to supply its bioethanol plant at Wissington.

BS managing director Gino De Jaegher told Farmers Weekly yesterday (24 September) that while enough 2009 tonnage had been contracted to meet sugar quota by the original 15 August deadline, an extra 10%, equivalent to 400-500,000t, was still needed to supply the Norfolk bioethanol facility.

“2009 contract confirmation letters have just gone out to growers this week and within them, we’ve made it clear that we are seeking additional tonnage for the 2009 season,” he said.

The additional tonnage needed will be at the previously agreed [option two] contract price of £26/t, plus transport allowance worth about £1 per adjusted tonne.

“After the falls we’ve seen in cereal prices, I believe that sugar beet is once again back at the top of the tree in terms of profitability,” Mr De Jaegher added.