14 January 2000

Beet appointment

THE former director of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany John MacLeod has been chosen to head a new, streamlined sugar beet industry-funded research body.

Mr MacLeod will chair the British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) from April 1.

His appointment was welcomed by NFU sugar beet committee chairman Matt Twidale. "Im delighted that someone who has so much experience in research and is so highly respected in agriculture will be chairing BBRO."

BBRO replaces the Sugar Beet Research and Education Fund (SBREF) which was responsible for allocating levy cash from growers and British Sugar to research projects.

Acting SBREF chairman and Lincolnshire farmer David Carmichael said: "Weve been working on this for the last year and Im pleased that weve made a high-level appointment.

"This will provide a secure future for the UK sugar beet industry."

SBREF was disbanded after MAFF decided to withdraw from its role as administrator for the fund.

A levy on growers matched by British Sugar will now replace the governments statutory levy. The total budget for its first year will be around £2.2 million, which is close to the sum directed by SBREF in its final year.